‘Culture shock’ for FA Vase rivals

CELEBRATION TIME: Holbeach United reached the last 16 of the FA Vase for the first time since 1989 by winning at Thurnby Nirvana. Photo: STEVE RELF
CELEBRATION TIME: Holbeach United reached the last 16 of the FA Vase for the first time since 1989 by winning at Thurnby Nirvana. Photo: STEVE RELF
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Holbeach United are hoping to rewrite the record books on Saturday by reaching the FA Vase quarter-finals for the first time.

The Tigers take on Erith & Belvedere at Carter’s Park with joint-manager John Chand looking for home advantage on a ‘boggy’ pitch and playing in front of a bumper crowd.

Chand said: “They play at Welling United’s ground so I’m sure it will be a bit of a culture shock coming to Carter’s Park.

“Our pitch is not in the best condition at the moment and there is no way you can play football on it.

“That doesn’t suit us but you have to try to make home advantage count when you are only three rounds away from getting to a Wembley final.

“Hopefully the fans will come out to support us. It would be a great milestone to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in the club’s history.

“We’ve come through a couple of difficult months and we are looking forward to Saturday’s game.”

Holbeach, who previously got to the last 16 of the Vase in 1988-89, are looking to bounce back from Saturday’s 3-2 home defeat to Cogenhoe United in the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division.

Erith are currently second in the Southern Counties East League Premier Division and they knocked out Yaxley in the previous round of the Vase.

Chand added: “We know a fair bit about them but I’m sure they have looked at us as well.

“They are a very similar side to ourselves.

“We’ve got no complaints about the result last weekend but we have to move on from that now.

“We know a lot of our players were affected by Jonny Allen’s injury at the start of that game. I believe we would not have lost if that incident had not happened.”