FOOTBALL: Tigers braced for tough Yaxley test

WANTED MAN: Lewis Sturman.
WANTED MAN: Lewis Sturman.
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Holbeach United will be playing one of the top teams in the UCL Premier Division when Yaxley visit Carter’s Park on Saturday (3pm).

That’s the view of Tigers chief Glen Maddison, who has nothing but respect for the progress being made by the Cuckoos under boss Brett Whaley.

Yaxley go into the game some 12 points ahead of ninth-placed Holbeach in sixth – and look to have a genuine shot at finishing in the top three.

The clash marks the beginning of a tough run for Maddison’s men too, with games against high-flying AFC Rushden and Diamonds (home and away) and Wellingborough Town to follow.

“Yaxley seem to be going very well at the moment,” said the Holbeach supremo. “Brett (Whaley) is always improving them and they look to be a very balanced side.

“They look to have a long-term plan as a club and are getting better every year. I’d say they are out of our reach this season and would rank them among the top teams.

“That being said, I felt we were a little bit unlucky to lose 3-1 at their place. But both teams have improved since then and I expect a good game.

“With the run we’ve got coming up, it’s important that we take some points. We can’t afford another run of defeats.”

Meanwhile, Maddison admits that the future of key defender Lewis Sturman is up in the air.

The versatile ace impressed on trial at Finnish side PS Kemi Kings and has been offered a pro-contract by boss Tommy Taylor.

The 19-year-old is also attracting interest from Diss Town, who have made a seven-day approach for his services.

Maddison would be woe to lose one of his top performers, but admits that he wouldn’t stand in his way should he choose to move to Finland.

But the Tigers boss has given up on signing Kettering Town’s Harry Beckley after becoming frustrated in his pursuit of the midfielder.

Sturman and skipper Matt Warfield return to the squad to face Yaxley, but Nick Bishop, Tom Sergeant and Chris Shipley all remain sidelined.