HUNTINGDON TOWN 1 HOLBEACH UNITED 6: A devastating second-half display edged Holbeach closer to the UCL Premier Division title as boss John Chand hailed one of their best performances of the season so far.
An 18-minute hat-trick from leading scorer Andrew Tidswell helped the Tigers rip fifth-placed Huntingdon to shreds at Jubilee Park on Saturday, with the prolific table-toppers taking their goal tally to 100 in the league.
Wes Lewis, Mitch Griffiths and Craig Parker also got in on the act to keep their side 11 points clear at the summit.
Billed as one of the hardest games left in their run-in, Holbeach may have been happy with a draw prior to kick off. But a jubilant Chand was delighted to see his side send out a warning to title rivals St Ives Town and Spalding United.
“I think we’ve made a real statement today,” said the Tigers chief. “Maybe people thought ‘Holbeach are a young side, they’ve not been here before, they’ll have a wobble’ – but this proves we won’t.
“We murdered them in the second half and played some great football, probably the best we’ve been all season.
“Huntingdon are a really good side and the likes of Spalding only drew here. It really eases the pressure ahead of games with Spalding and St Ives, we’re in a great position.”
Nothing settles the nerves like an early goal – and Holbeach got just that on three minutes. Parker got in down the left and crossed superbly for Lewis to tap home at the back post.
However, with the ample wind behind them, hosts Huntingdon were always a threat in the first period.
A thunderous long-range effort from Ben Seymour-Shove forced a spectacular save from Michael Emery, before they levelled with the last kick of the first half when Declan Rogers perfectly picked out the top corner from a 20-yard free kick.
Holbeach weren’t rattled though, as they delivered a second half to remember. Tidswell took his tally for the season to 30 with a tidy finish from Dan Flack’s low cross on 55 minutes.
He then put the Tigers 3-1 up with a sensational lob from the left-hand side 13 minutes later, which put the finishing touches on a top team move.
Not content with a double, Tidswell picked himself up after being fouled in the box to clinically convert a penalty on 73 minutes.
With Holbeach now bombing forward in force, a Lewis cross allowed the impressive Griffiths to cap a fine showing with a low strike into the bottom corner.
Sub Ash Stevens could’ve had a hat-trick as the Tigers went in search of their league century, but blazed one effort over and saw other strikes saved by Erol Ordonez.
So it was left to Parker, who was excellent at left back, to put the seal on a sensational team showing with a bizarre sixth direct from a corner in the final minute. With just six games left to play, few would bet against Holbeach winning the title from here.
Tigers: Emery, Allen, Griffiths (Jackson 78), Toyne, Brown, Stupple, Flack, Lewis, Tisdwell (A Stevens 81), Turner (Treacher 81), Parker. Not used: Elston, Overton.