FOOTBALL: Terrfic Tigers retain county crown, Deeping beaten

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Holbeach United lifted the Lincs FA Senior Trophy once again after beating Bottesford Town 4-1 at Sincil Bank on Wednesday night.

On a night plagued by strong win, goals from Jason Turner, Andrew Tidswell, Andy Toyne and Tommy Treacher earned a deserved win for the Tigers, who successfully defended their county crown.

Playing in an unfamiliar red and white strip, Holbeach had the better of the first period. Wes Lewis glanced their first chance wide inside ten minutes, before a looping Jonny Allen header forced a smart stop from Ash Ellis.

Leading scorer Tidswell then went within a whisker of the opener when his in-swinging corner caught the wind and flew just past the far post.

At the other end, keeper Leigh Overton had to be alert to beat a clean through Danny Boulton to the ball, before the Bottesford striker rifled a decent chance into the side netting.

But it was Holbeach who made the breakthrough on 39 minutes thanks to a top team goal. Neat play from Tidswell near the centre circle released Allen, who made good ground before picking out Turner. The striker then turned his man inside out, before placing a lovely curled effort into the far corner with his weaker left foot.

If that was a good goal, the Tigers’ second – courtesy of Tidswell on 53 minutes – was an absolute scorcher.

The striker raced clear down the right hand side and somehow smashed a fierce drive into the top near corner with incredible accuracy and power from the most improbable of angles.

Sadly, it was to be Tidswell’s final act of the game, and perhaps the season, as he damaged a hamstring in the process.

At 2-0 Bottesford were never out of it – and they really should have pulled one back when Mark La Rocca sent a free header over from five yards.

Overton was then forced to make a low save to keep out a drive from winger Danny Gibbons, as the Tigers had their backs to the wall.

Sub Rob Hughes thought he’d settled the final when he tapped home a rebound after a fierce effort from man-of-the-match Mitch Griffiths was kept out, but the offside flag denied him.

Holbeach didn’t have to wait long for that all important third goal, though. Midfield playmaker Toyne lashed a low effort off the post, but managed to slide the rebound home powerfully five minutes from time to settle any nerves.

Not done there, Griffiths burst clear and slipped a neat pass through for substitute Treacher, who cut superbly inside his man before dispatching a clinical fourth into the corner via the dispairing fingertips of keeper Ellis.

Bottesford did scramble as consolation goal through Carl La Rocca with the last kick of the game, but it failed to poop the Tigers’ party at the full time whistle.

They become the first team since Lincoln Moorlands over a decade ago to retain the Senior Trophy – and are looking increasingly likely to complete a double.

Holbeach boss John Chand felt that his second trophy as Holbeach boss was even sweeter than the first, won almost exactly a year ago to the day.

He said: “The wind spoilt the game as a spectacle and we didn’t play as much football as we wanted to.

“But in general I thought it was a convincing win, we conceded late on but it’s not going to take the gloss of it.

“We’ve retained the trophy and we’re still in the position where we can do a double. If we can go on to complete that it’ll be a very decent season.

“I’m really happy. Bottesford made a game of it, but we were deserved winners on the night.

“I think this is better than last year. To score four goals in a final against anyone is a difficult task and we’ve come here two years running and defended the trophy.

“Winning in finals or pressure situations is always good – and we’ve done that all season.

“As a club we’re in a great place now and all credit to the lads, they deserved it tonight and we’ll enjoy this.”

Tigers: Overton, Flack (Hughes 65), Griffiths, Toyne, Brown, Smith, Allen, Lewis, Tidswell (Treacher 55), Turner, Parker (Jackson 65). Not used: Elston, Emery.

• Deeping Rangers suffered a 1-0 loss at Huntingdon Town in the UCL Premier Division on Wednesday night as they slipped to sixth in the standings.

Ricky Dear’s 87th-minute long range piledriver settled a dour contest at Jubilee Park, which was badly hit by the gusty wind.

Deeping: Doughty, Tinkler, Stone, Ashton, Julian (Lambley), Holt, Ginty (Parker), Burton-Jones, Oliver, Heron, James (Wheeler).