Holbeach United joint-boss Graham Drury admitted that it took “a few home truths” and a triple substitution to edge past Rothwell Corinthians in the UCL Knockout Cup.
Penalty scorer Lee Beeson, midfielder Danny Steadman and right-back Jonny Allen all came on with 21 minutes left to save the Tigers’ blushes as Corinthians threatened to complete a cup shock.
Drury said: “The conditions were tough but I thought we were sloppy on the Rothwell goal because Jamie Clarke tried to shield the ball instead of clearing his lines.
“It took a few home truths at half-time and some tactical changes to go 4-4-2 to make us win the match.
“We tried to put Rothwell under pressure straight after half-time by going direct and seeing how they defended, but also to bring some width on and it obviously worked for us in the end.
“It’s a cup competition and it doesn’t matter how you play – it’s about getting through to the next round.
“Rothwell came and had a real go, played the right way and even though their manager (Shaun Sparrow) said he didn’t expect to get anything from here, he should be proud of his players.”
Drury was satisfied that the Tigers can now carry some momentum into Wednesday night’s UCL Premier Division showdown with third-placed Yaxley, with a chance to avenge the 2-1 defeat at In2itive Park last November.
“We have been very resilient and shown our mental strength, as well as physical, because we don’t want to lose football games,” Drury said.
“It’s all about momentum and we have to keep it when it comes to playing teams like Yaxley, AFC Rushden & Diamonds, along with Thurnby Nirvana in the FA Vase.
“We can’t ask for any more from the players to be eight out of eight, with four clean sheets, and to be through to the next round of the UCL KO Cup.”