Tigers’ season ends with draw and promise of exciting times ahead

Jamie Clarke forces Glen Giles to make a save as Holbeach United and Harborough Town draw 1-1 at Carter's Park.  Photo by Steve Relf.
Jamie Clarke forces Glen Giles to make a save as Holbeach United and Harborough Town draw 1-1 at Carter's Park. Photo by Steve Relf.
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There was enough in Holbeach United’s 1-1 draw with relegated Harborough Town to suggest that exciting times lie ahead for the Tigers next season.

Comfortable in possession and purposeful in attack, especially from the flanks, the Tigers showed that they have come a long way in rebuilding morale and ambition under exciting managerial duo Darren Jarvis and Tom Roberts.

Holbeach showed three changes to the side that at Long Buckby the previous weekend, with Ash Murrell, Andy Tidswell and Jamie Clarke replacing Ben Brown, the suspended Gary King and Jordan Keeble respectively.

On a day when he could have scored a hat-trick, it was Clarke who had the first sniff of goal just seconds after the kick off when he latched onto a through-ball only to volley the wrong side of the Bees’ left-hand post.

But there was a warning of trouble to come two minutes later when a Harry May right wing free kick was swung across to the Tigers’ far post where central defender Ben Williams header across goal but just wide.

After a lull in goalmouth action, it was Harborough who finally took the lead when another May free kick was hooked back into the danger area by Dan Knott and Williams profited from some poor Tigers defending to head home.

But Holbeach didn’t panic and they were level on 29 minutes when a punt downfield from Tigers on-loan keeper James Bradley caught the Bees defence cold and Craig Parker tucked home the equaliser.

A minute later, Holbeach could have gone in front when a routine cross from Dan Worthington was dropped by visiting keeper Glen Giles almost on the goal-line, only for Williams to help his keeper out of trouble with a header back.

The final chance of the first half came when Craig Parker shot across goal five minutes before the break.

In the second half, Bradley saved well from a goalbound shot by Bees striker Jordan Crawford before Callum Macnicol thought he had put the visitors back in front with a header that was ruled for a foul on Bradley.

Then Newcombe presented Clarke with a chance to win it with four minutes left, only for the Tigers striker to sidefoot wide when the goal was gaping.

Clarke went close again on 88 minutes after Tidswell and Parker combined, although Williams almost deceived Bradley with a glancing header in stoppage time that in fact went wide.