FOOTBALL: ‘Really tough’ for Holbeach United to take maximum points

Danny Barker
Danny Barker
  • ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division - Cogenhoe United v Holbeach United
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Seb Hayes expects a tough test of Holbeach United’s championship credentials on Saturday.

The Tigers boss will miss the trip to mid-table Cogenhoe United as he completes a five-game stadium ban for foul and abusive language to an official.

Assistant manager Tim Cole and former Oakham United chief Wayne Oldaker will take charge again.

Hayes is due back on the touchline on Tuesday night at his former club Peterborough Northern Star.

But he believes Holbeach must “get back to our best” at Cogenhoe this afternoon.

The Tigers trailed 2-0 at home in mid-January when the game was abandoned due to Dan Dougill’s double leg fracture.

Cogenhoe are better than the league position suggests.

Seb Hayes

Hayes said: “I don’t think Cogenhoe should be in the bottom half of the table.

“This is always one of the harder games and they have got some good players.

“It will be really tough for us. We have got to out-work them and then give ourselves a chance of taking the points.

“Cogenhoe are better than the league position suggests.

“They won 3-0 at Newport Pagnell Town on Boxing Day and a few days earlier came from 3-0 down at home to Wisbech Town until they conceded three late goals.”

Danny Barker will be added to Holbeach’s attacking threat after completing a move from Blackstones.

The forward played at Deeping Rangers and also worked with Hayes during spells at Huntingdon Town, Peterborough Northern Star and Oakham United.

Hayes said: “We had put in a seven-day approach last week and we are thankful that Blackstones were good enough to waive that.

“He’s a friend off the pitch as well. I know what he can do for us.

“He’s an all-action forward or wide player who has got 10 goals in 20 games this season.

“He runs in behind and he is very direct. We feel that we need someone to stretch the play because that’s one area where we have struggled a bit.

“Barker likes to cut inside on his left foot but he won’t be bothered whether the ball is at his feet if he can run behind defences.

“We are looking to get him involved on Saturday and he can be a massive threat off the bench.”

Meanwhile, Holbeach may also be boosted by the return of Charley Sanders.

He faces a fitness test on a hamstring injury which forced him off two weeks ago at home to Leicester Nirvana.

Matt Warfield and Hayes will complete suspensions.

Holbeach are unbeaten in five games. They have also collected three successive away league wins to stay in the promotion race.