Holwell come out on top in must win tussle!
Saturday saw Holwell take on bottom side Radcliffe at Welby Road a sure “six pointer” with both teams propping up the EMCL Premier Division.
Holwell Sports FC 3 – 0 Radcliffe Olympic
Saturday saw Holwell take on bottom side Radcliffe at Welby Road a sure “six pointer” with both teams propping up the EMCL Premier Division but it was Holwell surely under the more intense pressure being a team with experienced players who have not managed to get going at all this season.
It was also the first return of ex manager Simon Daws who was given a special welcome by all at Holwell. It was good to see the craggy campaigner still enthusiastically passing on his wealth of experience to a new crop of young players.
All was set for a feisty tussle as Holwell started brightly with Hartopp going close on 7mins from a cross by Hazeldine.
Holwell were well on top but the final ball was hurried with misplaced passes to forwards negating hard work in the build up play. Good work from skipper Ridout on 12mins as he perseveres and gets the ball into Tinsley who knocks on with Nicolas Andrews sending the ball just over with this half chance.
The young players of Radcliffe were really chasing shadows as Holwell dominated play but the home side were just not getting the rub of the green as final balls continued to go astray.
Another chance went missing 36mins as Hartopp does well to play in the marauding Hazeldine but as he breaks into the box the defender pulls him back slightly just enough to evade punishment but enough to allow keeper Eatough to gather the ball but it is clear that Holwell are knocking on the door now.
Holwell really pressed towards the end of the half but Radcliffe were not lying down defending stoutly to keep out Holwell as the ball comes out to Stevenson but his pile driver just goes over the bar.
Hartopp was through on goal on 41mins but chose to cut inside instead of pushing on chance lost as defender recovers.
Holwell looked determined after the break and got straight back into their stride Radcliffe still defending an concede a corner on left as Hazeldine breaks free on left but Eatough manages to turn the ball away for a corner.
Holwell finally break the deadlock as the corner is sent over Hartopp rises at the front post with no marker and heads Holwell in front on 54mins.
Holwell were rampant now and Radcliffe were holding on but the home side went further ahead on the hour mark as Tinsley latches onto a loose ball holds the ball up and as the midfield players run on into the box Tinsley sends the ball to Brad Smith who smashes the ball under Eatough to extend the lead two nil Holwell.
Holwell’s play was top drawer now with Chapman sending a superb cross field ball to Ridout on the right good cross in from the skipper just turned away at the back post by Eatough.
Good ball from Mark Tinsley over to Smith again who plays in Hartopp looking for his second but just missed the target. Chapman called to take free kick 70mins on right edge of eighteen yard box – great delivery over the wall but comes back off the right upright and cleared
Holwell bring on Fontoura 75th min for the industrious Brad Smith to inject fresh legs and pace on right wing.
Three nil and game effectively killed off on 79mins as Chapman scores to cheers from the home crowd as he profits from a loose clearance after another free kick. The ball is cleared back to him and he smashes the ball beyond Eatough.
Returning from injury it was right for manager Webster to replace match winner Chapman with Andrew Wood and centre forward Hartopp with Shaun Smith.
Holwell saw out the match with Radcliffe not offering much resistance in the second half but the young guys in this team showed good spirit and determination in the first half enough to give Holwell something to think about early on.
Holwell fielded a team with the skill and determination needed for such a crunch match with good performances throughout the side.
The back four were solid, midfield strong with Stevenson running the show supported by Brad Smith and, Man of the Match Nicolas Andrews, solid as a rock just in front of the back four breaking up attacks, calmly playing easy balls for Stevenson and Smith to set the front runners away. Whilst up front Tinsley was exceptional in holding the ball up playing in others with fine passes.
Holwell: Binns, Ridout, Bitmead, Woodcock, Hazeldine, B Smith(Fontoura), Stevenson, Andrews, Chapman(Wood), Tinsley, Hartopp(S Smith)Not used A Walker.