ST IVES TOWN 2 (Fordham 12 & 89) HOLBEACH UNITED 1 (Tidswell 39): CONTROVERSIAL defender Paul Cousins could be heading to Carter’s Park after this disappointing defeat on Tuesday night.
Will Fordham struck a brace to once again expose Holbeach’s Achilles heel from set-pieces – and boss John Chand has had enough.
He feels the Tigers are lacking a leader on the field and has turned to free agent Cousins in a bid to shore up his defence.
The centre back was released by King’s Lynn Town earlier this week after allegedly having an affair with the wife of team-mate Robbie Harris.
She is also the daughter of former co-boss Kevin Boon, who resigned in the wake of the story.
But Chand rates Cousins as one of the best defenders in the UCL Premier Division and is not bothered about his off-field antics.
He has put in a seven-day notice of approach for the ex-Wisbech Town man – and has already made an offer for his services.
Wisbech, Soham Town Rangers and Norwich United are all reportedly monitoring the situation too.
He said: “I’ve contacted King’s Lynn and we’re free to make a move for Paul, so I’ve spoken to him and made an offer.
“He’s one of the best defenders in the league and is exactly the kind of player we need.
“What he does off the field is none of my business. I have to do something about our defensive problems, we can’t keep letting in set-pieces. We must have conceded about eight goals from them this season already.”
Two of those were scored by Fordham at Westwood Road, with the second arriving in the final minute.
Andrew Tidswell had equalised with a scorching 30-yard free-kick of his own just before the break, but he couldn’t prevent the Tigers slipping to a fourth UCL Premier Division loss of the season.
Holbeach had their chances, with Mitch Griffiths, Ashley Stevens and Tidswell all forcing saves from Niall Conroy-Owen.
To compound Chand’s misery, Wes Lewis, Jonny Allen and Leigh Overton all suffered leg injuries on a pitch widely regarded as the worst in the league.
All are expected to miss Saturday’s League Cup trip to Daventry United (3pm), while Jamie Stevens is also doubtful after picking up an ankle injury against Yaxley last weekend.
There is an extra incentive for Holbeach to progress, with the winners facing Spalding United at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field in the next round.
Chand added: “We want another crack at Spalding on their pitch. I think we deserved better last time we met them.”
Holbeach are also confident of hanging onto wideman Griffiths after receiving a seven-day approach from his former club Deeping Rangers.
Chand told the Spalding Guardian that Griffiths is “100 per cent certain” to stay.
Tigers: Overton, Lambley, Jackson, Kennedy, Brown, Brooks, Allen (Treacher 46), Lewis (Warfield 46), Tidswell, A Stevens (Keeble 75), Griffiths. Not used: Elston.