TIGERS: Holbeach ‘Bank’ county final date

Double trouble: Luke Kennedy notched twice at Carter's Park. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG250212-262TW
Double trouble: Luke Kennedy notched twice at Carter's Park. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG250212-262TW
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HOLBEACH UNITED 4 (Warfield 12, Kennedy pen 45 & 50, A Stevens 90) BOURNE TOWN 0: CUP kings Holbeach roared into the final of the Lincs FA Senior Trophy on Tuesday night as this prolonged tie finally reached a conclusion.

After a pair of Abbey Lawn floodlight failures saw the first two attempts at the semi-final abandoned, goals from Luke Kennedy (2), Matt Warfield and Ashley Stevens sunk the ten-man Wakes at Carter’s Park.

Aaron Jesson’s dismissal just before the break effectively ended any hopes Bourne had of upsetting Holbeach, who now face Barton Town Old Boys in the final at Lincoln City’s Sincil Bank in late April.

The Tigers last won the county competition back in 2003, beating Brigg Town 3-1 in a season that also yielded the UCL Premier Division title under Dick Creasey.

And current boss John Chand has his eyes on a trophy double too, with Holbeach already in the last four of the UCL League Cup.

With his side also third in the table, Chand paid tribute to the club for sticking with him last season – when the Tigers endured a horror start to his first season in charge.

“Some clubs would have shown me the door after ten or 15 games last season,” admitted Chand, who eventually guided his team to the safety of 17th place. “So this success is for the chairman, fans and everyone that stuck by me through the tough times.

“If somebody had told me at the start of the season that we’d be in the hunt for two cups and third in the league by March, I’d have snapped their hand off.

“But we’ll not get above ourselves, the final can wait. We’ve only lost once in 2012 but have a very hard March ahead.

“The red card ended it as a contest for Bourne. I’ve heard people saying it was harsh, but the lad has made a mess of the tackle and he’s the last man – he had to go by the letter of the law.

“We didn’t penetrate them as much as I’d like, but we had so much possession. It wasn’t really a game I could ever see us losing, even when they had 11.”

With the lights shining bright at Carter’s Park, Bourne’s Matt Gilson had to save well from Andrew Tidswell and Ollie Ryan early on.

He was beaten on 12 minutes though, as Matt Warfield fired home his first of the season from fully 30 yards.

At the other end Alex Brockbank and Josh Bell went close with speculative efforts, before Holbeach’s Jonny Allen saw a looping header drop down on the bar before bouncing over.

The key moment of the tie arrived on the stroke of half time. Jesson, who was lucky to escape a card for a cynical foul on Mitch Griffiths earlier in the half, bundled over Ryan when he was clean through on goal.

Perhaps harshly, a red card was brandished – and with Kennedy coolly tucking the resulting penalty away, the Tigers led 2-0 at the break.

That soon became three when that man Kennedy lashed his 14th of the season into the top corner in the early stages of the second period.

The Wakes defended resiliently to limit the Tigers from there on, although Ryan, Jamie Stevens and Tommy Treacher all rattled the woodwork.

A fourth goal did arrive at the death, sub Ash Stevens scuffing home his 25th of the campaign from close range, putting the seal on a night to remember for Chand’s side.

It’s now six wins in their last seven games for the Tigers, who visit Cogenhoe United in the UCL Premier Division on Saturday (3pm).

Paul Goodhand is back in the squad, while on-loan striker James Wilson has returned to Lincoln City – something Holbeach will be doing next month.

Tigers: Overton, Allen, Jackson, Kennedy, Warfield, J Stevens (Elston 68), Flack, Griffiths (Johnson 75), Tidswell (A Stevens 66), Ryan, Treacher. Not used: Brown, Newton.

Wakes: Gilson, Elger, Cardall, Mason (Pick 56), Smith, Jesson, Lambie, Moss (Shrosbree 60), Brockbank (Kamau 56), Currall, Bell. Not used: Wood, Jarman.