FOOTBALL: ‘We have to get through this spell and stay in title race’

Mitch Griffiths will complete a four-match ban
Mitch Griffiths will complete a four-match ban
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  • ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division - Daventry Town v Holbeach United
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Seb Hayes is looking to keep Holbeach United in the title race with an unbeaten three-match away run before the end of this month.

The Tigers go to Daventry Town on Saturday ahead of trips to Desborough Town and Yaxley.

The disciplinary issues are our own problem and the injuries are a different matter – but we certainly need to be switched on by avoiding those suspensions.

Seb Hayes

Holbeach also have four games in hand over leaders Newport Pagnell Town to cut the six-point gap at the top of the table.

Hayes admitted: “This is a tough run of away games.

“We have to get through this spell and stay in the race.

“If we can do that, along with the games in hand, we can feel very confident when we have home games with Desborough, Newport Pagnell and Wisbech Town.

“At that stage, it would be in our own hands. In the meantime, though, we have to come out of these away games with a minimum of five points.

“Staying unbeaten from those next three matches would set us up nicely. The same return as the festive period would be massive.”

Mitch Griffiths and Stacy Cartwright will complete bans on Saturday following red cards.

They are the latest in a series of suspensions within the Tigers’ squad this term.

Hayes added: “We’ve had a lot of injuries and suspensions.

“Joe Smith has switched to centre-half, Spencer Tinkler has moved positions and Matt Warfield is versatile as well.

“He is coming back from an injury but it’s tough asking him to go straight back into the team.

“We definitely need to get players back in the squad as soon as possible.

“All those problems could derail our season if it looks like they could be catching up with us.

“The disciplinary issues are our own problem and the injuries are a different matter – but we certainly need to be switched on by avoiding those suspensions.”

Goals from Smith (2) and Lewis Leckie secured a 3-0 home win for Holbeach over Daventry at the end of November. They will meet again at Communications Park on Saturday.

Hayes recalled: “We were 2-0 up at half-time but it had been pretty tight.

“They are a good side with plenty of pace. It’s going to be a hard game over there as they are probably a better team at home.”

Joe Braithwaite should be back in the squad and Leckie has recovered from a slight knock which kept him out of the line-up against Cogenhoe United last weekend.

Meanwhile, Holbeach are hoping to retain the services of on-loan midfielder Danny Brooks beyond the end of this month.

Hayes added: “We’ve got him for at least three more games then we will assess the situation again.

“He will make a decision whether he wants to stay or go back to Lincoln United.

“He has done well for us over a few games so we would be very happy to keep him.”

The fixture list for the run-in has also been issued as Holbeach set their sights on a championship challenge.

Hayes said: “We have a lot of home games against teams around us so the big thing is making sure we are still up there with five or 10 games to go.”