HOLBEACH UNITED 2 BLACKSTONES 1: Holders Holbeach made hard work of lower-graded Blackstones as they kicked off their bid for a third Lincs FA Senior Trophy success on the trot.
Liam Tunstall headed the Tigers into a first-minute lead against their UCL Division One opponents at Carter’s Park on Tuesday night.
But they couldn’t add to their tally until just past the hour mark when Liam Ogden finished off a top team move with a drilled 20-yard strike.
That meant that a 75th-minute Danny Hotchkiss penalty set up a nervy final ten minutes for the hosts, but they held firm to progress to round two.
Holbeach chief Glen Maddison felt his side should have won more comfortably, but was happy to progress.
He said: “I think we maybe scored too early, the lads seemed to think they’d done enough.
“We had our chances, but in truth we didn’t play with enough fluency. When we did string passes together, we scored two very good goals.
“Credit to Blackstones, they worked very hard. But I never felt like we were under any pressure. It’s job done though – and we gave a few of the lads that haven’t been starting a good run-out, so it served a purpose.”
County kings Holbeach wasted little time opening the scoring, with Tunstall sending a downward header into the bottom corner after a great run and cross from the lively Curt Yeatman inside 30 seconds.
Tom Waumsley forced a save from Aaron Fagan soon after, but for the remainder of the half it was slow going.
That man Waumsley had a great chance to double Holbeach’s money early in the second half when he raced clear, but could only pick out the side netting at the near post.
Two good chances went the way of Tunstall soon after. He fired the first just wide after being fed by Matt Warfield, before smashing a volley way over from close range after Fagan had somehow kept out Ogden’s piledriver.
Number two finally arrived on 62 minutes – and how. Andy Law’s expert pass released Waumsley on the left and he beautifully picked out Ogden, who stepped outside his man and rifled low into the corner.
Hotchkiss pulled one back from the penalty spot 15 minutes from time, but sub Luke Hollingworth and defender Joe Braithwaite both tested the excellent Fagan in the closing stages as the Tigers saw the game out.
Tigers: Overton, Reeson, Warfield, Sturman, Braithwaite, Beauchamp (Law 30), Ogden, Shipley, Tunstall (Hollingworth 67), Waumsley (Murrell 67), Yeatman. Not used: Bishop, Kirk.