UCL Premier Division - Holbeach United 1 Wisbech Town 0
This was billed as ‘the battle of Boxing Day’ and Holbeach United showed plenty of fighting spirit.
A seventh successive win came courtesy of Matty Nolan’s close-range header and another clean sheet.
The Tigers have not conceded a goal in 398 minutes of action with four clean sheets in a row.
That record must go down as a team effort but on this evidence Danny Spencer and Kern Miller deserve so much credit.
The central defenders were magnificent with the skipper narrowly edging out his partner for the man-of-the-match honours.
Spencer led by example, not only with his challenges but also through some inspirational words of encouragement.
As well as his duties at the heart of the back four, Spencer could claim an assist.
He came close to getting the first goal on 10 minutes when a header was tipped over the bar by Lea Jordan.
But the deadlock was broken from a set-piece on 27 minutes and ultimately that proved enough - just.
Former Wisbech Town left-back Stacy Cartwright delivered a free-kick from the touchline which Spencer headed on and Nolan nodded in from six yards to mark his home debut in style.
Early in the second half Lee Beeson wasted a chance to double the lead and soon afterwards he set up Jamie Clarke for a header which Jordan held.
Gary King and Jake Duffy could have made it 2-0, only to be both denied by Jordan, but the Fenmen found the energy to stage a late rally in search of an equaliser.
Holbeach had a lucky escape with 10 minutes to go as Adam Millson curled a 25-yard drive off the far post.
Former Tigers forward Tommy Treacher could not hit the target with an opportunity and it looked as though the pressure would not pay off as Holbeach held on.
However, with the last kick of the game, Danny Beaumont fired wide and that was the end of Wisbech’s five-match unbeaten league run.
It certainly wasn’t a classic but Holbeach claimed the derby-day points and closed the gap in the championship battle.
Over the last few months they have produced more entertainment and scored plenty of goals.
This time they had to show a different side, one which could be equally vital at the end of the season.
If you can’t find free-flowing football and hit top form, there are days like this when you simply must dig in.
It was a scrappy win thanks to a battling display, piling on the pressure at the top of the table.
4-3-3: Conroy 7; Allen 7, Miller 8, Spencer 9, Cartwright 7; Duffy 7, King 7 (sub Dube 74 mins), Warfield 7; Beeson 7 (sub Parker 68 mins, 6), Clarke 7 (sub Pinner 81 mins), Nolan 7. Subs not used: Brown, Gibson.
4-4-2: Jordan; Thurlbourne (sub Bishop 86 mins), Wilson, Fairweather, Spafford; Bayliss, Webb, Millson, Cobb (sub Smith 49 mins); Treacher, Beaumont. Sub not used: Jalo.
Nolan (27 mins, 1-0).
Wilson, King, Cartwright (fouls).
Danny Spencer -the skipper produced another outstanding display at centre-half alongside Kern Miller who also deserves plenty of credit. They won everything for key roles in a fourth successive clean sheet.