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Reaction from Holbeach United manager Danny Clifton after the derby draw with Pinchbeck United

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Holbeach boss Danny Clifton was able to take plenty of encouragement from the performance of his young players in Monday's derby duel with Pinchbeck United.

The recently-appointed Tigers manager gave debuts to Lewis Baughan, George Warrington and Sam Harris in the 1-1 draw at the Sir Halley Stewart ground.

And he was impressed with how they acquitted themselves on their United Counties League Premier Division North debuts despite the setbacks of losing two goalkeepers during the course of the game.

New Tigers boss Danny Clifton. Photo: Chris Lowndes
New Tigers boss Danny Clifton. Photo: Chris Lowndes

Experienced custodian Ricky Lovelace pulled up in the warm-up - as did new striker Ryley Nicholson-Barfoot - while replacement goalkeeper James Blake was forced off with concussion in the latter part of the contest.

Clifton said: "We have two targets at the moment that are running parallel - one is to try and bring experienced players back to the club but, knowing that if we don't get them, we still have to try and improve it in a different way.

"I was pleased with the performances on Monday and the young talent did well.

"They could have buckled in front of a big crowd but they didn't and we battled the elements as well after losing a goalkeeper and a striker in the warm-up.

"George Warrington had a cracking game at centre-half and then had to go in goal late on so he was a real warrior for us.

"When you put all that together and think about it then we have done really well to get the point.

"Everything was positive. We didn't gain anything on the teams above us with regards to points but we haven't lost anything either so it could have been a lot worse.

"I was really encouraged by the second half performance because we had a lot of young, new lads in who are talented but inexperienced at this level."

Pinchbeck had enjoyed the lion's share of the first period but Holbeach made a tactical switch early in the second half.

Goalkeeper James Blake. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Goalkeeper James Blake. Photo: Chris Lowndes

They took the lead when Luke Chester's cross was turned into the net by a Pinchbeck defender before the Knights levelled through Archie Moyses.

Clifton added: "We went with two ideas in mind for the game tactically and the first option didn't work out in the first half.

"We changed it at half-time which gave us a much better attacking threat and dimension.

"If I had started like that then maybe it would have been different but I do know now that is the next step moving forward.

"There weren't any negatives and, if I had to find one, it's just that it's another game gone where we haven't made up any ground."

Holbeach are back in action at Carter's Park on Saturday when they host Sleaford Town.

They have made another couple of additions to their ranks with Clifton's son Bailey - a goalkeeper - joining from Yaxley Reserves along with Zac Chaudhari.

Clifton has also secured the services of fellow goalkeeper Blake from his former club.

He explained: "We had a good conversation about James because he has been a good servant for Yaxley.

"He wants a good opportunity at becoming a regular first team goalkeeper though and I can offer him that.

"Yaxley have been brilliant about it and won't hold him back. They have been really good because I've brought a group of players from there who have come through with me.

"We are still trying to actively get one or two more players with a bit of experience to come in as well because I would love to get a couple of them back to help the youngsters."

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