FOOTBALL: ‘Nothing to fear’ for Holbeach United

Tom Roberts
Tom Roberts
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Manager Tom Roberts says Holbeach United have nothing to fear in Tuesday night’s opening league game of the season.

The Tigers will be without a number of key players for the trip to Yaxley – including last season’s top scorer Josh Ford and skipper Jamie Stevens who complete two-match bans.

Jordan Thomas faces an injury lay-off after suffering a hamstring strain in the first half of Saturday’s 4-1 victory over Swaffham Town in the Emirates FA Cup.

His half-time replacement Jake Clitheroe got two goals and an assist during a seven-minute spell to settle the extra preliminary round tie.

Ollie Pinner, who also came off the bench, faces a fitness check on a tight calf.

Holbeach head to Yaxley’s In2itive Park in the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division with both clubs expected to challenge towards the top of the table.

We’ve got to tighten up. Although a 4-1 win looks comfortable, it was far from it. We have areas to work on.

Tom Roberts

Roberts said: “It’s a tough test at the start of the season.

“We know they have got good players but we have as well.

“We will go there with nothing to fear.

“It’s a shame this game is so early in the season with a few injuries and suspensions but we will deal with those.”

Goals from Clitheroe (2), Stuart Eason and Tyler Wright earned the cup win at Carter’s Park on Saturday.

Roberts added: “If it wasn’t for Rick Drury then it could have been a different story.

“We’ve got to tighten up. Although a 4-1 win looks comfortable, it was far from it. We have areas to work on.

“Clitheroe came on and made an impact when we got three goals in a quick spell.”

Meanwhile, Roberts was full of praise for stand-in captain Jonny Allen after his first competitive action since a broken leg in January 2015.

Roberts said: “You can see what a difference he makes.

“We weren’t sure that he would be fit for the start of the season but he stepped it up during the summer.

“If he’s not the best full-back or centre-half in the league then he’s certainly in the top five.”

In the preliminary round a week on Saturday, Holbeach will be away to the winners of the replay between Kirley & Pakefield and Walsham-le-Willows on Wednesday night.

At the weekend Yaxley were 12-0 home winners over Huntingdon Town in the FA Cup.