TIGERS: Holbeach’s fourth bid left stuck in the mud

Angry: Holbeach boss John Chand.
Angry: Holbeach boss John Chand.
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DAVENTRY UNITED 1 (Lorraine 44) HOLBEACH UNITED 1 (Tidswell 30): JOHN Chand compared the Communications Park pitch to a scene at Glastonbury after seeing Holbeach United’s hopes of finishing fourth in the UCL Premier Division disappear.

The Tigers supremo found it hard to hide his anger after finally completing Tuesday night’s fixture, which had been called off four times, in farcical conditions.

Holbeach needed to win to keep their hopes of trumping Deeping Rangers in the race for fourth spot alive – and looked to be on their way to glory when Andrew Tidswell nodded them ahead on the half hour.

But the prolific Tom Lorraine levelled before the break, with the second period seeing both Daventry’s Paul Currier and Holbeach’s Mitch Griffiths sent off.

That further fuelled Chand’s anger and left the highly-rated boss dreaming of a summer away from football.

“What an absolute shambles of a game,” blasted Chand. “Two weeks after the season was supposed to finish, we’re forced to travel three hours to play on a pitch that has puddles and holes in it.

“The game shouldn’t have been played. If we hadn’t travelled so far, I’d have refused to play. It was very dangerous and looked like something you’d expect to see at Glastonbury.

“To make make matters worse, Mitch was sent off for being two-footed and then punched. He did nothing at all. We can’t appeal that and he’ll now miss the start of next season. What a horrific night.

“To be honest, I don’t care if we finish fifth or sixth now – I just want the season finished. I think I need a break!”

Chand – who handed debuts to ex-Arsenal defender Gavin Hoyte and his Bedford Town team-mate Ollie Thorne on Tuesday – still has one more game to go before he and his side can put the campaign to bed. They visit rivals Deeping Rangers on Friday night (7.45pm), bidding for a first Outgang Road success since 2004.

Despite feeling more than a little downbeat, the Holbeach boss admits he’s delighted with how the season panned out and doesn’t envy any of his UCL-based Lincolnshire rivals.

Having won the Lincs FA Senior Trophy, Holbeach are guaranteed to finish at least sixth.

“It’s been a very successful season and we got a trophy. I wouldn’t swap our achievements with any of the local sides.”

Tigers: Overton, Allen, Jackson, Brown, Hoyte, Griffiths, Flack, Kennedy, Thorne, Tidswell, Nimmo.Not used: Chand, Elston, Barnes.