United Counties League
Holbeach United 2
Harrowby United 0
Holbeach United took the points in a hard fought Lincolnshire derby at their Carters Park ground.
A depleted Harrowby squad had to shuffle their line-up and the evening got off to the worst possible start as they found themselves a goal down after only three minutes.
John Currall conceded a free kick in a dangerous position just outside the penalty area. Tigers skipper Andrew Tidswell crossed into the area and Stacy Cartwright headed back across Arrows keeper Jack Drury to find the back of the net.
Harrowby were firmly on the back foot in the early stages and had to dig deep to keep Holbeach at bay with some staunch defending. The home side went close after 17 minutes when Cartwright rifled in a free kick that Drury did well to finger tip onto the bar and behind for a corner.
Having weathered the early onslaught, Harrowby created their first real opening on the half hour mark. Christian Andersen won the ball for the Arrows in midfield and Liam Harper played it out wide on the right to Ryan Tittensor. Tittensor whipped the ball across the six yard line and under pressure from a defender, a stretching Simon Bolland just failed to connect with the cross.
Craig Bridge, making his debut for the Arrows looked lively up front but was restricted to a couple of long range efforts that failed to trouble Tigers custodian Rick Drury.
Five minutes before the break, Holbeach should have doubled their lead when a cross into the penalty area found Tidswell unmarked, but the midfielder shot wide of the left hand post with the goal at his mercy.
Drury made a couple of good saves as the half drew to a close, firstly getting down to smother a low drive from Gary King and then blocking a header from a corner by Ollie Pinner on the goal line.
Harrowby more than matched their title-elect opponents in the second period and the half’s first chance saw a well struck shot from Danny Durkin deflected over the cross bar for a corner.
Holbeach always looked dangerous and after 68 minutes their leading scorer Josh Ford threw himself at a cross that flashed across the Harrowby six yard box and was inches away from the connection needed to double their lead.
Three minutes later down the other end Bridge’s powerfully struck free kick was well held under his crossbar by Rick Drury.
The cruel second goal to secure the points for the Tigers came eight minutes from time when a break down the right was crossed over to King who, looking to be offside, was allowed to continue and curled an excellent finish past Drury and into the net off the far post. The goal was harsh on the Arrows who, after conceding so early, were expected to capitulate but equipped themselves well to give Holbeach a hard night’s work.
Harrowby Man Of The Match:- Simon Bolland
Harrowby United: Drury (c), Currall, Watson (Weatherstone, 73), Hill, Whyley, Harper, Andersen, Bolland, Tittensor, Bridge, Durkin (Lee, 68).