LONG BUCKBY 3 (Dunkley 4 & 20, Ling 39) HOLBEACH UNITED 0: HOLBEACH’S alarming dip in form continued as the title-chasing Bucks eased to victory on Saturday.
The UCL Premier Division’s game of the weekend was all over inside 40 minutes, with Russ Dunkley (2) and Greg Ling putting the below-par Tigers to the sword.
Bemused boss John Chand, who was unhappy to take a scratch squad to Station Road, has vowed to make big changes ahead of tomorrow night’s massive UCL League Cup semi-final with St Ives at Carter’s Park (7.45pm).
Chand said: “A number of the lads didn’t make the trip on Saturday, which wasn’t ideal. Of those that bothered to turn up, only Tommy Treacher and Daniel Flack – who both gave me everything – can be happy with themselves.
“Once again we’ve let ourselves down. There was an OK reaction after the break, but we just rolled over for them in the first half.
“Some players think they’re automatic picks. Well I’ve got news for them, they’re not.
“I’m not a manager that’ll stand still and let the season die out, so you can be sure there’ll be big changes against St Ives. I’ve been the first to praise the boys when they’ve done well, but now they’ll see the other side of me.”
Dunkley put the hosts ahead on four minutes, before chipping his 30th of the season past a stranded Leigh Overton mid-way through the half.
Holbeach Ashley Stevens saw a goal ruled out moments later – and to compound Chand’s misery Ling all but secured the points just before the break. That goal arrived after Jamie Stevens suffered a head injury, but the referee refused to stop the play.
Chand admits his Tigers are now up against it to finish third in the league, with tomorrow’s opponents St Ives firmly in the box seat.
But with up to three new faces set to start at Carter’s Park, the Holbeach chief is after an instant response.
He added: “I can promise you there will be new faces.
“St Ives are in great form, but we’ve beaten them already this season. I know if we cut out the individual errors, we can reach the final – hopefully against King’s Lynn.
“On a side note, I’m pleased Alistair Wilson has been made referee. The best officials should be in charge of the big games.”
Tigers: Overton, Allen, Griffiths, Brown, J Stevens, Flack, Goodhand (Jackson 68), Kennedy, Tidswell, Treacher, A Stevens. Not used: Elston.
• Sat: Tigers v Desborough (3pm).