FOOTBALL: ‘We wanted to be positive – we had nothing to lose’
Holbeach United’s players thought the plan was ‘strange’ – but manager Seb Hayes was proved right with his tactical switch on Saturday.
The Tigers were 1-0 up with 10 men after Charley Sanders’ early goal and red card.
Newport Pagnell Town’s second-half equaliser lifted their hopes of pushing for a late winner to boost the title bid.
However, Holbeach took three points thanks to Mitch Griffiths’ goal following a change of formation.
Hayes decided to play a three-man defence against the Swans’ strikeforce for the final 13 minutes plus stoppage time.
He explained: “I told the lads at half-time if Newport Pagnell got back into the game at 1-1, we would go to three at the back.
“We wanted to win it. We owe it to the other teams in the title race and the league – but we didn’t want to settle for a point anyway.
“In our final home game, we owed it to the fans as well for backing us all season.
“We wanted to be positive. The players looked at me in a strange way but I felt we had nothing to lose.
“We want to finish fourth by putting pressure back on Deeping Rangers to win their games.
In our final home game, we owed it to the fans as well for backing us all season.
“This win is right up there with the big ones this season – Deeping at home, Newport Pagnell away and Yaxley away.
“I was over the moon to win but gutted at the same time for Newport Pagnell’s manager Darren Lynch.
“He’s a great bloke who has done well. We’ve been friendly since he came into management.
“This probably stops them winning the league. We had to look at the bigger picture.
“We are a better team with 10 men when the players work harder and dig in for a result.
“It was a blatant red card and there can be no excuses when it has happened too many times.
“Sanders had scored an absolutely brilliant goal and if he played well, he could have got the shirt for the cup final on Wednesday night.”
Holbeach head to Kirby Muxloe for their final league game of the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division season on Saturday.