"We needed that!" Craig Elliott praises 'gritty' Boston United victory at Blyth Spartans
Craig Elliott praised a 'gritty' performance as Boston United won 1-0 at Blyth Spartans.
Michael Liddle's first-half own goal saw the Pilgrims pick up three points that moves them up to eighth in the National League North, only out of the play-off spots due to having scored fewer than York City, who they host on Tuesday.
But United - who made six changes to the starting XI following Tuesday's FA Cup exit at Stratford - had to do things the hard way, losing captain Luke Shiels to an apparent hamstring strain early on and seeing leading scorer Danny Elliott miss a penalty.
"We needed that," boss Elliott told BBC Radio Lincolnshire. "Really good, gritty away win.
"Not pretty at times but that's what we said, we needed to come through that as a group and I'm really pleased for the players.
"An own goal, but we were building pressure. It was a good ball into the box and we had a penalty as well and a couple of good chances.
"It's been a difficult week. Emotions to lose on Tuesday and then you come here and the pressure's on you.
"As a group we wanted to come through this and the lads are buzzing in there, and rightly so."
Keeper Peter Crook, defenders Scott Garner, Matt Tootle and Scott Duxbury, plus midfielder Shane Byrne and striker Jordan Burrow returned to the starting XI, with George Sykes-Kenworthy, Keenan Ferguson, Jake Leake, Jake Wright snr, Paul Green and Jake Wright jnr missing out.
But the changes paid off with United keeping their first shut-out of the league season.
"I've been asking for a clean sheet and he (Crook) has done what he had to do today, along with a few others," Elliott added.
"For us to be successful we need 10-12 performances similar to this this season.
"It's the first time this year where you could see a group of players working hard to get a clean sheet and, literally, do everything they could to win a game of football.
"It showed a lot about what we've got in that dressing room. They've shown they're a great group and needed a bit of luck.
"They've repaid us today with a great performances."