HOLBEACH UNITED 2 (J Stevens 25, Tidswell 63) ST IVES TOWN 0: JOHN Chand has urged his Holbeach side to go on a season-defining winning run after sinking the in-form Saints on Monday.
A first-half header from skipper Jamie Stevens and Andrew Tidswell’s 21st goal of the season after the break earned the Tigers a deserved three points at Carter’s Park – and ended St Ives’ ten-game victory streak in the process.
Having taken just a point from festive clashes against the UCL Premier Division’s top two King’s Lynn and Long Buckby, Holbeach are likely to miss out on the title.
But with two cups still to play for and a potential top three finish on the cards, Chand’s charges still have everything to play for.
The Tigers boss said: “It was a good little win, they are one of our main rivals in the top six, so in a way it was a bit of a six-pointer.
“The Christmas games were tough, we feel we deserved more than we got. But this win will give us the confidence to hopefully go on another good run.
“There’s a chance of a cup final and we’ll have a big say in where the title goes, I’m sure of that.
“At the moment I’d give Long Buckby the edge. They have so much firepower and play the best football I’ve seen in this league.”
Holbeach, who named the same team for the third successive game, started well with Luke Kennedy sending an early effort over.
At the other end Leigh Overton had to deny Stuart Cobb, but it was no surprise when the hosts took a 25th-minute lead.
It came from a corner, with Paul Goodhand’s cross headed home by Stevens at the near post.
Conor Washington rippled the side netting for the Saints before the break, but it was Holbeach that started the second half much the stronger.
Efforts from Goodhand and Tidswell both went close, before the latter doubled the Tigers’ money. He raced onto a cracking Ben Brown pass to superbly fire home the clincher.
Overton kept out strikes from Cobb and Washington before the end, while Ashley Stevens was unlucky not to make it 3-0 in the closing stages.
Next up for the Tigers is a trip to Northampton Spencer on Saturday (3pm). Chand’s side trashed their hosts 10-1 in the Carter’s Park reverse, but the boss admits he’d take a scrappy 1-0 win this time around.
Chand added: “They’ll be out for revenge, you can be sure of that. It’ll be tough, their pitch is like a sponge, which isn’t great.
“In all honesty I’d take a 1-0, we’ve proven we can grind out results when we need to.”
Meanwhile, versatile midfielder Nick Brown has left the Tigers for UCL Premier Division rivals Boston Town.
Tigers: Overton, Allen, Jackson, B Brown, J Stevens, Flack, Kennedy, Goodhand (Warfield 75), Griffiths, Tidswell (Treacher), A Stevens (Brooks 85). Not used: Newton, Drury.