Phil Barnes. Photo by JAKE WHITELEY

Barnes signs off with ‘best showing of season’ but Holbeach United fall to the bottom

Holbeach United 0 Melton Town 1

A late Zak Munton goal sentenced ten-man Holbeach United to a 1-0 defeat against Melton Town on Saturday – and sent them to the bottom of the Uhlsport UCL Premier Division North table.

After bossing much of the first half at Carter’s Park, the Tigers were rocked by a debatable red card to on-loan defender Jack Keeble five minutes before the break.

It looked like the hosts were going to hang on for a point in Phil Barnes and Dean Elston’s final game in charge before new boss Gary Frost took over (see page 31), but ex-Tiger Munton netted four minutes from time to break Holbeach hearts.

Andre Williams had a great chance to level in the dying seconds, but saw his lob bounce agonisingly over the bar when clean through.

The defeat stretches the Tigers’ winless start to the season to 12 games and leaves them propping up the rest in 18th place after relegation rivals Selston broke their duck with a 2-0 triumph at Quorn.

On a day when there were three feisty bust-ups between the two sides, Barnes felt that Holbeach produced their best performance of the season – but admitted that he was still happy with his decision to resign.

“I thought we played quite well,” said the Holbeach club legend. “In fact, I’d probably say it was the best we’ve played this season.

“We had some good chances, but just couldn’t finish them off.

“It’s fair to say that we were the better team before the sending off. I can see why the referee sent Jack off, but for me it was more of a yellow card.

“To be fair, it was a bit of a feisty game – there were three occasions when it threatened to boil over.

“Even after they scored Andre Williams raced through and lobbed the keeper, but it bounced on the six-yard line and went over.

“I think I turned to Dean (Elston) then and said that felt like it about summed up our time together in the dugout!

“Overall, I’m proud that the lads gave me everything until the end. I still feel like I’ve made the right choice to walk away and wish (new manager) Gary Frost all the best now.

“I’m pleased that I gave the job a go, but it now needs somebody else to bring a few players in and try something different – the league table shows you that.

“I’ll take some time away and enjoy watching some football again.

“I’m not sure if I’ll look to go back into management really, it’s not something I’m spending that much time thinking about now.”

Tigers: Cross, Carter, Barnes, N Jackson, Jack Keeble, Carter, Cook, Wright, Rose, Williams, Eyett, Compton. Subs used: Bell, Wirkowski. Not used: Elston.

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