MATCH VERDICT: Derby despair for Holbeach United
Championship challengers do not lose games like this – simple as that!
Even after a series of missed chances, you must take away at least one point.
At a stage when Holbeach United had an opportunity of putting themselves into the frame, they blew it.
The Tigers should have claimed a victory to go up to third spot with games in hand to take pole position.
Instead, they were arguing among themselves and then being accused of lacking hunger and desire.
Despite injury problems and suspensions, Holbeach’s form provided hope of being better than a top-six side.
The prospect of a title bid had not been realistically considered – even though the division could be wide open.
On nights like Tuesday’s derby, you have to fight for everything and possibly nick a scrappy 1-0 win.
It didn’t have to be pretty but Holbeach could not take this golden chance.
Just a few days after Boston Town’s shock home defeat to bottom-of-the-table Oadby Town, surely this was a real opportunity to close the gap at the top.
Will Bird was guilty of not converting clear-cut chances but Lewis Leckie and George Zuerner could have scored in the second half.
Bird was denied twice by keeper Harry Payne who also got protection with a couple of last-gasp challenges.
Mitch Griffiths, Zuerner and Bird switched roles but they couldn’t break the deadlock.
At the other end, Boston only needed one moment of quality.
Former Holbeach winger Aaron Eyett delivered from the right flank and striker Will Britton tucked the ball past Rick Drury from close range.
Britton’s early opener at Carter’s Park last month was cancelled out.
This time, though, there was no way back for Holbeach – even when it only needed a touch inside the six-yard box to bury Bird’s cross.
The angry reaction of Seb Hayes was understandable as the Tigers missed out.
This was only the third league defeat of the season but it could be so costly.
Hayes will demand a big response but can the players deliver what he wants?
4-1-3-2: Payne; Elston, Ashton, Field, Tate; Ford; Frost (sub Borbely 85 mins), Eyett, Bayliss; Britton, Nuttell (sub Maddison 54 mins). Subs not used: Forth, Huggett.
4-4-2: Drury 6; Harker 6, Tinkler 6, Braithwaite 6, Jackson 6; Zuerner 6 (sub Avis 76 mins), Dougill 6, Smith 6 (sub Fenton 80 mins), Griffiths 7; Leckie 6, Bird 6. Subs not used: Davies, Edey, Warfield.
Britton (75 mins, 1-0).
Bayliss, Frost, Britton, Dougill (fouls); Eyett (unsporting behaviour).
Mitch Griffiths – always looking to create a chance and provided some good delivery into the box.
Daventry Town (H) – Saturday.