HOLBEACH UNITED 4 (Kennedy pen 31, Allen 44, Tunnicliffe OG 55, Wilson 80) SLEAFORD TOWN 1 (Braithwaite 71): FOUR-MIDABLE Holbeach delivered a vintage display as they handed Lincolnshire rivals Sleaford a first defeat of 2012.
A maiden strike from James Wilson, an own goal and further efforts from Luke Kennedy and Jonny Allen moved the Tigers to within a point of second-placed Long Buckby in the UCL Premier Division.
John Chand’s side are unbeaten so far in February, with just a Lincs FA Senior Trophy semi-final with Bourne Town left to play tonight (preview page 58).
The only negative for the high-flying Tigers on Saturday was a nasty-looking ankle injury for Wes Lewis, who could be out for up to six weeks.
“Perhaps I’ll be in line for manager of the month,” joked the Holbeach supremo. “We were rarely troubled and it was a nice routine win for us.
“We’ve got a tricky March coming up, so it was important that we got the job done.
“I can’t put any timescale on Wes’ injury. He heals faster than most people, but it looks like ligament damage and he could be out for a while.”
Sleaford arrived at Carter’s Park having not lost since New Year’s Eve – a run spanning five games.
But they looked shaky from the off, with Ash Stevens forcing a super stop from Doug Lindberg inside 60 seconds.
Striker Stevens was cleaned out by the keeper moments later, but his shouts for a penalty were waved away.
Sleaford weren’t so lucky on the half hour, with a spot-kick awarded for the clearest of fouls on Dan Flack. The ever-reliable Kennedy stepped up to beat Lindberg with ease.
Allen, who had a storming game at right back, was denied a stunning second when his dipping left-footer slammed back off the underside of the bar, before he doubled Holbeach’s money on the stroke of half-time.
He finished coolly from close range after a trademark Andrew Tidswell cross.
More of the same followed after the interval, with Holbeach making the points safe on 55 minutes.
That man Allen galloped down the right and crossed for Tidswell, who saw his shot blocked before Damon Tunnicliffe bundled the ball over his own line.
Sleaford’s Adam Fenton forced a super stop from Leigh Overton, before the visitors got themselves back into contention when Joe Braithwaite beautifully curled home from 25 yards.
But the hosts had the last word, Lincoln City loanee Wilson volleying home smartly from Tommy Treacher’s cross.
It could be the striker’s last act as a Tiger though, with his deal expiring before next weekend’s trip to Cogenhoe.
Chand is hopeful of extending his stay – but regardless of the outcome, his side will fear nobody put in front of them in the coming months. Tigers: Overton, Allen, Warfield, Kennedy, Brown, J Stevens, Flack, Lewis (Newton 63), Tidswell (Wilson 63), A Stevens (Treacher 63), Griffiths. Not used: Jackson, Elston.
l Tonight: Tigers v Wakes (7.45pm); Sat: Cogenhoe Utd v Tigers (3pm).