BASFORD UNITED 1 (Hooton 4) HOLBEACH UNITED 0: JOHN Chand has admitted that red tape probably cost his Holbeach side a place in the next round of the FA Vase.
The Tigers crashed out of this year’s competition to step six outfit Basford on Saturday, as they failed to recover from an early Aaron Hooton strike.
FA rules prevent on-loan players from competing in the competition – and boss Chand reckons the absence of Andy Toyne and Sam Mulready was the difference between the sides.
The Holbeach chief said: “We missed Andy and Sam massively. Derwayne Stupple was immense in midfield, but we had to make a few changes around him and it didn’t work out. The rules are the rules, but it cost us for sure.”
Holbeach started slowly and could easily have found themselves behind before Hooton benefited from a mix-up between Craig Parker and skipper Jamie Stevens to score the only goal of the tie on four minutes.
Andrew Tidswell did go close with a free-kick before the break, but most of the Tigers’ best chances came late on. Striker Robbie Harris rattled the outside of the post on 65 minutes, while Jermain Palmer sent a decent effort just over.
They went even closer in the dying seconds, but Stupple saw a fierce strike tipped over.
“On a different day we’d have progressed,” added Chand. “But credit to them, they did a job on us and we ended up playing into their hands.
“They had Martin Carruthers up front and two giant centre backs. Carruthers gave us the run around and we pumped too many long balls forward, which the big lads dealt with easily.
“It wasn’t our best showing. The passing wasn’t up to the usual standard – and although we bossed it in the second half, we didn’t create enough.
“It may be a blessing for us, though. With the greatest of respect, if we can’t beat Basford we don’t deserve a long run in the Vase.”
Chand’s charges face another cup clash this week, as they host rivals Deeping Rangers in the UCL Knockout Cup tomorrow (7.45pm).
The Holbeach supremo admits he’s not too excited about a second derby date in eight days with Tuncay Korkmaz’s side, with league matters his priority.
He has promised to shuffle his pack for the Carter’s Park clash, with a tough test at Quorn on the horizon this Saturday (3pm).
Tigers: Overton, Allen, Parker, Stevens, Brown, Stupple, Tidswell, Flack (Jackson), Griffiths, Treacher (Warfield), Harris (Palmer). Not used: Elston, Smith.
• Tomorrow: Tigers v Deeping (UCL Cup, 7.45pm); Saturday: Quorn v Tigers (3pm).