It’s been a long wait but Holbeach Town finally look like a side with potential in the UCL Premier division after beating Desbrorough Town 2-1 on Saturday.
On the same day as the Grand National, it’s fitting to use a horse racing term and say that the Tigers won going away from a stubborn Ar Tarn side who came to Carter’s Park determined to offer stiff resistance.
At one stage, Tigers boss Glen Maddison was left wondering whether his side’s inability to finish teams off in front of goal was going to strike again when early chances for Ashley Murrell and Tommy Treacher went begging.
Tigers looked a more solid unit with the return of Matty Warfield in central defence and Treacher alongside fellow strker Tom Waumsley who were both hard-working and full of energy.
The strategy from Holbeach was obvious, nullify the Desborough threat from strikers Phil Cassidy and Will Arnold, while letting Luke Hollingworth and Fraser Bayliss loose on the wings.
But when Ar Tarn took the lead, direct from a Mark Forbes corner on 28 minutes, the signs weren’t good for a Holbeach fightback.
A few Tigers fans questioned the marking on the back post when the corner came in, but it looked more a case of Forbes’ effort being just too good.
What did impress the home support was how quickly Holbeach shook off the disappointment of conceding as Hollingworth and Bayliss led the quest for an equaliser.
It came three minutes before the break when a long ball from midfield by Hollingworth found Treacher in space and, as if knowing this was the Tigers’ best goal-scoring chance of the game so far, he steadied himself before firing past Desborough keeper Richard Lavin.
The chances came even more freely in the second half as Holbeach threatened to cut loose in a manner not seen since their last win at home to strugglers Newport Pagnell Town on the first day of February.
Tom Waumsley, substitute Tom Sargeant and Treacher, who got two against the Swans two months ago, were all guilty of missing gilt-edged chances as Holbeach did their best to look a gift horse in the mouth.
Thankfully, Kieran Elliott didn’t and when a Bayliss cross from the right fizzed into the Ar Tarn penalty box, the new signing from Boston United headed home.
Justice would have been done if Waumsley had managed to convert one of the half-dozen chances that fell to him, while Sargeant was guilty of the most glaring miss imaginable when firing over from 12 yards late in the game.
Tigers: Overton, Delahoy (Sargeant), Warfield, Murrell, Mattless, Bayliss, Bishop, Elliott, Hollingworth (Law), Waumsley, Treacher (Dunn).