Holbeach United: Remember Them?

Holbeach United: Ricky Drury Scores

Holbeach United: Ricky Drury Scores

Boro’ have taken on their fair share of opponents down the years and some of those teams have simply been no more than passing acquaintances, while there are others that have become – well – annoyingly familiar. For all the many times we’ve faced teams like Woking, there have been rare match-ups too. So, we’re asking, where do Holbeach United stand in the grand scheme of things?

Holbeach United: Us And Them

It’s been a long, long time since Stevenage Borough last rattled The Tigers’ cage. It’s more than three decades, to be not-so-precise – and that’s enough water under the bridge to have Noah reaching for the keys to his floating zoo once again. And though we came up against Holbeach on just nine occasions in total, by heavens there were some hefty and bruising blows landed on both sides.

Boro’s 1981 rise to the United Counties League Premier Division put us in the path of the Lincolnshire lads for the first time – and we got the ball rolling with a three-goal romp at Broadhall Way. It started a trend too. With the exception of a hugely rare draw at their gaff in 1983, it was accepted that we’d win comprehensively to nil at our place and they’d do the same at theirs.

After six league meetings and another in the United Counties League cup, the head-to-head was all square: three wins apiece and that draw, with ten goals to us and nine to them. After we left The Tigers and the rest of the UCL behind in 1984, we still couldn’t avoid them – paired with them in both the FA Cup and FA Vase preliminary rounds. In just four months, we were out of sight…

It appears Boro’ went through a remarkable transformation that summer. We made our UCL exit with our tails between our legs – Holbeach putting three past us on the final day of the 1983-4 campaign. And they could have been forgiven for thinking they had a decent chance of repeating the trick after being paired with us in the FA Cup barely four months down the line.

Jim Beech bagged four of Boro’s eight goals in that cup clash. It was the club’s second biggest win of all time to that point and still stands out as our joint third biggest ever. And then, a month later in the FA Vase, we put another five past the Holbeach defence – and then trundled off into the sunset, never to meet them again. As parting shots go, that was a big old loud-fizzy-bang-bang-pop.

Since then, we’ve done what we’ve done and Holbeach United remain in the United Counties League Premier Division. They went on to win the title three times since, but moved neither up nor down the pyramid. That said, they do share a unique quirk with us this season – because it seems whatever Jesse Joronen can do for us, The Tigers’ own stopper Ricky Drury can do even better…

BoroGuide’s Holbeach United club profile – for old time’s sake…

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BoroGuide runs the show around here, and has done since that glorious summer of 2002. We're not sure why it was so glorious; maybe it's the delirum of reliving David Seaman watching Ronald Eeeeenyo's lob drift over him. That and Boro' reaching the FAT final at Villa Park – not Wembley.


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