TIGERS: Chand wants Holbeach to be pride of county

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S & L CORBY 1 (Goodall 62) HOLBEACH UNITED 2 (A Stevens 31, Goodhand 47): JOHN Chand has challenged his Tigers to finish as the top Lincolnshire team in the UCL Premier Division after witnessing another impressive performance.

Ashley Stevens and Paul Goodhand struck on Saturday to fire fourth-placed Holbeach to a sixth win on the bounce – and move them within four points of the top of the table.

Leigh Overton’s impressive run of five clean sheets in a row was ended by Shaun Goodall’s second-half effort, but it mattered little at the Recreation Ground as the Tigers completed a league double over the 2008/09 champions.

Although Chand is keen to play down any hopes of a title tilt, he wants his charges to be county kings.

The Tigers boss said: “What a great win, even if it was more of a battle than a football game.

“The pitch is a slope and they know how to waste time when the opposition are shooting downhill.

“If I’m honest they didn’t really trouble us, but it’s great to win at a place where many teams will drop points.

“People keep saying that we have a chance of winning the league. I’d say that if we’re still placed as well in March, then that’s the time to answer this question.

“But I will say that we want to finish as the highest Lincolnshire team. That’d be a real achievement.

“Deeping Rangers and Blackstones will likely be our biggest rivals for that.”

The first half was a scrappy affair, with the Tigers shooting down an ample slope.

Set-piece maestro Andrew Tidswell rattled the bar direct from an early corner, but play was broken up by lengthy delays each time the ball went behind the Corby goal.

Eventually Holbeach seized the initiative on the half hour, as Stevens converted his 17th of the season from a Tidswell corner, following a flick on from skipper Jamie Stevens.

Corby’s only chance of the first period saw Michael Byrne force a smart stop from the ever-impressive Overton.

After the interval Holbeach quickly doubled their money.

A Daniel Flack pass released Goodhand, who buried his second goal of the current campaign.

Ashley and Jamie Stevens both sent great chances wide as the visitors looked to put the result beyond doubt, before Overton’s goal was finally breached.

Having gone an incredible 516 minutes without conceding, Goodall set up an exciting finale after capitalising on a poor clearance.

Tidswell and sub Matt Warfield both had chances to wrap up the points for Holbeach in the closing stages, before two super Overton saves from Mark Forbes and Nick Young ensured three more points for the red-hot Tigers.

With Northampton Spencer and Irchester United their next two games, few would bet against Chand’s men extending their winning run even further.

Tigers: Overton, Newton, Jackson, Kennedy, B Brown, J Stevens, Flack, Goodhand (Warfield 82), Tidswell, A Stevens (Palmer 82), Griffiths. Not used: N Brown, Elston.

Saturday: Tigers v Northampton Spencer (3pm).