TIGERS: Holbeach end their Rovers hoodoo

LEVELLER: Craig Parker fires home Holbeach's first goal on Saturday. Photo by MIKE DAVISON
LEVELLER: Craig Parker fires home Holbeach's first goal on Saturday. Photo by MIKE DAVISON
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HOLBEACH UNITED 3 (Parker 18, Stevens 25, Harris 70) KEMPSTON ROVERS 1 (Watson 11): John Chand expressed his relief as the Tigers brought an end to their Kempston jinx on Saturday.

Holbeach had failed to beat Rovers since the visitors’ return to the UCL Premier Division – and more of the same looked to be on the cards when Danny Watson put the visitors ahead on 11 minutes.

But Craig Parker (18), Jamie Stevens (25) and Robbie Harris (70) hit back to keep the hosts second in the table.

Boss Chand admitted his side were fired up by excessive Rovers celebrations in the immediate aftermath of their opener and was delighted with the response offered by the title-chasing team.

He said: “It’s great to finally beat them, that’s for sure. Kempston are a good side and play nice football. They’re certainly capable of beating anyone in this league.

“I was a little bit worried when they went ahead, but the celebration of Watson – who got right in our faces at the dugout – really fired us up.

“To be honest their goal was very lucky and once we equalised there was only going to be one winner.

“Looking at how the table is shaping up, we’ve got to be looking to finish in the top three at least now.”

Fresh off the back of Wednesday’s 8-0 drubbing of Sleaford Town (see back page), Holbeach started brightly at Carter’s Park – and they almost won a first-minute penalty when Andy Toyne appeared to be fouled in the box.

Parker then went close to breaking the deadlock when he fired over, while at the other end Watson’s free kick was well stopped by Michael Emery.

The Kempston hitman didn’t have to wait long for his customary goal though, as he turned home a fortuitous effort from 20 yards.

Holbeach were only behind for seven minutes, though. A trademark Andrew Tidswell free kick picked out Parker, who fired home smartly at the back post.

Tidswell was the providor again as the Tigers got their noses in front soon after, whipping in a corner for skipper Stevens to head home.

Three more great first-half chances followed for the home side, with Harris denied by Martin Conway, Parker blasting over from six yards and Tidswell seeing a header saved.

More Holbeach pressure came after the break, before Harris finally wrapped up the points 20 minutes from time, turning home the rebound after Derwayne Stupple’s shot was saved.

Tigers: Emery, Flack, Jackson, Brown, Stevens, Griffiths (Allen 85), Stupple, Toyne, Parker, Tidswell (Treacher 80), Harris (Warfield 77). Not used: Smith.

Next three fixtures: Shepshed Dynamo v Tigers (Saturday, 3pm); Blackstones v Tigers (Oct 31, 7.45pm); Tigers v Harborough (Nov 3, 3pm).