Irchester United 0 Holbeach United 2: JOHN Chand lavished praise on new boys Matt O’Halloran and Tommy Treacher after the Tigers roared to a crucial victory.
Ex-Derby County youngster O’Halloran, signed from Lincoln Moorlands Railway on Friday, made an instant impact with a debut goal on Saturday, while Treacher dazzled on his return after joining on loan from Wisbech.
Jonny Allen had given the relegation-threatened Tigers the ideal start with a goal inside two minutes, as Chand’s men completed an excellent double over the UCL Division One champions.
The Holbeach supremo was understandably delighted with a result that saw his charges move seven points clear of the UCL Premier Division drop zone – and felt they deserved to win more comfortably.
“We could easily have scored five or six,” said Chand.
“O’Halloran really put a shift in – as did all the lads – and had a great debut. Treach gave us a different dimension in attack and that really made the difference.
“What was even more satisfying was the quality of our defending. Ricky Lovelace was superb in goal and we look much more solid at the moment.
“We’ve managed to string two good results together now, so finally things are starting to look up.”
Holbeach couldn’t have asked for a better start at Alfred Street.
The excellent O’Halloran picked out Treacher, who crossed for Allen to score a pivotal opener.
Eddie Mills went close for Irchester at the other end, while Mitch Griffiths fired inches wide after an Allen cross.
Tigers’ keeper Lovelace produced a smart stop to deny Shaun Goodall soon after, as the Romans looked to level matters
But the away side had other ideas, with Treacher playing in O’Halloran to bury a super second.
After the break defender Mark Courtley did superbly well to block a goal-bound effort from substitute Gary Stohrer.
Treacher then saw a sensational 25-yard strike ruled out for offside – a decision that Chand later branded “a joke.”
The Wisbech loanee made way for Barret Steward with ten minutes to go. His replacement didn’t have quite the same impact, with Steward spurning a hat-trick of golden opportunities.
It mattered little though, as Holbeach held firm to see of the high-flying Romans, who were sixth in the table at the start of play.
The victory is only Holbeach’s second on the road this season and their first away success since beating Raunds Town 1-0 back in November.
There was more good news for Chand after the final whistle, with Cameron Mawer committing himself to the club for the remainder of the season.
Tigers: Lovelace, Griffiths, Courtley, Elston, Mawer, Allen, Kennedy, Joof (Caress 90), Brown, Treacher (Steward 79), O’Halloran (Newton 90). Not used: Johnson, Bishop.
• Tonight - Boston Town v Tigers (7.45pm); Saturday - Tigers v Daventry Utd (3pm).