TIGERS: Holbeach back in pole position

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Jason Turner (above) and Andrew Tidswell (below) both netted on Saturday. Photos by TIM WILSON
DOUBLE TROUBLE: Jason Turner (above) and Andrew Tidswell (below) both netted on Saturday. Photos by TIM WILSON

HOLBEACH UNITED 5 DESBOROUGH TOWN 1: The Tigers may look back on Saturday’s impressive Desborough demolition as the day the UCL Premier Division title race swung in their favour.

A double from Jason Turner and goals from leading scorer Andrew Tidswell, defender Ben Brown and substitute Craig Parker ensured Holbeach delivered the goods in their penultimate home league match of the season.

And while they were winning, chief title rivals St Ives Town were slipping to a shock 2-1 defeat at out of sorts Peterborough Northern Star – putting John Chand’s teams 11 points clear at the summit.

Although they must face the Saints twice, third-placed Spalding United and high-flying Huntingdon Town in their last seven games, Saturday’s events leave Holbeach with a decent cushion over the chasing pack.

“If we get results against St Ives twice and Spalding, we’ll win the league,” said Holbeach supremo Chand. “Not a massive amount has changed in the title race, but we now have a bit of breathing space.

“I still expect there to be more twists and turns, but it’s fair to say that PNS have done us a big, big favour.”

Three points never really looked in doubt at Carter’s Park, with the hosts starting like a steam train. Wes Lewis saw a shot tipped wide and a Daniel Flack rattled the post before Tidswell opened the scoring on five minutes.

The Tigers’ talisman rose to head home his 29th of the campaign from a lovely Lewis cross.

That man Tidswell then crashed an effort off the bar in the 11th-minute, before strike partner Turner opened his account in typical style.

The former King’s Lynn Town hitman raced clear of the defence to calmly finish on 20 minutes.

Visitors Desborough enjoyed their best period of the game either side of the half-time break, hitting the woodwork twice at the back end of the opening period.

Jonny Allen did reply with a shot that came back off a post, but Ar Tarn got the goal their efforts deserved just after the interval when reserve team ace Luke Churchill made it 2-1.

Keeper Leigh Overton then saw a Richard Scott free kick smash the top of his bar as Desborough searched for a leveller, but Turner’s second on 55 minutes killed off their hopes of a comeback. Once again the forward finished well, rounding off a move that involved Tidswell and Lewis.

The Tigers could now smell blood and they ruthlessly added two more goals to make it 94 UCL Premier Division goals in 33 games so far this season.

Centre back Brown powerfully headed home number 93 from a Tidswell corner on 65 minutes, putting the result beyond and doubt.

There was still time for Parker to jump off the bench and net number five, expertly converting a cross from Flack with his trusted left peg.

Boss Chand added: “Tougher games lie ahead, but we shouldn’t underestimate the importance of beating Desborough so well. Remember, they took vital points off us last season and we had to work very hard for a 1-0 win at their place this year.

“We played some good football and I though the front two of Turner and Tidswell were brilliant.

“Jason is really settling in well now and he took his goals well. He’s had a few niggling injuries since he’s been here, but that’s behind him now and we’re seeing what he’s capable of.

“Goal difference could yet be a factor in the title race, so I was pleased to see the lads keep going and add a few more goals.

“I thought their goal was about five yards offside, but in the end it didn’t cost us. I keep saying it, but it’s another one chalked off.”

Tigers: Overton, Flack, Jackson, Brown, Smith, Lewis, Toyne (Parker 77), Hughes, Allen (Warfield 77), Tidswell, Turner (A Stevens 58).Not used: Emery, Elston.