SLEAFORD TOWN 2 HOLBEACH UNITED 0: Bragging rights went the way of struggling Sleaford as Holbeach delivered their worst performance of the season in Saturday’s ‘grudge match’.
With Tigers boss Glen Maddison and a large slice of his side returning to their former home with a point to prove, fireworks were expected at Eslaforde Park.
But it was Sleaford, pointless before the UCL Premier Division clash, who deservedly took the derby spoils thanks to goals from Adam Weston (27) and Josh Raby (53).
Maddison had spoken of how much his ex-Town contingent were looking forward to taking on their old side prior to the match, but in truth his team were never really at the races.
They did fashion two presentable chances early on, the first falling to Liam Tunstall – who has passed 20 goals in each of the past two seasons for Sleaford.
His early snap-shot flew wide, while former Sleaford skipper Joe Braithwaite fired a decent effort over from Liam Ogden’s corner.
But it was the hosts who went ahead from their first real chance. Centre back Weston rose unopposed at the back post to head a lofted set-piece back across Holbeach keeper Leigh Overton and into the far corner.
Although Luke Hollingworth did wriggle free and half-volley a good chance over from 20 yards soon after, the Tigers could have few complaints at going in 1-0 down at the break.
Their plight got much worse eight minutes into the second period, when Raby’s speculative free kick from fully 25 yards somehow squirmed through the hands of a diving Overton and into the net.
It was pretty much all Sleaford from then on, with Overton redeeming himself with a smart one-on-one save to deny Chris Self, before Braithwaite headed the rebound over his own bar.
Richard Jackson then screwed an effort wide after racing clean through on the Holbeach goal and Raby rattled the far post with a fierce drive that gave Overton no chance.
Former Premier League striker Julian Joachim did go close with a flicked effort in the closing stages after coming on as a sub, but Holbeach’s afternoon ended with disappointment when Murrell was handed a second yellow card following a tangle with Jack Pemberton.
With Ainsley Johnson and Chris Shipley both forced off with injuries, it was a day to forget for Maddison and his team of tamed Tigers.
Tigers: Overton, Murrell, Johnson (Bishop 22), Sturman, Braithwaite, Warfield (c), Ogden, Shipley (Sergeant 57), Tunstall (Joachim 70), Hollingworth, Yeatman. Not used: Reeson, Law.