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Uppingham Town make winning start to Peterborough League Premier Division campaign after victory over Holbeach United Reserves

Newly-promoted Uppingham Town made a winning start to their Peterborough League Premier Division campaign with a 3-1 home success over Holbeach United Reserves on Saturday.

A first half spot kick from James Howe was backed by a brace from Rob Forster in the second period to ensure victory for manager Ryan Hunnings in his first competitive match at the Town helm.

The victory came despite the blow of losing last season's top scorer Rob Montgomery who suffered a knee injury at the start of pre-season.

Uppingham Town are pictured before Saturday's victory over Holbeach United Reserves. (15115298)
Uppingham Town are pictured before Saturday's victory over Holbeach United Reserves. (15115298)

Montgomery, who netted 25 goals last term as Town took second spot in Division One, is expected to return by the end of the month.

Hunnings said: "It was a great result for us on Saturday. Holbeach are an experienced Peterborough League Premier Division side and, if you don't show up against them, they'll turn you over.

"But we controlled the pace and the tempo of the game and we're up and running in what is a new league for us.

"This shows that we can compete. We've got some big targets for the year and hopefully we can achieve them.

"Rob's injury had changed the whole of our pre-season. We had to change our whole formation and the way that we played.

"It's a big loss for us, but it will be like having a new signing when he's back at the end of the month.

"It's put a bit more pressure on Rob Forster, but he's loving it. He's done really well up there on his own since the first game of pre-season.

"He scored two cracking goals on Saturday and was brilliant for us."

Uppingham handed a start to new signings Ash Hibbitt and Charlie Dalby from Oakham United as well as Corey Wildman who has joined from S&L Corby.

Fellow S&L Corby recruit Corey Bowden was also on the bench alongside Ben Easson who is dual registered with Town and United Counties League side Blackstones.

Town had the strong wind at their backs in the opening period and Howe's penalty, after a foul on Forster, ensured they held a one-goal lead at the break.

Forster, who caused Holbeach problems all game with his pace and trickery, then doubled the lead after the break with a superb strike into the bottom corner from 35 yards.

The in-form Town frontman then added his second and Uppingham's third before Holbeach scored a consolation late on when Louis Steadman beat the offside trap to latch onto a long ball over the top and slot home past the advancing Tom Hubbard.

Hunnings added: "We had a young and inexperienced defence, but they did fantastically well and conceding the goal late on was the only disappointment."

Uppingham will be aiming to continue their winning run when they entertain near neighbours Oakham United at Tods Piece on Tuesday night (6.30pm kick-off).

The match will see ex-Oakham boss Hunnings and several former United players take on their old club in an intriguing derby duel.

Oakham have yet to pick up a point from their opening two games after a defeat to Parson Drove - which is currently still the subject of a league investigation - and a 1-0 home reversal to reigning champions Moulton Harrox on Saturday.

Hunnings said: "It's a big one for us. There's obviously a bit of spice to the game with myself and a few of players having been at Oakham.

"Stewart Lambie did a fantastic job of stabilising the ship at Oakham last season and we know they've played two of the title favourites in their first two games.

"But we've not been in this position for a while where we can jest that, as we're higher in the table than them at the moment, we're in a better position going into the game."

Uppingham: Hubbard, Dalby, Bains, Henshaw, Hibbitt, Howe, Mullineaux, O’Berg, Thomas, Wildman, R Forster. Subs used: Easson, Lavey. Not used: Bowden, J Forster, Owers.

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