Holwell pick Belper’s pockets for three points!
Tremendous performance by Holwell to beat Belper United and belitte their league position!
Holwell Sports FC 1 – 0 Belper United FC
With every match a must win for Holwell as they try to get out of the bottom basement there was added trepidation on Saturday as high flying second place Belper Utd came to Welby Road.
Added to that was the announcement in the week that Holwell’s Manager John Webster had resigned, you could be permitted to think that this was going to be another one of those days!
With injuries to Tinsley and Ridout and Tyler Sibson breaking down in the warm up the squad was a bare minimum eleven plus Luke Underwood returning from injury. Not the best start for Caretaker Ryan Peacock and his Assistant G Wells but with Captain Ridout also in the technical area some good experience to give confidence to the team.
As expected Belper started at pace and play was all one way with Holwell having to defend stoutly in the first ten minutes as both centre forward James Rushby and wingers Tim Adcock and Zakim Evans looked really up for the game.
However it was Holwell who had a half chance first as youngster Kyle Reek saw a goal bound shot from inside the box blocked by Foster.
From this point on Holwell held their own against a strong Belper and though Rushby up front was always a threat it was the normally dependant Rushby that could have opened the scoring on 35mins when completely one on one with Witham but to Holwell’s relief, he sent his shot past the post when it was easier to score.
The second half was much more intense as Belper went at Holwell with wave after wave of attacks. As early as 51mins the visitors had another glorious chance to go ahead as Evans broke in from the right but his cross to the far post was too strong for Adcock coming in and another chance had gone.
Holwell were giving as good as they got however and Chapman was beginning to come to the fore breaking down moves in midfield trying to set the front runners going his cross in on 52mins was met by Reek but his header was weak.
Andre Fontoura also came alive in the second half with strong runs, good footwork beginning to find some space laying off a ball to Michael Stevenson to try one from distance but his shot went high and wide.
Bitmead and Woodcock were back at the centre of defence and were immense seemingly able to cut out or stop anything Belper had to offer with Rushby now a shadow of his first half showing even coming deep to pick up the ball. Where the visitors did get through they had returning keeper Jamie Witham to contend with, and on 60mins he pulled off a great save as Evans broke in from the right sliding the ball to Adam Dring with Witham at full stretch turning his shot away.
Minutes later Witham again with a smart save this time from Dean Oliver as Belper were looking as though they would over run Holwell and again on 65mins Witham did well to get his frame down to his left to turn away a deflection off Woodcock which had goal written all over it. Three great saves that kept Holwell alive!
However Holwell were still able to make some progress forward as Belper started to wain with Fontoura the recipient of some rough tackling which gave Holwell free kicks in and around the edge of the eighteen yard box which unfortunately didn’t amount to anything but they were still very much a threat.
Kyle Reek in particular was sticking to the task with determined back tracking to win the ball back getting in some very timely tackles using his speed to match winger Adcock on the left working well with Reeves on the right to break up attacks and stop the supply to Rushby and Dring.
Stevenson, Randall and Chapman were beginning to get to grips with the midfield now as frustration started to set in for the visitors.
On 68mins Chapman won the ball near the centre circle looked up and sent a ball over the top for Joe Hartopp to battle for. It was his presence and timing that made Foster make a mistake which Hartopp pounced on and as keeper Kennergon advanced Hartopp scored from his one big chance of the afternoon to send the home fans delirious!
Holwell were well and truly on top at this point and though Belper tried to get back into the game their time had run out as the home side defended to the end to secure a much needed win.
As is the case many times in football when a manager leaves a side, for whatever reason, the team picks up a result in the first match after seemingly being able to play with a freedom they had not shown for so many weeks previously.
This was a tremendous performance by Holwell!
Holwell: Witham, Reeves, Bitmead, Woodcock, Hazeldine, Randall, Stevenson, Fontoura (Underwood), Chapman, Reek, Hartopp.