Holbeach boss Phil Barnes. Photo by KEN SMITH

Holbeach United boss Barnes opts to take the positives despite opening day defeat

Anstey Nomads 1
Holbeach United 2

Holbeach United suffered a surprise 2-1 defeat at Anstey Nomads on the opening day of the season – but boss Phil Barnes admits that there were plenty of positives to take.

The Uhsport UCL Premier Division season started brightly enough for the Tigers when Spencer Tinkler nodded them into a fourth-minute lead.

But Cole Wildin levelled eight minutes later with an impressive volley, before Michael Reeve netted the winner soon after at Callingtons Community Complex.

Holbeach felt they should have been awarded a penalty in the second half when Josh Ford’s cross appeared to be handled in the area.

But Barnes refused to blame the defeat on the officials, instead opting to take the positives from what was otherwise a promising performance in his first league game in charge.

“I felt we deserved at least a draw from the game,” said the Tigers chief. “It was all us in the second half and we had a few good opportunities.

“We probably should have had a penalty too, but I don’t really want to focus on that.

“I thought we started very well and Spencer scored a good header really early on. They came back at us and took their chances to go ahead.

“But the way we responded to going behind was really encouraging and I certainly see that as a big positive despite the result.

“It’s obviously a shame to lose the first league game of the season, but I’m certainly not feeling downbeat or despondent.

“We have plenty to build on and the lads are all feeling positive, as am I.”

Holbeach host Deeping Rangers on Wednesday night (7.45pm) before a home FA Cup clash with Sheffield FC on Saturday (3pm).

Tigers: Drury, Wilson, T Smith, Dougill (W Barnes), Fairweather, Tinkler, Lockie, Jackson (Finlay), Frew, J Smith, J Elston (Ford).

Att: 150.

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