HOLBEACH United took the spoils in the second ‘South Holland clasico’ of the season as they dumped rivals Spalding United out of the UCL League Cup with a 2-0 triumph on Tuesday night.
A first-half penalty from Luke Kennedy and an Andrew Tidswell screamer 20 minutes from time settled the tie in the Tigers’ favour at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field.
The derby didn’t really live up to the ‘clasico’ billing, with only 290 fans deciding to take it in. Those that arrived late would have missed the best chance of the first half, as Tidswell worked Nick Conroy at his near post following a cracking pass from the excellent Paul Goodhand.
At the other end Ryan O’Loughlin’s 25-yard free kick forced a super stop from Leigh Overton, but it always looked like Holbeach would be the side to break the deadlock.
They duly obliged in delivering the opener, with ex-Tulip Kennedy slotting home from the spot after Alex Lyon fouled Mitch Griffiths in the area.
Simon Mowbray was unfortunate not to equalise instantly, but his half-volley was kept out by the agile Overton.
The second half wasn’t the greatest of spectacles, although Tidswell’s clincher will live long in the memory. The former Spalding ace belted home a devastating free kick from just outside the box, leaving Conroy helpless.
Spalding struggled to fashion any real chances and a comeback never really looked on the cards, despite the introduction of new striker Ben Good 20 minutes from time.
The cup exit leaves the Tulips with only the FA Vase as a potential source of silverware this season, while the Tigers will host UCL Division One side Wootton Blue Cross in round two.
Elsewhere, Deeping Rangers came from behind to beat Sleaford Town 3-1 in the UCL Premier Division. Kev Gilbert, Mark Jones and Matt Heron grabbed the goals for Tuncay Korkmaz’s side at Outgang Road.
Be sure to pick up Thursday’s bumper edition of the Spalding Guardian for a full report, reaction and match action from the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field clash and previews to the weekend football.