East Midlands Counties League: Holwell Sports hit Holbrook for six

Laithan Hammond has six league goals to his name since joining Holwell this season EMN-161114-091035002
Laithan Hammond has six league goals to his name since joining Holwell this season EMN-161114-091035002
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Holwell Sports bounced back from their disappointing run in spectacular fashion with a six-goal show at Holbrook on Saturday.

John Webster’s squad was stretched to the limit with suspensions and injuries and the task of improving a run of seven?? defeats in nine?? looked a tall order.

Kieran Foster also made it six for the season with the goal of the game EMN-161114-091630002

Kieran Foster also made it six for the season with the goal of the game EMN-161114-091630002

The early exchanges were even with both sides feeling their way into the game.

It seemed the first goal in this game was going to be important, and within the opening 10 minutes both keepers were forced into good saves.

Holwell keeper Jamie Witham had to tip a fierce drive over his crossbar, and moments later he pulled off a fine save low to his right.

But it was the visitors who made the breakthrough after 17 minutes when Michael Stevenson’s fine ball out wide found Tom Harris.

The pacy youngster drove at the Holbrook right-back before laying a clever cutback for Laithan Hammond to smash home at the near post.

Two more chances were created in quick succession with Stevenson heading just wide of the far post, and Hammond also shooting wide following a good cross from Kieran Foster.

The visitors were looking very strong as their defence broke up Holbrook’s advances and allowed the midfield and forwards to dominate.

After 26 minutes David Reeves sent Graham Wells away down the right who beat his marker and squared for Hammond to drive in his second of the game.

Two minutes later Foster went close with a shot after good work by Harris and Hammond to carve out the opening.

On the half-hour it was 3-0 when Wells was fouled 25 yards out, and Foster curled a fantastic free-kick into the top left corner.

Holwell were flying and more great work by Wells teed up Hammond for his hat-trick.

A strong defensive performance was called for in the second half with Holwell now having to play up the slope, and they were told to be patient going forward and wait for chances as Holbrook chased the game.

The hosts threw everything at Holwell’s defence who held firm, and when Holbrook did find a way through, keeper Witham dealt with everything.

And it was Holwell who went further ahead after 67 minutes when Brad Smith won a great challenge in midfield and sent a through ball to Hammond. He in turn found Wells whose calm finish made it 5-0.

Smith, making only his fifth appearance of the season due to injury, made way for Joe Williams.

Holbrook then opened their account when a left-wing cross was met at the far post by Simeon Lawrence whose well-placed header gave Witham no chance.

Holwell kept going forward and the lively David Hazeldine had two chances within minutes of coming on for Harris, smashing one over the bar, before forcing Holbrook’s keeper to save at full-stretch.

Hazeldine did have the final word near the end of the game when Hammond turned his marker and unselfishly squared for the substitute to fire in a right-foot shot to cap a fantastic away performance.

Holwell: J. Witham, D. Reeves, A. Ridout, I. Bitmead, L. Chapman, K. Foster, M. Stevenson, B. Smith (J. Williams 69), T. Harris (D. Hazeldine 75), G. Wells, L. Hammond.