Kieran Fitzgerald scored a dramatic late winner as Daventry Town came from behind to beat Holbeach United 2-1 in Saturday’s United Counties League clash.
Trailing to Will Bird’s first-half goal, the premier division leaders 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 and Fitzgerald slotted home the late winner.
Fitzgerald was at the heart of most of Town’s good work in the early stages, his cross found Dean Lukeman but the left-back fired over. 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 a 14th minute lead when Jonny Lockie sent a free-kick into 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 when Lockie’s effort from 20 yards out ended just a foot wide of the post. There was an urgency to Town’s play in the second period as they went in search of the equaliser. It arrived in the 58th minute when Dan Childs’ long throw into the area found top scorer Emery, who smashed the ball home from 15 yards out.
That changed the whole momentum of the match and Town ramped 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.
Adam Creaney clipped the ball into the danger zone from a corner and Rico Alexander headed over. At the other end, James Tricks fired wide from just inside the area on a rare Holbeach attack.
But there was little the hosts could do in the 87th minute when Ollie Stanbridge 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. The final stages were seen out with a minimum of fuss on a day when rivals Deeping, Rugby, and Pinchbeck all dropped points.