Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together?
It was certainly a case of ‘job done’ for Holbeach United in their opening league game of the season.
The Tigers’ tactics paid off with a disciplined display which left Yaxley feeling so frustrated.
Rick Drury was not tested as the back four provided plenty of protection along with extra support by stand-in skipper Matt Warfield who impressed in a holding role in front of the defensive unit.
Tommy Treacher – who dropped into midfield and left Stuart Eason as a lone striker – got the only goal as a 20-yard drive deflected past keeper Aaron Butcher.
Holbeach were happy to let Yaxley have possession but they stuck to the task in making it difficult to break them down.
A series of offside calls in the early exchanges showed the organisation which was a key factor in keeping a clean sheet.
Before the break, Cuckoos captain Dan Cotton managed a hat-trick of efforts but the best opportunity was halted by Stacy Cartwright’s superb last-gasp challenge.
Aaron Eyett should have put Holbeach 2-0 up at the start of the second half.
Racing clear past Scott Bogusz, he rolled the shot beyond the far post.
Spencer Tinkler and Eason couldn’t convert headers at set-pieces while at the other end Ross Watson nodded off target.
Cartwright’s free-kick was held and just moments later Holbeach were fortunate as Cotton hit the foot of the post having finally found space in the penalty box behind the defence.
Overall, though, it looked pretty comfortable for the Tigers who were determined to hold onto the advantage.
It wasn’t pretty but three points away to another side who are fancied to challenge at the top of the table means more than entertainment value.
Yaxley’s 12-goal tally in the FA Cup last weekend was a post-war club record but they simply couldn’t find a way past the Tigers on Tuesday night.
3-5-2: Butcher; Bogusz (sub Hughes 57 mins), Wall, Watson; Duncliffe, Hook, Sparrow, Nolan (sub Carroll 75 mins), Stone; Stebbing (sub Sanders h-t), Cotton. Subs not used: Mackrell, Furnell.
4-1-4-1: Drury 6; Walton 7, Tinkler 7, N Jackson 7, Cartwright 7; Warfield 7 (sub Worthington 73 mins); Clitheroe 6, Eyett 6, Treacher 7, Wright 6; Eason 6 (sub Coddington 80 mins). Subs not used: Allen, Pinner, Roberts.
Treacher (32 mins, 0-1).
Treacher, Watson (dissent); Nolan, Cartwright (fouls).
Nick Jackson – key role at heart of back four to protect clean sheet.
Cogenhoe United (A) – Saturday.