East Midlands Counties League: Holwell Sports 2-1 Greenwood Meadows

Liam Chapman scored Holwell's winner against Greenwood

Liam Chapman scored Holwell's winner against Greenwood

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After their midweek FA Cup heroics, it was back to league action for Holwell as they struggled to break down bottom side Greenwood Meadows.

The win propelled Holwell up from 12th to sixth, and within four points of leaders Ashby Ivanhoe, but the hosts knew Greenwood would prove a difficult obstacle to overcome after the exertions of midweek.

Manager Simon Daws brought in Tom Harris for Ian Bitmead, while Harry Stannard was missing from the squad after the recurrence of a back injury.

Holwell may have been excused for a slow start, but Michael Stevenson opened the scoring after only two minutes, linking up with Liam Chapman and Julian Joachim before neatly sliding the ball past the keeper.

But Holwell let the perfect start go to waste. A watertight defence which had conceded just three goals in six games allowed Cross a free header from a free kick to level after only five minutes.

This gave Greenwood the belief they craved, but despite endeavour and enthusiasm they failed to create further chances and had their goalkeeper to thank for keeping the scores level.

Despite not living up to the high standards set this season, the hosts created chance after chance.

Graham Wells saw his effort from six yards smash straight into the diving keeper’s face, and moments later was foiled again when racing one-on-one with the keeper.

Chapman saw his effort slide past the post with the keeper beaten before Joachim steered a shot goalwards, but a full-stretch dive and strong hand tipped his effort round the post.

Joachim crossed for Wells whose header was again saved before the former Leicester man saw another goalbound effort steered to safety.

The final chance of what had become a frustrating half fell to Wells who lost his footing as he looked set to strike.

The second half continued in the same vein with Holwell pressing. Chris Hibbitt headed Chapman’s corner towards the top corner, but again the keeper clawed it away.

Chapman finally found a route past the inspired keeper at the second time of asking after his first effort was saved to restore the lead.

Holwell continued to press, but midweek’s efforts began to take their toll and Daws introduced fresh legs.

The remainder of the game was seen out without much trouble, but Richard Stainsby had to make a full-length diving save down to his left in the dying moments.

Holwell continue their FA Cup adventure on Saturday when they host Evo Stik Southern League side Bedworth United in the first qualifying round at Welby Road (ko 3pm).

Holwell: Stainsby, Foster, Hallam (Bitmead 65), Ridout, Marshall, Harris (Smith 75), Stevenson, Hibbitt, Chapman, Joachim, Wells (Copson 80).