MATCH VERDICT: Holbeach United pay the penalty for missed chances
After the controversy and frustration, this was a missed opportunity for Holbeach United.
Indeed, a series of chances were wasted as the Tigers dropped two points in the title race.
They played the majority of Saturday’s home game against 10 men but failed to take full advantage.
Danny Brooks – who again produced a superb display – put Holbeach in front with a long-range free-kick.
But a debatable decision led to Wellingborough Town taking away a point thanks to substitute Justin Dowling’s penalty.
Matt Warfield only spent 17 minutes on the pitch before a red card which added to the confusion and late drama.
Ultimately, though, it was a game which the Tigers should have won – despite average performances all over the pitch.
Apart from Brooks’ efforts, Holbeach did not look like championship contenders.
They could have fallen behind in the early moments as Adam Speight forced Rick Drury into a near-post save and then hit the woodwork.
Nick Jackson and Brooks both struck the post while Mitch Griffths, Lewis Leckie and Will Bird also went close.
Wellingborough posed plenty of problems until they went down to 10 men near the end of the first half.
Nathanael Ansu had been booked for a foul on Drury so a late challenge on Jackson was extremely stupid to collect a second yellow card.
Luke Avis should have put the Tigers ahead but Brooks was denied twice by Jak Riley before they were involved in the bizarre opener.
Set-piece specialist Brooks delivered a free-kick close to the centre circle and Riley’s misjudgement allowed the ball to float over him into the net.
Bird wasted a chance to double the advantage, Charley Sanders almost made a big impact after coming on and Holbeach couldn’t make it more comfortable.
The talking point came when referee Craig Harper pointed to the spot for Adam Jackson’s challenge on Albert Akinremi.
It looked harsh from the long-range view in the stand but assistant referee Damon Pywell was well placed.
Apparently, he felt that it wasn’t a foul – but Dowling beat Drury from the spot.
Drury made a key save to keep out Speight again but it became 10-a-side as Warfield was dismissed for comments to the referee.
At the end, the Tigers were left to reflect on what should have been a better day.
4-4-2: Drury 6; Braithwaite 6, Cartwright 6, N Jackson 7, A Jackson 6; Griffiths 6 (sub Sanders 63 mins, 6), Smith 6 (sub Tinkler 79 mins), Brooks 8, Avis 6 (sub Warfield 68 mins); Bird 6, Leckie 6. Sub not used: Zuerner.
4-4-2: Riley; Memoli (sub Dowling 71 mins), Rich, Gillingwater, Mortimer; Akinremi, Buckby, McDonald, Ansu; Speight, Beckley. Subs not used: Joyce, Reay.
Brooks (56 mins, 1-0); Dowling pen (73 mins, 1-1).
Ansu, Warfield (second bookable offences).
Beckley, Drury (dissent); Ansu, McDonald, Warfield (fouls).
Danny Brooks – another top-class performance by the on-loan midfielder who showed quality to knock the ball around on a tricky surface. The Tigers certainly need to keep him for the rest of this season.
ON Chenecks (A) – Saturday.