Wellingborough Town 0 Holbeach Utd 1 (Nimmo 86): IT was as if it was meant to be.
One of the best strikers to grace Holbeach United colours over the last decade netted the late winner just 48 hours after re-signing.
Liam Nimmo’s strike strengthened the Tigers’ position in the ChromaSport UCL Premier Division table. And they can now seriously start believing that they can see the season out in third place.
Not bad for a team written off as relegation favourites in pre-season and given odds of 150-1 to win the title.
Nimmo – who is still signed for Wisbech Town – had not played a match since November. But there was no sign of any rustiness as he was thrown in from the start to partner Tommy Treacher. Andrew Tidswell was unavailable and Ash Stevens dropped to the bench.
And after coolly netting the winner, Nimmo took to social networking website Twitter to tell followers: “Back with a bang #lovescoringgoals #greatthreepoints #crazygang”
He was only lured back to Holbeach on Thursday – as exclusively revealed that day on www.spaldingtoday.co.uk
Tigers boss John Chand could not have wished for a better impact.
He said: “Liam was absolutely outstanding. The ball stuck when it went into him and he got his headers in.
“Some players take time to settle in again when returning to a club, but with Liam it was right from the moment he walked into the changing room on Saturday.
“He’s someone I tried to get last summer and I’m absolutely delighted that he’s agreed to join us now.
“He’s just what we need as we approach the run-in.”
Nimmo’s job as a postman has often restricted his ability to travel to the Fenmen’s Ridgeons League away matches.
So the UCL suits him better and Chand is convinced that Tigers fans have yet to see the best from the hitman.
He said: “I think previous Holbeach managers haven’t managed to get the best out of Liam. I’m sure I will.
“His hunger and desire to play football is there to see.”
Chand was also pleased with the debut of Derwayne Stupple in central midfield, but is still refusing to make any bold predictions about the Tigers’ finishing spot this season.
The win on Saturday, coupled with fourth-placed St Ives Town’s 2-0 defeat at championship-chasing Long Buckby, leaves the Tigers eight points clear in third place, having played four matches more.
Chand said: “I’d rather we have the points in the bag but as for finishing third, ask me again in two weeks when we’ve played Peterborough Northern Star and Long Buckby.”
The result at Wellingborough was good revenge for the Tigers who were beaten 3-0 in the reverse fixture two months ago. But the scoreline did not reflect their dominance.
Nimmo’s contribution was immediate, drawing a free kick in just the third minute from which Paul Goodhand rattled a post.
Tigers keeper Leigh Overton was forced into saves from Mark Redding and Nathan Heycock but was a virtual spectator for much of the second half.
Nimmo thought he’d made the breakthrough on 43 minutes but his netted effort being ruled offside was hotly disputed.
It was just one decision of many by the officials which left Chand – and indeed Wellingborough – frustrated.
It was pretty much one-way traffic after the break.
Treacher set up Nimmo who somehow shot over the bar. Treacher then shot wide on 68 minutes and then from a Daniel Flack cross, Jonny Allen’s nod was just off target.
Ashley and Jamie Stevens were both thwarted by keeper Dan Wallis.
But he could do nothing to prevent the deserved winner on 86 minutes.
It was set up after a superb run by left-back Adam Jackson and finished by that man Nimmo.
Wellingborough finished the match with ten men after sub Matt Brady was sent off for kicking Mitch Griffiths.
• Tigers: Overton, Allen, Jackson, J Stevens, Flack, Kennedy, Goodhand (A Stevens 72mins), Stupple, Griffiths, Treacher (Wilson 67mins), Nimmo. Subs not used – Brown, Chand.
• Next fixture – Saturday: Peterborough Northern Star v Tigers (3pm)