Holwell Sports 0 Stapenhill 4
By Wes Yardley
Swans make it 4 wins on the spin
TOM Liversage struck a fine double as Stapenhill made it four wins on the bounce with victory over Holwell Sports.
Lewis Campbell was also on target at a rain-soaked Welby Lane, while an own goal from Sports defender Tom Hallam completed the scoring.
Despite struggling for form in the East Midlands Counties League Premier Division, Holwell started well, and a shaky moment from the Swans' defence let in Julian Joachim – but the former Premier League striker saw his shot blocked.
Joachim then released Graham Wells, only for Paul Furniss to produce a superb sliding tackle to end the chance.
The visitors responded with Joe Swift finding Niall Dawkins, the winger failing to beat Sports keeper Carlton Cropper.
Moments later, Cropper was in action again, pulling off a decent save from Alex Britton's shot.
There was little between the teams at this stage – but the hosts should have opened the scoring after eight minutes.
Michael Stevenson and Matt Lowe combined to send Wells down the right, who drove possession across the six-yard box to Lowe, his touch brilliantly denied by Bullock's reflex save.
The Swans keeper then produced another good stop from Wells' effort moments later.
Their profligacy was punished on 15 minutes, when the Swans chose to go route one and went ahead.
Austin hit a terrific ball over the Holwell back line to Liversage, who took a sublime first touch, eased past a retreating defender and coolly guided his effort into the bottom corner.
That moment turned the tide in the favour of Steve Gough's side, Cropper first denying Alex Rowland and then foiling the busy Liversage.
Back came the hosts, with Stevenson sending Lowe clear – but Gilligan read the danger and got across to snuff out the danger.
Sports kept going, with a wicked low cross driven in by Alex Purkis reaching Ian Wells, Bullock refusing to be beaten.
And minutes later, Gough's men doubled their lead.
Gilligan picked out Campbell, who easily beat a half-hearted offside trap to get behind the home defence and lisde the ball past the advancing Cropper.
It should have been three just after.
Campbell again played his part, surging clear before whipping in a low cross that skidded across to Liversage, whose touch sent it wide.
Stapenhill were indebted to Bullock when went through one-on-one, the Swans keeper again equal to it with a fine save.
The Swans responded in kind, with Ellerton hitting Campbell to drive inches wide, and then the roles reversed as Ellerton failed to beat Cropper.
In first-half added time, Campbell's shot was beaten out to Liversage, whose follow up went for a corner.
In steadily worsening conditions – with incessant rain pouring down – the pitch began to cut up badly in the second half.
That did not seem to hinder the Swans though, who adapted well and increased their lead in the 56th minute.
Britton crossed to Liversage, who took a touch before finding the bottom corner with a good finish.
Holwell seemed to lose a little heart after that strike, Gough's side taking control.
Dawkins and Gilligan both went close, the latter getting a little carried away at the end of a flowing move by blazing wildly over.
The pressure continued, Dawkins again involved as he fired over from Campbell.
The hosts should have notched a consolation on 75 minutes when full-back Purkis picked out Gary Drake, the unmarked substitute scooping it off target.
And two minutes from time, Liversage's cross caused chaos in the box, and an attempted clearance ricocheted off defender Hallam and flew into the net to complete a miserable afternoon for the hosts.
GOALS: Liversage 15, 56, Campbell 32, Hallam (og) 88 (Stapenhill).
HOLWELL SPORTS: Cropper, Barnard, Purkis, Hallam, Bitmead, Daws, I. Wells (Harris 57), Stevenson, G. Wells, Joachim, Lowe (Drake 73). Subs not used: Anderton, Routen.
STAPENHILL: Bullock, Gilligan, Swift, Ellerton, Austin, Furniss (Bromley 83), Rowland, Britton, Campbell, Liversage, Dawkins (S. Gough 80).
STAR MAN: Paul Furniss – Defender shackled Sports' experienced front pair superbly.
REFEREE: R. Whittaker (Loughborough).