TIGERS: Holbeach lose grip on third after thriller

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HOLBEACH UNITED 3 (Brown 42, Nimmo 44, Griffiths 65) DESBOROUGH TOWN 3 (Mills 18, Kitching 63, Stevens OG 66): IMPROVED Holbeach ended their losing streak in this six-goal thriller on Saturday – but slipped out of the UCL Premier Division’s top three for the first time since early December.

In what proved a remarkable Carter’s Park clash, goals late in the first half from Ben Brown and Liam Nimmo saw the Tigers come from behind to lead at the break.

Leveller: Ben Brown pounces to notch Holbeach's first goal at Carter's Park on Saturday.Photo (TIM WILSON): SG290312-137TW

Leveller: Ben Brown pounces to notch Holbeach's first goal at Carter's Park on Saturday.Photo (TIM WILSON): SG290312-137TW

Three goals in four second-half minutes followed, with Mitch Griffiths’ strike eventually cancelled out by a Jamie Stevens own goal.

Although he expected to beat lowly Desborough, Holbeach boss John Chand felt his side were much-improved.

And the ambitious supremo is adamant that this season has been a massive success, regardless of where they finish up.

Chand said: “This was a game we should have won on the balance of play.

Holbeach Utd v Desborough Town football action at Carters Park, Holbeach'First goal by Brown'Photo: SG290312-139TW  www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/buyaphoto

Holbeach Utd v Desborough Town football action at Carters Park, Holbeach'First goal by Brown'Photo: SG290312-139TW www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/buyaphoto

“We were the only side playing football and the performance wasn’t too bad at all.

“All three of their goals came from set pieces, which was a bit unfortunate for us.

“You have to say we’ll struggle to get third now, we’ve had a bad run at the wrong time.

“But people forget that the aim at the start of the season was just to finish in the top ten, so if we can get a top-six place I’ll be delighted.

“We’ve not been as fluent as we can be in recent weeks. But this is a positive season and we can still walk away with a trophy.”

Holbeach made a lively start, with leading scorer Andrew Tidswell having an early strike saved.

It was Desborough that took the lead though, Tom Mills deceiving the recalled Leigh Overton with a long-range free kick.

A smart stop from the home keeper did deny Dan Kitching soon after, before the Tigers turned the tables at the end of the half.

First, Brown levelled from close range after Nimmo saw an effort bounce back off the bar.

That man Nimmo then made it 2-1, racing onto an Overton clearance to fire home his second goal since rejoining the club.

Both Tommy Treacher and Griffiths fired wide early in the second period, before a Desborough leveller sparked a goal spree.

Kitching hit the first equaliser, only for Dan Flack to cross for Griffiths to make it 3-2 moments later.

Amazingly, the lead lasted less than 60 seconds as skipper Stevens was nudged in the back before planting a header into his own net.

Both sides had chances to win it late on, with Jon Mitchell shooting over for Ar Tarn and Brown seeing an effort saved. The duo meet again on Saturday.

Tigers: Overton, Allen, Jackson, Brown, Stevens (Wilson 80), Flack, Kennedy, Tidswell, Griffiths, Nimmo, Treacher (Warfield 75).

Easter fixtures: Saturday – Desborough Town v Tigers (3pm); Monday – Tigers v King’s Lynn (3pm).