HOLLAND FC assistant manager Calvin Allen hailed the character, spirit and work-rate of his players after watching them book their place in the First Division Knockout Cup semi-finals.

The Eastcliff side eliminated May and Baker 3-1 at the W&S Scaffolding Community Stadium on Tuesday night - despite being reduced to ten men early on following a red card for Jimmy Webb.

Keelan Sorrell and Reuben Mudd, who recently rejoined his former youth club on a work experience loan arrangement from Colchester United, scored to put them 2-0 ahead.

Sonny Bastone coolly added a third after the break before the visitors pulled one back late on thanks to a deflected effort that looped into the net.

"It was an excellent result and fantastic performance," said Allen, who works alongside first-team manager Rob Batten.

"We went down to ten men early on but everyone dug in and worked hard for each other.

"That's what we asked of them and we probably haven't done that enough this season.

"The team spirit was great and I couldn't fault the lads in any way.

"I thought they were brilliant.

"It made it hard for us, only having ten players on the pitch.

"But we dug in and live to fight another day.

"Our recent form has been poor and we needed an injection of confidence.

"The lads were flying in the dressing room afterwards."

Holland, 11th in Thurlow Nunn League division one south, were left without a fixture last weekend following the postponement of their home match against Coggeshall United.

The contest was called off because of a waterlogged pitch.

Ironically, their next league match is against Tuesday's opponents, although this time at May and Baker.

"They're a good side and Tuesday's match was similar to our league game against them in October, although on that occasion we scored a couple of late goals to win 4-2," added Allen.

"They're a strong side, though, so it was really pleasing to beat them in the cup.

"Hopefully we can take that same mentality in Saturday's game."

Holland handed a first start to goalkeeper Mitchell Potter, who has just joined from Coggeshall.

"Mitchell had a great debut," said Allen.

"Unfortunately we've got three or four keepers out at the moment so we had to bring someone else in.

"It's a real bonus because he's an excellent keeper."