Oadby Town 0
Holbeach United 1
Danny Spencer came back to haunt his old side on Saturday as UCL Premier Division leaders Holbeach United proved they can win ugly.
The defender rifled home an angled drive four minutes before the break at Freeway Park to make it six wins from as many league games for the flawless Tigers – and sink former employers Oadby in the process.
Although far from their best, Holbeach showed the age-old hallmark of potential champions by grinding out a win when they could easily have dropped points.
Their latest win leaves them five points clear of second-placed Yaxley.
The only downside for Graham Drury and John Chand’s Tigers, however, was a knock that forced Lee Beeson off at half time.
He was replaced by debutant Stacy Cartwright after the paperwork for his move from Wisbech was approved on Thursday.
But co-boss Chand admitted that Beeson was only withdrawn as a precaution – and praised his side for a job well done.
He said: “It was always tight at 1-0 and it got a little nervy at the end. But we held firm and got the job done.
“We’ve got no God-given right to go out and score four or five every week. To be honest, I’ll take 1-0 wins every day of the week.
“We didn’t really get close to playing our best football, but it’s three points away from home with a clean sheet.
“Every side will have these games during the season. When you’re not playing well, winning the game is all the matters.
“The game wasn’t much to write home about, if I’m honest. But credit to Oadby, they look a good side and I’m sure they’ll keep improving.
“We did have to bring Beeson off at half time, but he should be OK for Saturday.”
Much of the pre-match buzz surrounded the return to Oadby of four players that helped them win the UCL Division One title last season.
Lee Dube, Jake Duffy, Courtney Meade and Spencer were all popular at Freeway Park before moving to the Tigers over the summer – so it was fitting that one of them proved to be the matchwinner.
The goal was the only real highlight of the game. It came from a corner, with Duffy playing the ball in at the second attempt for Spencer to smash an effort back across ex-Bourne Town keeper Aaron Bellairs and into the corner.
It was reminiscent of the goal the striker-turned-defender netted against Boston Town at Carter’s Park the Saturday before last.
There was a further boost after the game, with Holbeach also able to confirm the signing of former favourite Craig Parker.
The versatile left-sider was a key part of the Tigers team that did the double under Chand back in 2012/13 and can play at left back or on either flank.
There had been some dispute between Holbeach and Deeping over the nature of the signing, but Chand confirmed that Parker is now free to play for his side.
“Parker is done and dusted,” added the joint chief. “We’re glad to finally have him on board.
“There’s no problem with Deeping as far as we’re concerned and we’re happy it has been sorted.
“He is very versatile, which is a theme throughout our squad. The likes of Ash Fuller, Jake Gibson, Stacy Cartwright and Danny Spencer can play in a number of positions – which will come in very handy at some stage this season.”
Tigers: Conroy, Allen, Spencer, Pinner, Meade (Drury), Stevens, Beeson (Cartwright), Duffy, Dube, King (Delahoy), Fuller.