DERBY PREVIEW: Rivals ready for ‘South Holland clasico’ showdown

Face off: John Chand (above) and Andy Stanhope (below).
Face off: John Chand (above) and Andy Stanhope (below).
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SPALDING UNITED v HOLBEACH UNITED (UCL League Cup, tonight, 7.45pm): BRAGGING rights are up for grabs once again as South Holland’s top two go head-to-head for the second time this season.

Spalding took the spoils 2-0 when the two met in the UCL Premier Division back in September, but Holbeach are hungry for revenge in this League Cup clash.

Spalding United V Northampton Spencer at The Halley Stewart Field, Spalding: Spalding manager Andy Stanhope.'Photo (TIM WILSON)

Spalding United V Northampton Spencer at The Halley Stewart Field, Spalding: Spalding manager Andy Stanhope.'Photo (TIM WILSON)

Despite boasting home advantage, Tulips boss Andy Stanhope (pictured, below) reckons that his side face their toughest test of the season to date.

He said: “Holbeach are a very good side, you have to give credit when it’s due. Our squad is threadbare for the game and we’re fully aware that they’ll want to get one over us after last time.

“And rightly so, we perhaps had the rub of the green that night. All things considered, this is our hardest game of the season.”

Tigers supremo John Chand (pictured, above) admits his charges are going all out to avenge their league loss.

He said: “We didn’t do ourselves justice last time and want to set the record straight.

“We won’t be approaching this game half-heartedly and all that lads know that we have unfinished business.

“We condeded a goal so early last time and it really knocked our confidence, we can’t let that happen again.

“There was a decent crowd at the last match too, but hopefully there will be even more in this time.”

Spalding, who have won just one of their last five in all competitions, will have to do without Liam Hook and Liam Harrold, who have left to join Peterborough Northern Star and Yaxley respectively.

Winger Tom James is also cup tied, but leading scorer Greg Smith is back after an unhappy, and rather brief, stint with Stamford

Holbeach are missing Andrew Tidswell, Wes Lewis and Paul Goodhand, while defender Ben Brown is doubtful and full back Loz Lambley is in talks with Boston Town.

Chand won’t start the right back if his head isn’t right and wants his future sorted ahead of the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field contest.

The form book points to a Holbeach win, with the Tigers boasting six wins from their last nine in all competitions and Spalding losing their last two outings heavily.

But the Tulips rose to the occasion in the last meeting and neither side will be taking anything for granted come 7.45pm.

• Follow @LFPSport on Twitter for live updates from the derby, with a report, match action and reaction to follow in Thursday’s Spalding Guardian.