ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division - Peterborough Northern Star 0 Holbeach United 0
Goals win games but clean sheets win leagues.
That was Stacy Cartwright’s verdict on Twitter last week after another victory for Holbeach United.
The defender’s comment actually came following the Knockout Cup win against Blackstones but it clearly applies to nearly every game right now!
Holbeach’s record of five successive clean sheets means Ricky Drury has not picked the ball out of his net for 511 minutes since Yaxley went 2-0 up three weeks ago.
Defensive strength, along with Drury’s shot-stopping skills, proved vital again on Saturday when the Tigers came under late pressure.
However, they had created enough opportunities to go ahead before being forced to hold on for a draw.
Was it one point gained or two points dropped? Well, it was a decent result but it probably should have been even better.
On the opening day of last season Holbeach came from behind to beat Peterborough Northern Star 6-1 and the hosts were reduced to nine men.
Since that day, all of the Tigers’ scorers have left the club and, of course, Darren Jarvis is now in charge following his exit from Star.
This was his first return and he should be proud of Holbeach’s display.
They are unbeaten in 11 league games since the first day of the campaign and that run only looked under threat towards the end as Star got forward more often.
Following five consecutive leave wins, Star were always likely to provide a tough test.
Harry Fitzjohn headed too high and Craig Smith was twice denied by Drury before the break.
Holbeach’s number one kicked a close-range effort off the line and then held on well at the near post from Smith’s deflected drive.
Immediately after Smith’s first attempt Josh Ford saw a volley go wide but the striker went closer when a 20-yard shot bounced wide off the woodwork.
Within a minute Ford wasted another opportunity while Tommy Treacher also failed to test Dan George after the break and Jordan Thomas produced a couple of attempts.
With 10 minutes to go Declan Rogers was allowed to run clean through as the Tigers appealed for offside.
Drury kept calm, though, and diverted the ball away off his legs.
Rogers nodded wide and then clipped the top of the crossbar while Drury made another save in stoppage-time to keep out James Hill-Seekings.
You would usually expect Holbeach to have plenty of firepower but at least they are giving nothing away.
PETERBOROUGH NORTHERN STAR
4-5-1: George; Bream (sub Hill-Seekings 82 mins), Phillips, L Smith, Buckle; C Smith, Fitzjohn, Madigan (sub Jones 72 mins), Le, Rogers; Joyce. Subs not used: Jefferson, Udovie, Palmer.
4-4-2: Drury 8; Worthington 6, Stevens 7, Cartwright 7 (sub Jackson 82 mins), Warfield 7; Thomas 7 (sub Clitheroe 82 mins), Tidswell 7, Pinner 7, King 7; Treacher 6, Ford 6. Subs not used: Ward, Gale, Dougill.
Bream, Cartwright, Le, Tidswell (fouls); Warfield (dissent).
Ricky Drury – safe hands in tough conditions for another clean sheet.
Sleaford Town (A) – Wednesday.