'No room for error!' Craig Elliott warns Boston United squad there'll be no second chances in FA Cup clash with AFC Mansfield

Pilgrims ready to kick off season..,
Craig Elliott. Photo: Eric BrownCraig Elliott. Photo: Eric Brown
Craig Elliott. Photo: Eric Brown

Craig Elliott has warned his Boston United squad that there is ‘no room for error’ as they host AFC Mansfield in the FA Cup on Saturday.

The Pilgrims will be kicking off their 2020-21 campaign this weekend while the Bulls have already won through three qualifying rounds in the competition, as well as featuring in Northern Counties East League Premier Division action.

“I think things are slightly different as we’re staring our season in the competition, this means there’s no room for error,” Elliott said.

“There’s no extra time, no replays or things like that. You have to be at it straight away. There’s no second chances this season.”

Mansfield have already seen off Sherwood Colliery, Cleethorpes Town and Gainborough Trinity to reach this season’s second qualifying round.

“They’ll be difficult to break down,” Elliott added.

“They’ll come full of confidence as they’ve had two good wins already in the FA Cup against Cleethorpes and Gainsborough, who are both very good teams.

“It’s going to be a difficult game and, as favourites, the pressure’s on us to try to get through.”

The Bulls have plenty of experience in their ranks with former FC Halifax Town and Alfreton Town defender Josh Wilde and ex-Trinity duo Lynton Karkach and Jonathan D’Laryea among their squad.

“I know quite a few of their players and over the years they’ve played higher level football,” Elliott continued.

“Probably a few could play higher football now. They’ve got a very good squad for that level they’re at.

“That’s why we won’t underestimate them at all. The wins they’ve had are there to see.

“I’m sure they’ll come full of confidence and they’ve got experience in this squad as well.”

Saturday’s contest kicks off at 3pm and will be played at Gainsborough’s Northolme ground as work continues at United’s Jakemans Community Stadium.

Boston reached the second round last season, eventually losing 2-1 to League One Rochdale in a replay at York Street.

Elliott expects those members of last season’s squad to want a repeat, and his newcomers to feel similarly.

He said: “I think all players, whatever level they’re at, they’ll have FA Cup memories and know it’s a big competition. Even more so in non-league.

“Obviously, we want to do well again and it would give us confidence going into the league season as well.”