St Ives Town beat Holbeach United to keep their promotion dreams alive

GOALSCORER: Karl Gibbs, here playing earlier in the season, scored a brilliant goal in the 2-0 win o

GOALSCORER: Karl Gibbs, here playing earlier in the season, scored a brilliant goal in the 2-0 win over Holbeach United. Picture: Gemma Thompson. - Credit: Archant

ST Ives Town took another step towards promotion on Tuesday night when they beat the United Counties League champions Holbeach United 2-0 at Westwood Road.

That result, coupled with Spalding United’s 5-1 defeat of Cogenhoe United on the same night, means the Saints are crucially still four points clear of their Lincolnshire promotion rivals, who have a game in hand.

St Ives survived a scare on Saturday when they lost 3-1 at home to Newport Pagnell Town with Spalding also losing their game against Stewarts & Lloyds 2-0 in Corby, so all eyes will be on Twitter tonight to see what happens when Spalding go to Wellingborough Town to bring them level on games played.

Saints beat Holbeach – who at times looked lacklustre after winning the title over the weekend – with two brilliant goals from their two strikers.

Dom Lawless found the bottom corner with a powerful shot past two defenders in the first half, and Karl Gibbs lobbed the goalkeeper with a delightful left-footed shot midway through the second after his first shot had been blocked and he had been forced out wide to try his luck from a tight angle.

“It was a bit better than Saturday,” said joint manager Jez Hall with a smile on his face. “We put in a good performance today because Jimmy Dean is ill and Will Fordham pulled up in the warm-up so we had a bit of a late reshuffle.

“But to be fair, Stuart Cobb, David Cobb and Dan Bannister, who all played at full back for us today, did really well.”

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After running the London Marathon on Sunday, left back Jamie Alsop was unavailable. With Jordan Lambert moving to centre back for Fordham, so Cobb S started the game at right back and Cobb D at left back. Bannister began on the wing before David Cobb was later forced from the field with an injury.

“It was a really good defensive performance where we have made no mistakes, and Lee Ellison and Aaron Last in the middle of the park fought their socks off,” said Hall. “And the front two really worked hard. In 72 hours you couldn’t see two more different performances.

“If we had done that on Saturday we would have been all right. It was a real top performance from us.”

Next for the Saints is the visit of Huntingdon Town, who they beat 5-0 on April 1, but who they have also lost twice to this season, in the FA and Hunts Senior cups.

It’ll be another tough game for Hall and Warren Everdell’s team who will still have two more games to play after that, against Yaxley and Shepshed Dynamo.

“I know they [Huntingdon] have the Senior Cup final later in the week but I am sure they’ll come and play a full-strength team,” said Hall. “It’ll be another really tough battle.

“We played well over there last time but they gave us a hammering the time before when we didn’t turn up. So we will have to make sure we are fully on it and ready for a game against a really good side.”

For his part, Huntingdon manager Ricky Marheineke, who watched the Saints beat Holbeach, says he will beef up his midfield with the inclusion of former St Ives player Jamie Blackwell.

“We won’t let them bully us like they did last time,” he told The Hunts Post.