UCL Premier Division - Holbeach United 0 Peterborough Northern Star 4
Out-thought, out-fought, out-scored, out-played, out of the game.
Rarely have Holbeach United fans witnessed a more comprehensive beating than the one handed out to their team by Peterborough Northern Star at Carter’s Park on Saturday.
Both the scoreline and the performance made a mockery of the sides’ relative standings in the UCL Premier Division, with Holbeach going into the game eight points and 15 goals better than their city opponents.
The warning signs were clear when, just seconds after kicking off, dangerous Eyes winger Jason Kilbride cut in from the right and shot wide of Nick Conroy’s goal.
It seemed that the visitors were determined to get payback for their 6-1 mauling by the Tigers in the opening game of the season in August.
But, as Holbeach co-manager Graham Drury said after the game, Northern Star contributed to their own downfall by having two men sent off.
However, to quote Spalding United boss Pat Rayment “the shoe was on the other foot” at Carter’s Park as Kilbride and his wing partner in crime, Jordan McLeod, ganged up with striker Avelino Viera to terrorise the Tigers’ midfield and back line.
Only a Jake Gibson goal-bound shot which was blocked after seven minutes, Gibson heading a Danny Steadman cross straight at Eyes’ keeper Tom Reberts on 15 minutes and a Jonny Allen shot over the bar from close range after Jamie Clarke headed across goal three minutes before half-time suggested that the Tigers should have taken the lead.
The case against this argument - after 18 minutes, a punt downfield by Roberts straight to Viera who was denied by brave keeping from Conroy to smother the shot.
A minute later and Kilbride half-volleyed a header down just over the bar, Macleod cut in from the wing and shot straight at Conroy from 20 yards before a misplaced pass from Stevens let in Macleod again, only for Conroy to save his side again from point-blank range.
So it was no surprise when on 49 minutes Macleod crossed from the right for Viera to volley past Conroy.
Despite throwing all three substute strikers on, Holbeach conceded three goals in the last five minutes of the match, all of them after joint-manager Graham Drury was ordered from the dugout by referee Ian Wilson for one criticism too many.
Viera got his second, beating two defenders before beating Conroy at his near post, before Kilbride and Macleod deservedly scored a goal each, the latter when Conroy was dispossed to blot his copy book.
The view from the stands was that Holbeach didn’t have a Plan B - and it showed.
4-4-2: Conroy 6; Deeney 5; Allen 5; Stevens 6 (sub King 68 mins, 4), Parker 5; Beeson 6 (sub Treacher 83 mins), Duffy 4, Steadman 4 (sub Dube 54 mins, 5), Gibson 5; Clarke 4, Preston 5. Subs not used: Cartwright, Pinner.
PETERBOROUGH NORTHERN STAR
4-4-2: Roberts; Mackrell, Hunnings, Clay, Barron; Macleod, Murphy, Avis, Kilbride; Stebbing (sub Barker 79 mins), Viera (sub Warrener 90 mins). Sub not used: Law.