Holwel hold on to draw as Radford come from behind to snatch a point.
Holwell held on to secure a much needed point as they fought a tough game against Radford.
Match Report 23/01/18
Holwell Sports FC 1 – 1 Radford FC
Holwell had looked good from the start in manager Andy Gray’s first EMCL fixture at Welby Road, the home side looked compact well set up and more lively up front than late. It was good to see Tom Harris back after a lengthy injury period and he stood out with good pace on the right wing.
However it was Radford who had the opening chances as Ravarne Jackson and Conor Moore sent in some centres which Smith should have done better with.
Radford’s Ryan Smith was always busy throughout the game but for the majority of the ninety minutes Holwell’s back four managed to subdue his effect but it was Ryan on 63mins who saved the point for Radford in the end as his looping header went over the outstretched Witham in the Holwell goal.
The game was a bit scrappy as both sides tried to master the very heavy pitch however the home side went in front on 29mins after good work by Liam Chapman on the left who broke clear sending in a low cross which David Hazeldine got to, tapping the ball home putting the home side in front.
Thereafter Holwell controlled the rest of the half with Radford clearly struggling to get to grips in midfield as Stevenson and O’Grady bossed the play supported well by Harris and Chapman on both wings.
It was clearly a different Radford that came out after the break though, at Holwell from the off with greater intensity in their play as they tried to impose themselves and get back into the game.
Holwell did well to stem the flow but for the first period of the second half Radford looked dangerous and Holwell were under the cosh giving away dangerous free kicks on the edge of the box which Radford wasted.
Shaun Smith had a decent opening presented to him on 61mins but at too tight an angle Radford’s keeper Searson-Smithard just managed to get something on the ball to steer it away for a corner. Then again moments later Michael Stevenson looked up to send a great ball over the top for Smith to run onto but he failed to capitalise as Kyle Reek tried to assist but Radford managed to clear.
Radford had become ragged themselves as they chased the match and Holwell looked as though they had weathered all that Radford could throw at them with Bitmead and Woodcock strong at the back.
However Ryan Smith scored the equaliser against the run of play on 63mins as he managed to get his head to a cross from the left, the ball lopping over Jamie Witham in the Holwell goal and settling in the back of the net.
Radford had their tails up now as Holwell again had to dig deep to keep what they had but credit to Holwell as they hung on against a team eight places higher in the league to secure a much needed point. New Manager Gray would maybe consider this was two points dropped rather than a good one gained but the team looked to have improved certainly more lively up front and more secure at the back than of late.
Holwell:- Witham, Wright, Bitmead, Woodcock, Betteridge, Harris, O’Grady, Stevenson, S Smith, Hazeldine(Ambrose), Chapman(Reek). Subs Not Used Reeve, Cowling, B Smith