Tom Roberts.

Roberts stays positive despite Tigers’ first loss

Tigers boss Tom Roberts felt his side should draw on the positives rather than dwell on Saturday’s narrow FA Cup defeat at higher level Dereham Town.
Holbeach gave their Ryman League Division One North hosts a real run for their money in the first qualifying round clash despite missing a host of first-team regulars.
Goalkeeper Rick Drury, defensive lynchpin Jamie Stevens plus in-form strike duo Josh Ford and Stuart Eason were all missing for the trip to Norfolk while Stacy Cartwright was only fit enough for a place on the substitutes bench.
But the Magpies needed a late winner to secure a home tie with Conference South side St Albans in the next round as Holbeach were left to rue several missed chances.
Roberts said: “We gave a good account of ourselves and were unlucky not to be in the hat for the next round.
“I thought we did enough to win the game because we created plenty of chances and, on another day, we’d have scored them.
“Obviously I’m disappointed that we didn’t progress, but I’ve got to be encouraged by how we’ve played against a step four side with several key players missing.
“They’ve hit us with a sucker punch late on and just managed the game out correctly.”
Holbeach had the better of the opening exchanges with Andrew Tidswell bringing a good save out of home goalkeeper Will Viner from an early free-kick.
Dereham replied by squandering a decent opening after finding a way through the Tigers’ rearguard.
The hosts then grabbed the initiative when Jake Anema bundled home the opening goal after Holbeach had failed to clear a corner.
Travis Portas, replacing Drury in the Tigers goal, then made a smart stop to ensure Holbeach only went in a goal adrift at the interval.
Holbeach got back on level terms after the break when Tommy Treacher’s cross picked out Jake Clitheroe who continued his rich vein of goalscoring form by firing home the equaliser.
Tyler Wright went close to putting Holbeach ahead before he was replaced by Jordon Thomas.
Thomas went close to having an immediate impact before Treacher created another chance which he was unable to convert.
A brilliant save from Portas kept Dereham at bay until they snatched what proved to be the winning goal with just a few minutes remaining.
Anema was again the goalscorer from a free-kick as Holbeach, despite a late flurry, fell to their first defeat of the campaign.
Holbeach: Portas, Walton, Warfield, Tinkler, Jackson, Allen, Eyett, Tidswell, Treacher, Clitheroe, Wright. Subs: Used – Thomas. Not used – Dongo, Dougill, Cartwright, Cundy, Roberts.

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