It can’t have been easy for Glen Maddison to take over a club who were champions just a few months earlier but had lost virtually all of their players.
Former Boston defender Maddison quickly assembled a side - including a triple raid on former club Sleaford to bring in Joe Braithwaite, Ash Murrell and Chris Shipley - and former Leicester City striker Julian Joachim was among the scorers as they began the defence of their title with an opening day win over Harborough.
Maddison’s new-look side won 3-2 at Carter’s Park that day and they reached the end of August with three wins out of four.
But from that solid start, Holbeach suffered a dismal September which kickstarted a losing sequence of seven games until they bounced back in style with a 5-0 trouncing of Sleaford, a result that quite rightly delighted Maddison.
He admitted: “That was one of the highlights of my season as you always want to do well against your former clubs.”
Maddison’s side went from one extreme to the other as they won all five league games in November and then went on to stretch their unbeaten run by a further three games before losing to the side who were to take their league title.
Inconcistency was their downfall as another poor run came in February and March. Tommy Treacher’s double had helped them to a 3-1 victory over Newport Pagnell on February 1 but it was to be more than two months’ before they won again.
Kieran Elliott made an instant impression as he scored in each of his first two appearances after joining from Boston Town to help the Tigers defeat Desborough and Wisbech.
All in all it was a solid first campaign in charge for Maddison, especially given the fact they lost nearly all of the squad who had won the title last season.
He said: “Finishing 11th wasn’t bad but I would have liked to have made the top ten.
“John Chand had put a very good squad together but he left and in mid-June we had no-one signed on and people were tipping us to finish in the bottom three, so we have to be satisified with a mid-table finish.
“Matty Warfield and Leigh Overton agreed to stay but neither had played that much when Holbeach had won the title. Matty didn’t play many games last season while Leigh Overton hadn’t played since the end of Christmas, and then there was John Smith who had a bit of a merry-go-round. He signed for us, then Skegness, then came back to us, then Boston and then back to Skegness.
“So it was virtually a whole new team to last season so we didn’t do too badly all things considered.
“Tom Waumsley did well in his first full season in the UCL and scored plenty of goals while Leigh played every minute of every game.
“Matty skippered the side when he played and he brought some useful experience to the side because we had a few youngsters in the team.
“We finished the season with a very young side due to injuries and players being unavailable and some of the young lads did wonderfully. Lads like Fraser Bayliss, who is only 17, did well and hopefully we can push on next season.”
Holbeach’s league matches
Aug 10 H Harborough 3-2 Tunstall, Joachim, Yeatman
Aug 14 A Huntingdon 1-2 Tunstall
Aug 24 H Northampton Sileby Rangers 5-2 Waumsley, Shipley, Sergeant, Yeatman
Aug 28 A Peterborough Northern Star 3-2 Waumsley, Sturman, Hollingworth
Sept 7 A Sleaford 0-2
Sept 18 H Deeping 2-3 Warfield, Tunstall
Sept 21 H Huntingdon 2-3 Hollingworth, Waumsley
Sept 28 A Yaxley 1-3 Yeatman
Oct 5 H Cogenhoe 0-1
Oct 16 H Spalding 0-5
Oct 26 A Newport Pagnell 1-4 Waumsley
Oct 30 H Sleaford 5-0 Braithwaite, og, Waumsley 2, Law
Nov 2 H Kempston 3-0 Treacher, Waumsley 2
Nov 9 A Long Buckby 4-1 Hollingworth, Waumsley, Treacher, Dunn
Nov 12 A Boston Town 2-0 Waumsley
Nov 16 H Stewart & Llods 3-0 Waumsley, Hollingworth, Law
Nov 30 A Stewart & Lloyds 1-1 Braithwaite
Dec 4 H Boston Town 2-2 Waumsley, Dunn
Dec 7 H Wellingborough 4-2 Treacher 2, Waumsley, Shipley
Dec 14 A Harborough 2-2 Waumsley, Law
Dec 17 A Spalding 0-2
Dec 21 H Long Buckby 5-0 Sergeant 2, Rothery, Treacher, Law
Jan 11 H Peterborough Northern Star 1-1 Treacher
Jan 18 A Kempston 3-5 Rothery, Treacher, Dunn
Feb 1 H Newport Pagnell 3-1 Treacher 2, Rothery
Feb 15 H Yaxley 0-3
Feb 22 H Rushden 1-3 Bayliss
Mar 8 A Rushden 1-3 Treacher
Mar 15 A Desborough 1-2 Warfield
Mar 22 A Cogenhoe 0-1
Mar 29 A Northampton Sileby Rangers 1-1 Waumsley
Apr 5 H Desborough 2-1 Treacher, Elliott
Apr 12 A Wisbch 2-0 Elliott, Sergeant
Apr 15 A Wellingborough 1-2 Bayliss
Apr 19 A Deeping 0-4
Apr 21 H Wisbech 0-4
League goalscorers: Tom Waumsley 15; Tommy Treacher 11; Luke Hollingworth 4; Andy Law 4; Ian Dunn 3; Adam Rothery 3; Tom Sergeant 3; Liam Tunstall 3; Chrtis Yeatman 3; Fraser Bayliss 2; Joe Braithwaite 2; Kieran Elliott 2; Chris Shipley 2; Matt Warfield 2; Julian Joachim; Lewis Sturman 1; own goals 1.