Making Boston United and Darlington replay abandoned match would be 'completely wrong' - Craig Elliott

Pilgrims leading 2-0 in final minutes before injury ended contest...

Craig Elliott believes it would be the common sense approach to award Boston United three points following Tuesday's abandonment at Darlington.

United were hoping play would be able to resume and the final seconds completed, but with an ambulance not arriving at Blackwell Meadows until around 11pm, referee Adam Williamson had little choice but to abandon the contest.

Hunt left hospital at 5am the following morning and is currently recovering at home. While Elliott was delighted the player, someone he spoke to about joining the Pilgrims this summer, is on the mend, he fears what looked like a vital league win will now be taken away.

"We're really happy that everything is ok with him and he's back home," Elliott said.

"He's somebody I spoke to in the summer, Nicky. I have had communication with him over the summer and he' a good friend of one of our players, Paul Green. They're pretty close friends from being at Crewe together last year.

"But football is what we were there for on Tuesday and I'm absolutely devastated to not finish the game. We were happy to wait and it's worrying to see what happens now.

"At the time their manager Alun (Armstrong) was happy for the game to be abandoned and the result to stand, that's what he said a few times, so it seemed the right thing to do."

National League rules state that: In the event that a match is abandoned for reasons over which neither club has control... the board shall determine the terms upon which any replayed match shall be played.

But Elliott believes that there should only be one outcome.

"There's nobody who will convince me otherwise," he said. "There's three minutes of the game left, they're down to 10 men (due to injury and three substitutions already being made), we're 2-0 up.

"I think with everything going off at the moment, the Covid situation, they're trying to limit contact and not make you play extra games. You see it in the FA Cup as well, they're not having replays. So for us to have to play a game with three minutes left is absolutely wrong.

"I'm really angry that potentially we have to do that, I don't agree with that one bit.

"It feels like we've had a few kicks in the teeth already this season with the FA Cup, having to pull out, and the Bradford game being cancelled so late on twice. Now this."

The prospect of the game meaning nothing is also hard for the United boss to stomach given his squad picked up a handful of injuries on the night, which could see key players miss Saturday's crunch clash at AFC Fylde.

"We've picked up injuries as well. It (the game) has got to mean something," the manager continued.

"We went there and it tests you physically and mentally. It's a long journey and we'll be taking that into Saturday's game and we have to check on a few lads tonight in training.

"Fingers crossed we can go with a strong squad. A couple are muscle injuries, so they might not be serious, but they could be 10-day jobs. We'll hope Hayden can work his magic."

Sports rehabilitator Hayden Clifton and his team of Ash Slawson and Eleanor Crompton-Mudd received plenty of praise this week for their help in treating Hunt.

"We were so accommodating in terms of our medical staff, Hayden Eleanor and Ash," Elliott added.

"It's not an exaggeration to say that without their equipment and expertise he could have been in trouble.

"There was equipment Darlington didn't have and we did and I just think as a club we were outstanding in the way we reacted."

Quakers boss Armstrong echoed Elliott's sentiments.

He told North East Sports News: "They were top drawer, Danny (O'Connor, Darlington sports therapist) and the Boston (sports therapy team),” he said.

“One of the Boston (sports therapists) laid for the one hour 20 minutes keeping hold of Hunty’s neck, keeping his head still, laid on the wet grass in the cold. I thought what they did, the four of them, was different class.

“There were a couple of really scary moments when they got the defibrillator ready. At that point I couldn’t have cared less about the game."