FOOTBALL: Rivals take derby positives

WANTED MAN: Holbeach target Jonny Clay (left), pictured tackling Spalding's Andrew Tidswell. Photo: PAUL FRANKS
WANTED MAN: Holbeach target Jonny Clay (left), pictured tackling Spalding's Andrew Tidswell. Photo: PAUL FRANKS
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Both camps declared themselves happy after Spalding United’s 2-0 South Holland ‘clasico’ win over Holbeach United on Tuesday night.

Goals in each half from Andrew Tidswell and Jamie Stevens settled the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field clash – which was the fourth meeting between the two great rivals this term.

Tulips boss Pat Rayment, who has guided his side to wins in all four meetings, was delighted to have bounced back from Saturday’s maiden UCL Premier Division defeat against AFC Rushden and Diamonds.

On the other hand, Tigers chief Glen Maddison – who saw his team lose their nine-game unbeaten streak in the league – could see a marked improvement from his side against the division’s top team.

Rayment said: “It wasn’t the greatest game. But that is going to happen – we’ve played each other four times before Christmas, which is too much in my opinion.

“It was important that we got back on track after Saturday and the lads did just that.

“We probably should have put the game to bed by half time. But credit to them, they came back at us in the second half, albeit without ever really threatening.

“Contrary to what people may think, I’d like to think I have a good relationship with some people at Holbeach. I think Glen is doing a great job and you can see that they are all playing for each other now.

“Last season they really stuck it to us, but I think it was a unique period. A few of their fans need to accept that our success isn’t a short-term thing like they had – as long as I’m involved we aim to sustain it and keep on improving.”

Despite suffering another derby loss, Maddison told the Guardian that there was plenty of positives for his charges to take back to Carter’s Park.

He said: “It wasn’t the best game, was it? It was pretty subdued for a derby.

“I’m not disappointed with our performance, I thought we controlled a lot of the game in the second half without ever creating much. If you compare this to the first two times we played them (lost 4-0 and 5-0) the improvement is massive. They’re the best side in the league and we did OK.

“What I will say is that the penalty against Matt Warfield was incredibly harsh.”

Both sides have home matches in the UCL Premier Division at the weekend.

The Tulips entertain Newport Pagnell Town, while the Tigers play host to Long Buckby (both 3pm).

Rayment and Maddison both hope to have new faces in their squad, too.

Holbeach have held talks with South Holland-based Peterborough Northern Star defender Jonny Clay and have made a seven-day notice of approach for Boston Town’s Jordan Nuttell, while Rayment is chasing a number of targets.