Following Tuesday’s 4-1 victory at The Tameside Stadium against Curzon Ashton, the Coasters will travel to Lincolnshire to face Boston United in this FA Trophy Third Round fixture.

Fylde are technically still continuing to defend their 2019 FA Trophy win after the cancellation of the competition in 2020, and will aspire to achieve more success in this historical competition. They will now face challenging competition in the form of the Pilgrims in Saturday’s fixture – (3pm KO).


Boston United was founded in 1933 as a successor to Boston Town. Their first ever game was a 3-1 defeat to Grimsby Reserves which saw an attendance of 1,544 watching Boston’s first game. The Pilgrims then went on to have a decent amount of success within different leagues such as the Midland League and the Southern League.

The club nickname “The Pilgrims” is a reference to the Pilgrim Fathers who left England and sailed to North America founding Boston, Massachusetts. The club badge also features the pilgrim fathers’ ship the Mayflower. The Pilgrims currently hold the record for biggest win by a non-league side against a Football League side in the FA Cup after defeating Derby County in a 6-1 win.

Boston United were founding members of the Northern Premier League in 1968, and won the competition four times as well as the Alliance Premier League in 1979. However, their Northern Premier League titles were not enough to achieve promotion to the Football League at the time. However, after turning professional in 2001 the club earned promotion to the Football League. Boston would be relegated from League Two in the 2006/07 season, and then went into administration being relegated to the Conference North. Still in administration after the 2007/08 season, Boston would then return to the Northern Premier League but would bounce back to the Conference North in the 2009/10 season, where the club still remains today.

The Manager – Craig Elliott

Manager, Craig Elliott, has been with Boston United since his appointment in November 2017. Elliott retired from his playing days early due to injury, and has enjoyed a successful spell as a non-league manager where he is often claimed to be the most successful manager in non-league due to his many achievements in such a short period of time.

He started his managerial career at Glasshoughton Welfare, a club which was close to being folded when Elliott took over. As a former player for Welfare, his passion was noticeable for the club and he took Glasshoughton to unpredicted heights such as promotion to the NCEL Premier Division in 2012. At Shaw Lane, Elliott was also responsible for three promotions in four seasons. The manager has also managed Ossett Town in the past.

At Boston, Elliott nearly made it six promotions in ten years if Boston had beat Altrincham in the 2019/20 National League North Play-off finals, and the fact that The Pilgrims were that close shows the impact the manager has had in the club. Elliott has supported Boston in reaching the 12th position in this year’s National League North campaign at the moment.

The Captain – Luke Shiels

The captain Luke Shiels has been a Pilgrim since joining Boston United from Alfreton Town prior to the 2019/20 season. The experienced central defender has gathered a fair amount of non-league experience, and he was a regular opponent against Boston United before joining the club.

The 31-year-old defender started his senior career with Harrogate Town where he made 72 National League North appearances before moving to Alfreton Town. He was also a regular for Alfreton making 73 league appearances before moving on to Boston prior to the 2019/20 season. This is Shiels’ second season for the Pilgrims, and the experienced defender has now achieved over 40 appearances for Boston during his time with the club.

Scout Report

1 Ross Fitzsimons
, 2 Matt Tootle
, 6 Luke Shiels ©
, 5 Scott Garner
, 3 Scott Duxbury, 
17 Connor Dimaio
, 8 Paul Green
, 7 Andi Thanoj
, 18 Terry Hawkridge
, 10 Jordan Thewlis, 
9 Jordan Burrow

Boston United will be in high spirits following their dominating 3-0 win away from home against Evesham which successfully kicked off their FA Trophy campaign. The Pilgrims have been playing catch up in the National League North due to a pretty much game-less November due to Covid-19 related postponements, as well as after the Darlington abandonment. Boston United are currently placed 12th in the standings, with only 9 games played and 15 points obtained.

The Coasters opened their 2020/21 FA Trophy campaign with a 4-1 win away at Curzon Ashton, showcasing a dominating attacking performance. As for their National League North campaign, Fylde currently sit 3rd in the table after a superb start to the season but have suffered two defeats in their last 5 games. The Coasters will be expecting to return to their outstanding form from earlier in the season especially after Tuesday’s win.
Fylde and Boston United are familiar opposition to each other having played each other for a total of 7 times, including this season this past November.

The Coasters have the better track record, having defeated Boston in 6 of their previous encounters. Past fixtures include an outstanding 9-2 win secured by Fylde in the 2016/17 National League North season. More recently, the Coasters came out on top by defeating the Pilgrims in a 2-1 win at Mill Farm – with goals scored by Liam Nolan and Nathan Shaw for Fylde, and Jordan Burrow for Boston.

Considering Boston United’s predicted line-up, the Pilgrims will have the option to feature new signing Pierce Bird as the central defender has joined Boston on loan from Eastleigh. Boston reshuffled their line-up a lot for the Evesham fixture, but should be returning to a more familiar line-up to host the Coasters. Ross Fitzsimons is predicted to start in goal, as the Crystal Palace academy product has been the regular starter this season.

Defensively, Boston could feature the new signing, but if the regular back four is maintained we could see captain Luke Shiels starting alongside Scott Garner. The full-back positions should be covered by former AFC Fylde left-back Scott Duxbury, as well as tenacious defender Matt Tootle.

Boston’s midfield has faced several changes throughout the season, as the Pilgrims have experimented with a series of different partnerships for the middle three. The hard-working Andi Thanoj is expected to start with a more advanced role in the midfield. We could see Connor Dimaio, a former Republic of Ireland international at youth level, starting with Paul Green in the midfield. Although Boston have also frequently started Mitch Rose in the middle three.

Wide man Terry Hawkridge should be starting, as the wide midfielder is considered to be an important player for Boston. Hawkridge is an experienced player in non-league, with a proven track record of efficiency at this level. Jordan Thewlis is also expected to start for Boston as the versatile attacker adds unpredictability to the Pilgrims’ offensive efforts.

The prolific forward Jordan Burrow is expected to start up front, he was a goal scorer in Boston United’s last outing at Evesham.

The One to Watch 

Jordan Burrow is undoubtedly an important player for Boston United, with the Pilgrims depending heavily on the striker’s prolific abilities. Burrow is also a former FA Trophy winner having won the cup in 2015/16 season for Halifax Town, and this experience within the competition will be important for Boston in their Trophy campaign.

The powerful forward has been with Boston United since joining prior to this year’s National League North season.

Burrow, a product of Chesterfield’s academy, has previously spent time at the Pilgrims on loan, scoring 2 goals in 8 appearances. Following his release from the Spireites, Burrow moved to Morecambe where he made 51 League Two appearances. After rejecting Morecambe’s contract offer Burrow moved to Stevenage where he stayed for only a season, before moving to Lincoln City scoring 10 goals in 39 Conference Premier appearances. Burrow also featured in a prolific season for Halifax Town scoring 14 goals in 53 appearances. The striker had a successful goalscoring spell with Gateshead before joining York City for two seasons. before his switch to Boston. Burrow is also an England C International.