MATCH VERDICT: Easy does it for Holbeach United
It only took a few minutes to prove that Holbeach United would produce the right response.
The Tigers’ championship dreams had been written off by manager Seb Hayes after the 1-0 defeat at Cogenhoe United last weekend.
He was back on the touchline on Tuesday night after a stadium ban to face one of his former clubs.
The players listened to an early call from Hayes over the tempo and intensity.
Those instructions led to a dominant display over Peterborough Northern Star.
Hayes’ reminder about the levels of energy required on the pitch could be heard loud and clear.
The calls came after Lewis Leckie’s first-minute penalty appeal was rejected, quickly followed by an opportunity for Will Bird.
From those moments, it seemed that Holbeach would not deliver an action replay of the terrible performance at Cogenhoe.
Mitch Griffiths’ far-post header was cleared inside the six-yard box but he broke the deadlock shortly afterwards.
He cut inside and fired a low drive beyond keeper Simon Dalton at the near post.
Griffiths had two further efforts before the break while Stacy Cartwright and Adam Jackson were off target.
At the start of the second half, Leckie and Bird again went close.
But instead of counting the cost of missed chances, the Tigers made it comfortable.
Cartwright nodded home after Griffiths’ corner was headed back to the far post.
Jackson released Bird to make it 3-0 with a rebound off his knee after Dalton blocked the initial attempt.
Griffiths hit the base of the post in front of an open goal, having taken the ball past Dalton.
Substitute Danny Barker – who came on against one of his former clubs – completed an emphatic victory with a long-range special.
At the other end, Holbeach rarely came under pressure for another clean sheet in the division’s best defensive record.
The Tigers took the total of away league wins into double figures as Star suffered their seventh successive home defeat, also making it eight games without a win in 2018.
PETERBOROUGH NORTHERN STAR
4-4-2: Dalton; Dunn, Makate, Cox, McSkelly (sub J Wilson 76 mins); S Wilson, Morris, Curtis, Moore; Hill-Seekings, Mason (sub Mizia 57 mins). Subs not used: Johnson, Barker.
4-3-3: Drury 6; Harker 7, Braithwaite 7, Cartwright 7, N Jackson 7; Smith 7 (sub Avis 37 mins, 7), Tinkler 7, A Jackson 7 (sub Zuerner 76 mins); Griffiths 8, Leckie 7, Bird 7 (sub Barker 71 mins). Sub not used: Sanders.
Griffiths (24 mins, 0-1); Cartwright (53 mins, 0-2); Bird (61 mins, 0-3); Barker (81 mins, 0-4).
McSkelly, Braithwaite (kicking ball away); Griffiths (dissent).
Mitch Griffiths – scored the first goal, should have added to his tally, created plenty of chances and always posed a threat.
Sileby Rangers (H) – Saturday.