HOLBEACH UNITED 3 HARBOROUGH TOWN 2: Julian Joachim marked his latest Holbeach United debut with a goal to help fire the UCL Premier Division champions to a deserved victory at Carter’s Park.
Hot-shots Liam Tunstall (11) and Joachim (42) put the Tigers 2-0 up at the break in Glen Maddison’s first competitive game in charge of the club.
Daire Tendai (51) pulled one back for Harborough early in the second period, but a top team goal, finished by Curt Yeatman (58), put the hosts back in command.
Although an own goal from Nick Bishop 20 minutes from time did give the visitors hope of a point, Holbeach held firm to make a winning start.
A pleased Maddison said: “We did really well in the first half and I felt 2-0 flattered them at half time.
“I was perhaps a little harsh on the boys at the break as I thought we could have been four or five ahead.
“I couldn’t quite believe it when they got back into it at 2-1 and then 3-2, but they certainly made it an uncomfortable finish for us.
“Credit to Harborough, they finished last season well and carried that on here – they really gave it a go.
“But I’m obviously pleased to get that first win under our belt. We look really dangerous going forward and adding Julian to the mix has given us great options.”
The new-look Tigers needed just 11 minutes to get off the mark. Joachim, who signed terms with Holbeach on Friday, picked up a loose ball and fed Tom Sergeant, who beat his man and crossed for the prolific Tunstall to fire home at the back post.
Joachim then got in on the act on what was his second Holbeach bow. The 38-year-old ex-Aston Villa ace raced in behind the Harborough defence and finished well with a low strike to make it 2-0 at the break.
Although Tendai netted for the visitors on a rare foray forward, the lively Yeatman soon restored the two-goal cushion.
He met a Joachim pass with a fierce first-time strike that flew past the keeper from the edge of the box.
An unfortunate Bishop OG then made for a nervy finale, but the hosts held firm to get their title defence up and running in style.
A tougher test awaits at Huntingdon Town on Wednesday (7.45pm), though.
Maddison, who has Ben Reeson and Chris Shippley back for the away date, admits that he’ll find out how good his side are against a team tipped for the top five.
Tigers: Overton, Murrell, Warfield, Sturman, Braithwaite, Bishop, Sergeant, Beauchamp, Tunstall (Law), Joachim (Hollingworth), Yeatman (Ogden).