Five star Glapwell shatter Shepshed
Glapwell scored five first half goals as they powered their way past second-bottom Shepshed Dynamo with a more than comfortable win at the Dovecote Stadium.
The final score will say 5-0 but in all fairness it could and probably should have been more as Glapwell created chance after chance in the first half in what was, undoubtedly, the performance of the season so far.
There was one change to Glapwell’s starting line-up from the 1-0 win over Stamford with Chris Timons replacing Matt Telling who was unavailable. Adam Walker reverted to his familiar role in centre midfield.
Glapwell were looking to avoid Shepshed doing a league double over them following Dynamo’s victory at Hall Corner a fortnight ago.
And right from the beginning of the game it never looked in doubt and Glapwell created the first chance of the game after only four minutes. Matt Varley played a one-two with Michael Harcourt and got a cross in from the right to Evan Garnett who missed his kick when he looked likely to score.
But Glapwell were playing some really good football and a fast flowing team move resulted in Ian Holmes’ header being blocked by Sam Carter in front of goal.
The home team couldn’t get a foot in the game early on and Glapwell had another good chance to take the lead on ten minutes when Harcourt played a great ball up the line to Holmes who should have done better as he fired straight at Shepshed keeper Gavin Saxby from the edge of the area.
However, they didn’t have to wait too much longer as they, deservedly, took the lead after 12 minutes. Matt Varley played a good ball through to Evan Garnett who turned away from a defender and hit a shot from 15 yards that trickled into the net off the hand of Saxby.
It was Garnett’s first senior goal and gave Glapwell a great platform on which to build. But he could have added a second just two minutes later as he flicked the ball wide from Damian Magee’s in-swinging free-kick.
The home team were forced to wait 14 minutes until they got anywhere near the Glapwell goal but their afternoon was summed up by Steve Shannon’s shot from 30 yards that was well wide.
And Glapwell kept up the pressure on the home side’s goal and another chance quickly followed as Varley’s long throw was flicked on by Ian Brown into the path of Ian Holmes who turned and hit a shot from the edge of the area but he was always leaning back as his shot ballooned over.
Shepshed briefly got up a head of steam as they searched for an equaliser and they had an half chance to level but Jay-Lee Hodgson’s volley went out for a throw. However, they had a big chance to equalise on 20 minutes as Ricky Hanson burst through the defence far too easily before seeing his shot palmed away by Lindley who had been a virtual spectator up to this point.
But the home side were quickly left to rue this missed chance as Glapwell doubled their lead on 29 minutes. Ian Brown did well down the right hand side before getting in a cross that was perfect for Ian Holmes to head home unmarked from eight yards as Glapwell, effectively, killed the game off.
This began another prolonged spell of Glapwell pressure and they furthered their advantage just two minutes later when Brown’s sliced shot went out right to Damian Magee who comprehensively beat a defender before pulling the ball back to Brown who had a simple finish from 10 yards as he slotted the ball into the bottom corner.
Glapwell’s domination at this point really was unbelievable and they could have gone four goals in front when James Lindley’s sliced goal-kick fell to Harcourt who put in a fantastic cross to the back post where Ian Brown just clipped his shot over.
And Brown had another chance just a minute later as Holmes played him in and although he saw his shot saved by Gavin Saxby the ball squirmed towards the goal before it was headed behind by Michael Hewitt.
But from the resulting corner Glapwell scored again. Harcourt’s set-piece was met by Matt Varley’s powerful header that flew into the net from 15 yards.
It was quickly beginning to look like a case of how many goals Glapwell would get as they looked like scoring every time they went forward. And from Harcourt’s quick throw Brown could have added another goal but his shot was blocked at the near post.
Harcourt was involved again on 40 minutes as he kept the ball in on the byline and pulled the ball back to Ian Holmes whose shot was blocked at the near post by Saxby. And from Harcourt’s resulting corner Holmes’ flicked header was cleared off the line at the far post.
