FA Cup: Holwell Sports brush aside Ellistown and Ibstock challenge

Julian Joachim looks on as Graham Wells puts Holwell ahead against Bingham
Julian Joachim looks on as Graham Wells puts Holwell ahead against Bingham

Holwell Sports booked an away trip to former Senior League rivals Kirby Muxloe as they eased through their opening FA Cup assignment at out-of-sorts Ellistown.

Former Leicester City star Julian Joachim looked a class apart, and inspired his team-mates to a fluent, high-quality display.

There was bad news for Holwell manager Simon Daws before kick-off when skipper Michael Stevenson withdrew through illness.

Seventeen-year-old Tom Harris was drafted into midfield for his first senior start and Aaron Ridout took the captain’s armband.

Holwell were ahead within eight minutes when goalkeeper Marc Radforth allowed Liam Chapman’s innocuous-looking shot slip through his grasp and into the net.

Graham Wells shot inches wide two minutes later after a pacey run and pinpoint cross from Joachim, but minutes later Ellistown had a great chance to level.

Lee Hillier nicked the ball past keeper Richard Stainsby as he rushed out to clear a long ball, but Kieran Foster raced back to deflect the goalbound shot out for a corner.

Joachim’s pace and threat troubled Ellistown throughout the half, and in the 19th minute he raced on to Dean Cropson’s neat through ball to drill a powerful low finish across Radforth into the far corner.

Buoyant Holwell were well on top, but they were caught out by another long ball. Ridout did just enough to put off Hillier with an empty net beckoning after good work from Alex Roberts.

Just after the half-hour, Holwell benefitted again from defensive mishaps. Wells easily dispossessed centre-half Joe Clayton and toyed with Radforth before slotting the ball in from 15 yards.

Joachim dinked a shot just over after another menacing run, teed up by Liam Chapman, and in injury time, Holwell somehow missed the target when a free kick - won by excellent persistence from Wells - was drilled across the face of goal.

Any slim hopes of a home fightback were flattened just five minutes into the second half when Wells raced on to a ball through the middle.

Taking advantage of a kind bounce he eased past Clayton and outmuscled the advancing Radforth to roll the ball into an empty net.

Three minutes later Chris Hibbitt placed a header against the post from Chapman’s corner and then saw a shot deflected just over as Holwell ran riot against the demoralised hosts.

Joachim was enjoying himself and flicked a low free kick behind his head to the back post. The ball was headed back across the face of goal towards Joachim’s run, but good defensive work denied him a certain goal.

Ellistown’s miserable afternoon was capped midway through the half when another blunder gifted Harris a deserved debut goal.

A fine energetic display was rewarded when Radforth somehow turned the midfielder’s harmless looking cross-come-shot into his own net at the near post.

With the game well and truly done, both managers rang the changes, sparking an impressive cameo from Ellistown sub Zac Yusuf.

His deft touch and pace created a golden chance which he somehow failed to take from four yards.

Holwell: R. Stainsby, K. Foster, D. Marshall, A. Ridout, I. Bitmead, C. Hibbitt, T. Harris (H. Stannard 75), D. Cropson (B. Smith 80), G. Wells (C. Corkett 85), J. Joachim, L. Chapman. Subs not used: M. Hallam, T. Barnard.