TIGERS: Holbeach supremacy no fluke – Chand

A CASE FOR THE DEFENCE: Ben Brown is one of John Chand's unsung heroes. Photo by JAKE WHITELEY
A CASE FOR THE DEFENCE: Ben Brown is one of John Chand's unsung heroes. Photo by JAKE WHITELEY
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John Chand believes just three more wins will earn Holbeach United the UCL Premier Division title after Monday’s derby win over Spalding United.

The Tigers chief is eyeing up maximum points at Long Buckby (Saturday, 3pm) and Yaxley (Tuesday, 7.45pm) ahead of the first of two mouth-watering showdowns with title rivals St Ives Town on April 13.

Chand feels nine points from that sequence will leave the Saints – who are currently 11 points behind the table-topping Tigers with two games in hand – with too much to do.

The buoyant boss also admits he’s buzzing after Monday’s 3-1 victory at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field, inspired by goals from Andrew Tidswell (2) and Wes Lewis, which ended the title hopes of fierce rivals Spalding.

And Chand now feels his team of ‘unsung heroes’ have now done enough to be considered the better side.

“We’ve beaten Spalding three times this season now, it’s no fluke,” said the Holbeach supremo. “They’ve got some great individuals, but we were always confident.

“Andrew Tidswell will get the headlines for his goals – and rightly so. But you only have to look at the likes of Jonny Allen, Ben Brown, Derwayne Stupple and Wes Lewis to see what we’re all about.

“Jonny can play anywhere and I’d not swap him for anybody. He and Ben have been rocks in our last few games.

“Stupple hadn’t played for months before last weekend, yet he bossed the midfield.

“Wes has just slotted in superbly on the right and picked up a couple of vital goals.

“We’re all about the squad here and the entire team have been outstanding. Key players like Tommy Treacher and Adam Jackson have had to sit the past two games out, but I’ve not heard them moaning about it.

“I keep saying we’ve ticked another game off, but it’s now getting to the stage where we can set targets.

“If we can get two quick wins over Long Buckby and Yaxley it’ll set us up perfectly for the first St Ives game.

“If we win that too, I think It’ll be all over if I’m honest.”

It’ll be a case of same again for the Tigers as they visit last year’s champions Long Buckby on Saturday.

Only midfielder Rob Hughes is unavailable, while influential skipper Jamie Stevens is still being hampered by a hamstring problem.

Rivals St Ives – who hammered Huntingdon Town 5-0 on Monday – host struggling Sleaford on Saturday, so any kind of slip-up from Holbeach will likely be punished and see their lead at the top cut.

Holbeach’s final five UCL Premier Division games: Saturday – Long Buckby (a); Tuesday – Yaxley (a); April 13 – St Ives (h); April 23 – St Ives (a); April 27 – Irchester (a).