Knockout blow for Tigers in FA Cup

Danny Spencer
Danny Spencer

Holbeach United 2 Boston Town 4

Unfortunately a couple of cliches would sum up this cup tie.

It was a game of two halves which left Holbeach United to concentrate on the league.

The Tigers created enough first-half chances to book a derby date at King’s Lynn Town in the first qualifying round.

However, they only led 1-0 and a triple substitution at the start of the second period was a gamble which paid off for Boston Town boss Nathan Collins.

The decision by Holbeach joint-managers John Chand and Graham Drury to pick a squad without a substitute goalkeeper was one which badly backfired when Nick Conroy was sent off.

Former Boston midfielder Ollie Pinner took over the number one jersey and, after his new club had equalised with 10 men, it was his basic error which proved so costly.

Ultimately, Holbeach must reflect on missing a series of opportunities before the break.

Lee Dube – who had eight goals in three appearances – could have claimed another hat-trick.

A far-post header went straight at keeper Rob Zand who also blocked Dube’s shot when he raced clear while in between the Tigers hitman nodded too high.

Strike partner Gary King also missed the target, Jake Duffy’s flying header bounced off the crossbar and Dube went close again on the stroke of half-time.

Holbeach went ahead as Danny Spencer fired into the bottom corner after Boston couldn’t clear Lee Beeson’s set-piece.

But that was cancelled out just seven minutes into the second half when substitute Aaron Eyett released Alex Beck to slot past Conroy.

Soon afterwards Conroy brought down Beck inside the penalty box and the goalkeeper had to be sent off for a professional foul.

Matt Kennedy converted from the spot but only two minutes later King volleyed an equaliser.

Pinner produced a couple of saves but he allowed a low shot by Callum Walker to go through his gloves and put the Poachers 3-2 in front with 15 minutes to go.

Holbeach’s three-man defence was already looking exposed and Boston began to enjoy themselves by passing the ball around confidently.

Courtney Meade could have made it all-square and Jamie Stevens’ header was saved in stoppage-time.

Moments later it was all over as Lori Borbely coolly went past Pinner and slotted into the empty net.

Holbeach’s perfect start to the season was ended and the wild celebrations showed how much that meant to Boston.

So the Tigers are left to focus on the United Counties League – starting with a trip to Boston on Tuesday night.

HOLBEACH UNITED

3-4-1-2: Conroy 5; Stevens 5, Allen 5, Spencer 6; Beeson 6, Pinner 5, Steadman 6 (sub Parker 77 mins), Fuller 5 (sub Meade 56 mins, 5); Duffy 6; Dube 5 (sub Delahoy 88 mins), King 6. Sub not used: Warfield.

BOSTON TOWN

4-1-4-1: Zand; Lambley, Lowe, Wilson (sub Eyett h-t), Barrett (sub Walker h-t); Mitchell; Zuerner (sub Charlesworth h-t), Nuttell, Borbely, Kennedy; Beck. Subs not used: Warren, Clare.

REFEREE

Paul Cooper.

GOALS

Spencer (38 mins, 1-0); Beck (52 mins, 1-1); Kennedy pen (62 mins, 1-2); King (64 mins, 2-2); Walker (75 mins, 2-3); Borbely (90 mins, 2-4).

SENDING-OFF

Conroy (61 mins, professional foul).

BOOKINGS

Stevens (foul); Beeson (dissent).

ATTENDANCE

160.

STAR MAN

Gary King – late call-up and got a goal to reward efforts.