It was a win Jim but not as we know it!
Plucky Radcliffe fail to make headway in reversed fixture at Holwell.
Radford Olympic 0 – 2 Holwell Sports
Holwell were given home advantage on Saturday as this tie was switched from Radcliffe’s ground when it was clear yet another match at the The Recreation Ground, Wharf Lane, where Radcliffe play their home matches had to be cancelled due to the high water table and the Trent causing that ground to be waterlogged.
That said with home advantage the home side got off to a poor start with Radcliffe finding themselves being given two big chances within the first five minutes as Holwell looked all at sea. Radcliffe’s James Longridge missing an absolute sitter on three minutes as he sliced his shot well wide with half an open goal in front of him.
However Holwell did begin to understand why they were there and did well to fashion a corner on 7mins as Kyle Reek did well on the left beating full back Purkis with ease. The corner was taken by Reek and after some pin ball in the box Keeper Eatough did well to gather a shot from Tinsley.
Holwell were on the front foot now and from a free kick taken by Betteridge from the right Nicholas Andrews came close to opening the scoring on 12mins as his header went just wide.
Another slick move by Holwell four minutes later started by keeper Witham saw Sam Wright advance down the right sending Tinsley away he controlled the ball before playing in Kyle Reek who shot straight at Eatough in goal.
But Holwell were knocking on the door now as first Bitmead then Reek had half chances as the half progressed to the mid-point.
Radcliffe were still competing and Jake Towers came close on 28mins as Toby Wildig had worked hard to make an opening for the visitors.
Holwell went straight up the park from this with a good move from defence to forwards and took the lead on 30mins as Mark Cowling finished off the move with a crisp shot in off the post after a good ball in from Reek.
Holwell were by far the better of the two sides in the first half but plucky Radcliffe were still making some chances to keep the home side honest.
Cowling having now scored for Holwell three matches in a row was seeing a lot of the ball up front and again went close after the restart but again keeper Eatough did well to thwart the chance.
Holwell scythed through the Radcliffe midfield and defence in a great move on 55mins finished off by Mark Tinsley but the goal was disallowed as Tinsley had strayed offside.
Holwell nearly extended their lead on 65mins as Ben Betteridge sent over a long cross from the left which eluded all to come back off the far post only to bizarrely go back across in front of goal before being hastily cleared by a defenders boot.
Holwell were better money for their play in the second half but still could not kill the game off until yet another good move up the right wing on 72mins. David Hazeldine picked up the ball and sent Tinsley off into the right channel. He played in Mark Cowling who managed to outstrip a defender before slotting the ball in the net low down to Eatough’s left.
As the game had seemingly gone for Radcliffe, Holwell were now clearly in full control as Cowling saw big headlines for his hat trick on 83mins as he acrobatically attempted to meet with another Kyle Reek cross but his volley went over the bar.
A win is a win however Radcliffe made Holwell work hard for the three points as all league teams now go into a ridiculous schedule of four games in seven days until the fixture back log is completed Holwell away to Birstall Tuesday, Barrow Town Thursday before a home match versus Holbrook on Saturday.
Holwell:- Witham, Wright, Bitmead, Nicholas, Betteridge, Hazeldine, O’Grady, B Smith(Ambrose), Reek, Cowling(S Smith), Tinsley( Cragg)