Leaders leave it late to edge out Holbeach United

Tom Roberts
Tom Roberts
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  • ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division - Holbeach United 1 Leicester Nirvana 2
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A late goal sent Holbeach United to a home defeat as Leicester Nirvana regained pole position in the title race.

Nirvana snatched all three points just 24 hours after losing top spot to championship rivals AFC Kempston Rovers.

The title contenders made the worst possible start, though, falling behind three minutes in as Sean Phillips was caught in possession by Josh Ford who played in strike partner Jake Clitheroe to fire an angled shot across keeper James Flinders.

Nirvana took the game to the Tigers with Matt Melbourne forcing Rick Drury into a smart reaction save and Will Gonga volleying wide after Francis Lynch’s free-kick was punched away.

Flinders had to be alert to beat Andy Tidswell to Adam Jackson’s ball behind the defence while in added time at the end of the half Drury again showed sharp reactions to block Tendai Chitiza’s header.

Nirvana levelled eight minutes into the second half when Lynch crossed from the right and Melbourne swept in his 31st goal of the season at the far post.

The visitors almost went ahead midway through the half when Recce Morris’ cross from the left was flicked on by Chitiza for Melbourne to drill a low shot against the post.

Drury had to go off injured with Tigers manager Tom Roberts pressed into service between the posts.

Oli Donald had a fierce volley blocked from Tidswell’s corner.

But Nirvana went in front after 87 minutes. Gonga’s free-kick into the area saw Roberts punch away but he gained little distance and was stranded as Chitiza looped a header over him into the net.

The Tigers almost levelled in the 90th minute. Aaron Eyett’s clever chipped pass played in Clitheroe but Phillips had covered well to clear off the line with Flinders beaten.

Holbeach’s last chance saw Tidswell shoot over from a free-kick.

Holbeach: Drury (sub Roberts), Donald, A Jackson, Warfield, N Jackson, Stevens, Eyett, Tidswell, Ford, Clitheroe, Gale.