United Counties League Premier Division
Deeping Rangers 1 Holbeach United 0
A 94th minute Deeping Rangers winner means it’s two defeats, just one point and no goals for Holbeach United from their three Christmas fixtures.
A hugely scrappy game looked set to be petering out to the 0-0 it deserved when Deeping struck with nearly the last touches of the game.
From one of the many free kicks Holbeach needlessly gave away, Dan Schiavi’s ball in was deftly flicked home by Scott Mooney to seal the points.
Neither side had really deserved to win the match with both struggling to create anything from open play.
And the Tigers were particularly rueing Josh Ford having an early penalty saved.
Holbeach got into a number of good positions going forward in the early stages, and for much of the game, but they couldn’t find a final ball.
From one such occasion in the 12th minute Will Bird was tackled by Jake Marsden, the defender then losing the ball in the area and going through the back of Bird for an obvious penalty. Ford’s spot kick was superbly tipped round the post by Deeping keeper Lewis Elsom to his right.
At the other end Ricky Drury had already been called into action saving a shot from Charlie Coulson with his legs, but it was Holbeach who seemed the most likely to create something without really doing so.
They did hit the woodwork but it came from a 35 yard shot after a Deeping clearance came off the referee. Tom Smith was in ‘why is the left back shouting from there’ territory but his superb drive clipped the top of the bar.
Deeping then ended the second half strongly. Mooney had a goal ruled out for offside after moving too early for Sciavi’s low ball in from the left.
Just before the break Holbeach stopper Drury saved well to deny Dan Jarvis but he had his blushes only saved by the post after a horror show in the 43rd minute.
The keeper misjudged sheppeding a ball out of play 20 yards up the right wing touchline and had the ball knocked from him by Schiavi who fed Jarvis. His rolled effort from the edge of the area towards the empty net bounced back off the post and back to the thankful Drury.
The excellent crowd of 213 saw little to cheer in the second period as the game became even more scrappy with numerous fouls and offside calls.
Holbeach wasted another set piece in the area, this time an indirect free kick on the left corner of the six yard box, which was cleared.
Jarvis sliced a half chance wide for the home side while Holbeach’s John Clay had a shot from distance that the keeper gathered at full stretch. There remained plenty of effort but not much in way of quality in the final third for both teams.
The game livened up 15 minutes from time when both sides had similar openings within minutes of each other.
First Jarvis for Deeping fed Mooney down the left but his shot from the angle was well held by Drury.
United responded down the right Will Bird feeding Ford but he screwed his shot well wide.
Despite a few hopefull balls across goal and plenty of blocked shots, the game seemed to have petered out before the late drama saw Deeping pick up the three points.