Glapwell were now enjoying total domination as half-time approached and they added a fifth goal just before the break. Harcourt’s throw picked out Brown who flicked the ball through to Holmes who brilliantly chipped the ball over a defender before coolly slotting the ball under Saxby from six yards for his 32nd league goal of the season and 36th overall.
Glapwell really didn’t want half-time to come at this point but the interval was exactly what the hosts needed to try and compose themselves.
There were three changes at the break, two for the hosts. Max Pembleton and Ashley Civil were brought on in place of Elliott Atkin and Steve Shannon. The other change was one to the officials as one of the referee’s assistants pulled up injured and was replaced by Glapwell director Bill Taylor who was a referee previously and also ran the line under similar circumstances at Stamford last season.
The second period started slower than the first with Glapwell content to keep the ball but they didn’t really look like adding to their advantage. The first chance of the second half did, though, fall to Glapwell on 54 minutes as Evan Garnett’s attempted through ball fell perfectly for Ian Holmes who could only shoot tamely at Saxby as he went in search of his hat-trick.
But Shepshed were handed a big chance to get themselves on the score-sheet just before the hour as the referee gave them a penalty. Dan Starbuck switched the ball out to substitute Ashley Civil who had his heels clipped by Glapwell keeper James Lindley as he turned away from goal. But Lindley quickly redeemed himself by saving Jay-Lee Hodgson’s penalty with his feet.
While Glapwell were not playing near the standard of the first half they put together another good team move on 72 minutes that nearly resulted in another goal. The ball quickly went from the left touchline to the right where Harcourt whipped in a cross to the back post where Ian Brown headed just over the bar from 10 yards.
It was Brown’s final act of the afternoon as he was replaced by Alan O’Hare with 15 minutes remaining. O’Hare was quickly involved in the action as he played a great ball to Evan Garnett who cut back and shot from the edge of the area but, unfortunately, it was straight at Gavin Saxby.
The home side could have got themselves a consolation with five minutes remaining as Civil got down the left side and cut the ball back to Max Pembleton who sliced his shot just past the far post from the edge of the area.
But the final chance of the game fell to Glapwell in the final minute of the game. Adam Kimberley did brilliantly to beat a couple of defenders before squaring the ball to Harcourt whose shot was deflected up in the air to Holmes who saw his header tipped over the bar by Saxby.
However, there was no denying Glapwell the victory that they fully deserved for a brilliant performance, particularly in the first half. They remain in ninth place on 68 points, six points outside the play-offs with three games remaining.
But they do still have an outside chance of sneaking into the play-offs. A win on Tuesday night would move Glapwell to within three points of the top five going into the final two fixtures and with a few of the play-off chasers meeting each other next Saturday anything could happen.
If they still harbour any hopes of claiming a play-off place they know they need to earn three points on Tuesday night when they make the trip to second-placed Newcastle Town who denied Barwell the chance of winning the title on Saturday with a 4-1 victory over the leaders.
They then return to Hall Corner next Saturday for the final home game of the season against Derbyshire rivals Belper Town, 3pm.
Match report written by Paul Hepworth
Goals : Garnett (Glapwell) 12; Holmes (Glapwell) 29; Brown (Glapwell) 31; Varley (Glapwell) 37; Holmes (Glapwell) 43
Shepshed : Saxby, S Carter, Wilson, J Carter, Hewitt, Whyley, Starbuck (Leggitt 79), Hanson, Shannon, Hodgson (Civil H/T), Atkin (Pembleton H/T). Subs not used : Brewer, Dean
Glapwell : Lindley, Harcourt, Magee, Varley, Kennedy, Timons, Kimberley, Walker, Holmes, Brown (O’Hare 74), Garnett. Subs not used : Gee, Shelley
Glapwell Man of the Match : Ian Holmes
Referee : Robert Lovegrove MBE (Redditch)
Yellow Cards : Civil (Shepshed) 60; Harcourt (Glapwell) 64
Attendance : 91