Kieran Fitzgerald scored a dramatic late winner as we came from behind to beat Holbeach United, at Carters Park, on Saturday afternoon.
Trailing to Will Bird’s first-half goal, we worked tirelessly after the interval to find a way back into the game, levelling it up when Luke Emery marked his first goal since a return from suspension with just over half hour remaining.
But we weren’t finished there, Fitzgerald rising to the occasion to slot home in the 87th minute, and complete the comeback against a tough Holbeach side.
Fitzgerald was at the heart of most of our good work in the early stages, as his cross found Dean Lukeman, but the left back fired over on ten minutes. It was fierce battle for much of the half with both teams barely having a sight of goal in the opening period, but the hosts stole the lead on 14 minutes.
Jonny Lockie sent a free kick in to the edge of the six-yard box, and Bird got the crucial touch to send the ball over the line with Lustin Cerga stranded.
Holbeach grew in confidence and the best chance of the first half fell to the Tigers a few minutes later, when Lockie’s effort from 20 yards out ended just a foot wide of the post. We went in behind at the break.
There was an urgency to our play in the second period as we went in search of the equaliser. It arrived on 58 minutes when Dan Childs’ dangerous long throw into the area found Luke Emery, who cut through a number of defenders with the ball running kindly, and our top scorer smashed home from 15 yards out.
That changed the whole momentum of the match and we were now really ramping up the intensity, although the visitors changed their approach as well and were pushing and pressing far more than they had done for most of the second half.
On 63 minutes, Adam Creaney clipped the ball into the danger zone from a corner, Rico Alexander headed over. While at the other end, ex-Purple Army striker James Tricks fired wide from just inside the area on a rare Holbeach attack.
But there was little they could do in the 87th minute when Ollie Standbridge won the ball in the middle of the park, and clipped over a pass to the right hand side which Fitzgerald met due to Tom Smith’s slip. Sprinting towards goal, the winger buried his effort into the far corner of the on rushing Ricky Drury’s goal. Cue wild celebrations from the player, his team-mates and all the away fans inside Carters Park.
The final stages were seen out with a minimum of fuss and we collected what could be three huge points in a day which Deeping, Rugby, and Pinchbeck all dropped points.
With only 4 points to collect with 4 games remaining leaves us within touching distance of the United Counties League Premier Division title. A bumper crowd is expected this weekend and the title could be wrapped up this Saturday, when Peterborough Northern Star come to Elderstubbs.
If Deeping Rangers fail to pick up the maximum rewards while hosting Harborough Town, the chase will be finally over.
Holbeach 1-2 Daventry
Holbeach: Drury, Ford, Smith, Braithwaite, Clay, Jackson, Bird, Tinkler, Tricks, Davies, Lockie. Substitutes (not used): Avis, Harker, Smith, Hamilton.
Daventry: Cerga, Childs, Lukeman, Harris (c), Alexander, Confue, Fitzgerald, McGowan (Stanbridge 62), Emery (Anaytious 92), Creaney, Orosz (Jackson 92). Substitutes (not used): Finley.
Goals: Holbeach – Bird 14; Town – Emery 58, Fitzgerald 87.
Yellow Cards: Holbeach – Lockie (Dissent), Ford (Foul); Town – Lukeman (Dissent)
|Holbeach United FC||1||Loss|
|Daventry Town FC||2||Win|
|April 6, 2019||3:00 pm||United Counties League||2019||90'|