HOLBEACH UNITED 4 (Parker 13 & 52, Griffiths 40, Mulready 64) DEEPING RANGERS 2 (Evans 77, Burton-Jones 90): ANDREW Tidswell stole the show as the Tigers saw off rivals Rangers for the second time in just over a week – but not in the way you’d imagine.
Holbeach took the derby honours in an eventful UCL Knockout Cup clash at Carter’s Park on Wednesday night, which ended with striker Tidswell as an emergency keeper.
Goals from Craig Parker (2), Mitch Griffiths and Sam Mulready fired the much-changed Tigers into a dominant 4-0 advantage, before late Dan Evans and Dave Burton-Jones efforts restored some pride for the visitors.
But it was a 15-minute keeping cameo from Tidswell at the death that everyone was talking about as fans spilled out of the gates.
The prolific hitman had to step in for the injured Lee Overton – and pulled off a couple of top drawer saves in the closing stages. His performance both amused and pleased boss John Chand.
“Andrew is our utility man extraordinaire,” joked the Holbeach chief. “On a serious note, he made some absolutely cracking saves and did a real job for the team.”
Tidswell, who started the match on the bench, seemed to enjoy himself in the role – with a stunning one-handed tip over the bar from point-blank range the highlight.
He told our Twitter account @LFPSport: “We joke about me going in goal in training but didn’t really think it would happen! Went well though, I rather enjoyed it too.”
Before Tidswell’s heroics, Holbeach enjoyed much the better of the first round clash and were worth winners.
Deeping were very much in the game in the first period though – and were left wondering how they went in at half time 2-0 down.
After a low key start, the game burst into life when Parker produced a moment of magic. The left sider, who was one of just seven players to keep their place after the weekend defeat at Basford United, curled home a 25-yard stunner from the right hand side of the box into the far top corner just before the quarter hour.
Deeping, who were without the influence of boss Tuncay Korkmaz on the sideline, then played their way back into the game. Ex-Tiger Alex Beck was the catalyst of their revival and he was unlucky to see a shot blocked by the excellent Jonny Allen following a powerful run forward.
Defender Simon Ashton had their best chance to level, though. The big centre back, in for a start after sitting out Saturday’s loss to Quorn, saw a six-yard header somehow turned over by a sensational Overton save.
That seemed to kick Holbeach back into gear and they doubled their money just before the interval. Former Ranger Griffiths, who was impressive in tandem with Allen all night, reacted well to a goal-mouth scramble to nod into an empty net from close range.
If the first half was even, it was all one-way after the interval. Hosts Holbeach killed the game seven minutes in, with Parker dinking home his second after a great run and through-ball from Robbie Harris.
Just over ten minutes later it was 4-0, as that man Parker raced onto a slick Tidswell pass and squared for leading scorer Mulready to tap home his customary goal with virtually his first touch.
Deeping did mount a late fightback, with Overton making a super stop to deny Beck before picking an injury trying to keep out Evans’ strike 13 minutes from time.
The Holbeach number one damaged a leg and allowed Evans – son of Rotherham United boss Steve Evans – to tap home.
With Overton unable to continue and the Tigers having used all three subs, the Tidswell show began.
He raced through a crowded penalty box to fist a corner clear, before plucking a couple of crosses out of the air with supreme confidence.
The pick of his saves came in the final minute, but from the resulting corner Burton-Jones was on hand to convert a consolation.
It had no bearing on the result though, with Holbeach booking a trip to Division One outfit Eynesbury Rovers in the next round.
Before that they visit Quorn on Saturday, while Rangers travel to defending champions Long Buckby (both 3pm).
Deeping, who lost the UCL Premier Division derby between the two 3-1 last Tuesday at Outgang Road, still have to face Holbeach twice more before the end of the season. The pair have been draw together in the Lincs FA Senior Shield, which the Tigers won last year.
Chand added: “The lads have given me a right selection headache for the weekend now.
“I couldn’t have asked for more from them really. I though Craig Parker was excellent and showed so much energy, while Matt Warfield had a great game in midfield.
“I’m very happy with the performance. This competition isn’t our priority, but we’ll see how things develop.”
Tigers: Overton, Allen (Flack 55), Jackson, Brown, Smith, Lewis (Tidswell 49), Warfield, Griffiths, Harris, Treacher (Mulready 57), Parker. Not used: Stevens, Sells.
Deeping: Doughty, Lambley, Jackson, Ashton, Tinkler, Hands (Evans 46), Deane, Burton-Jones, Byrne, Holt, Beck.