HOLBEACH UNITED 4 BLACKSTONES 2: ASHLEY Stevens bagged a double against one of his former teams as the Tigers made it three wins on the spin on Wednesday night.
Holbeach were given an early fright at Carter’s Park as Richard Thompson fired a ninth-minute opener for Stones, but a superb Andrew Tidswell header levelled matters midway through the opening period.
Nick Brown then fired the Tigers ahead for the first time with a deflected drive on 40 minutes, making it 2-1 at half time.
It got better for John Chand’s men after the interval, with Stevens (50) notching the first of his double with the aid of another deflection.
A close-range second from Stevens on 66 minutes all but secured the points for Holbeach, but there was still time for debutante Jacob Smitheringale (73) to pull one back for the Stamford visitors.
There was a lengthy delay late on with Tigers defender Ben Brown requiring stitches in a nasty head wound, but he should be fit in time for next Saturday’s FA Cup clash at Hucknall Town.
He could be replaced by new recruit Dane Harper against Newport Pagnell this weekend though, with the ex-Bourne Town man making his Tigers debut as a second-half substitute.
A relatively pleased Chand said: “I thought we were a few yards off the pace in stages of the game, but we created a lot of chances and in the end it was a good win.
“You look at the Kempston loss now and feel we could be 100 per cent, but at this stage last season we were rock bottom so we have to be happy.
“Blackstones are a good side and they dispatched Spalding pretty easily, so I’m pleased with the result.
“I thought Jamie Stevens was outstanding at the back again, but it’s a shame we’ve lost Ben Brown for the Pagnell game. Thankfully he looks OK though.”
The win pushes the Tigers into the top seven of the UCL Premier Division, just three points behind the leading teams.
Tigers: Overton, Allen, B Brown, J Stevens, Jackson, Griffiths, Brooks (G Staffieri), N Brown, Tidswell (Harper), A Stevens, Treacher (A Staffieri). Not used: Keeble.