FOOTBALL: Tigers braced for month on the road

DEFENSIVE PROBLEMS: Chris Shipley is among the Holbeach absentees for Saturday's trip to Wellingborough.
DEFENSIVE PROBLEMS: Chris Shipley is among the Holbeach absentees for Saturday's trip to Wellingborough.
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Holbeach United are braced for a nightmare run of away matches – starting with a trip to mid-table UCL Premier Division rivals Wellingborough Town on Saturday (3pm).

The Tigers, whose next scheduled home game is on April 5, face long hauls to AFC Rushden and Diamonds (March 8), Desborough Town (March 15), Cogenhoe United (March 23) and Northampton Sileby (March 29) over the next month.

Logistically, it doesn’t get much tougher for Glen Maddison and his side, who are battling to secure a top eight finish.

Holbeach go into the game fresh off the back of successive home defeats, but Maddison is optimistically aiming for maximum points from their nine remaining matches.

The stats are against the Tigers, though, having only picked up 11 points from as many away games this term.

Maddison said: “It’s far from ideal for us, especially as we’ve been pretty poor away from home all season. But the aim is 27 points – we always set the team up to win.

“Obviously it is a tough run, but it could be worse than Wellingborough away – they’re not a Spalding, for example.

“We know what to expect, they’ll be physical and the pitch isn’t the best. We are prepared for that.

“We’ve got nothing to lose ahead of these games and we may as well go to these places and give it a really good go.

Maddison will have a new face in the squad, with central defender Max Mattless having sealed a move from March Town.

He will likely go straight into the starting line-up, with Tigers’ defenders Ash Murrell (suspended) and Chris Shipley (hamstring) both missing at the Dog and Duck. Winger Andy Law (hamstring) and left back Robbie Relf (groin)are also out, but experienced midfielder Nick Bishop could return from a lengthy lay-off.

Eighth-placed Wellingborough are ahead of Holbeach on goal difference, but have played four games less.