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PHOTO GALLERY AND MATCH VERDICT: Tigers book spot in Knockout Cup final




Who would have expected such a comfortable night in a semi-final showdown against the cup holders?

Luke Avis and Spencer Tinkler were on target as Holbeach United delivered the knockout blow to Leicester Nirvana at Carter's Park.

It wasn't pretty and the Tigers didn't need to perform particularly well.

Ultimately, though, that doesn't matter because they can look forward to facing Deeping Rangers or Daventry Town in the league's showpiece occasion at the end of this season.

Holbeach should have won by a bigger margin to match the 4-0 home win over Nirvana in September.

Jack Smith struck a hat-trick that afternoon and he had enough clear-cut chances for an action replay.

Jack Smith is denied
Jack Smith is denied

He missed three opportunities before the deadlock was broken.

Avis - who earlier put the ball in the net from an offside position - needed a huge slice of fortune when a left-wing cross floated inside the far post.

However, Holbeach deserve credit for the link-up play between Avis, Tom Smith, Adam Jackson and Billy Smith to create space.

At the start of the second period, James Tricks and Jack Smith wasted golden chances when they went clean through with only James Connell to beat.

Tricks and Billy Smith came close again but the lead was finally doubled via a set-piece to kill off any possibility of Nirvana hitting back.

Joe Braithwaite's free-kick was nodded on by Tricks and the ball was knocked past Connell from close range as Tinkler marked his return to action following injury.

Deen Master cleared off the line from Jack Smith who had another opportunity before Will Bird's volley flashed wide.

Nirvana offered very little apart from Joshua Rock's far-post header and a second-half effort by captain Shaquille Master.

After the disappointment of losing in last season's semi-final, Holbeach went one stage further this time and they need to improve again on the 2016 final when they were beaten on penalties by Peterborough Sports.

HOLBEACH UNITED

4-3-3: Drury 6; Ford 6, Clay 7, Braithwaite 7, T Smith 6; Tinkler 8 (sub Harker 90 mins), Avis 7 (sub Davies 82 mins), Jackson 8; J Smith 6, Tricks 6 (sub Bird 68 mins, 6), B Smith 6. Sub not used: Hamilton.

REFEREE

Shaun Gregory.

GOALS

Avis (33 mins, 1-0); Tinkler (64 mins, 2-0).

BOOKING

Ford (foul).

STAR MAN

Adam Jackson (chosen by match sponsors Sign Design).



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