FA Cup: Holwell Sports earn home replay after Kirby Muxloe stalemate

Holwell keeper Richard Stainsby was man-of-the-match at Kirby Muxloe EMN-150831-162956002

Holwell keeper Richard Stainsby was man-of-the-match at Kirby Muxloe EMN-150831-162956002

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In-form Holwell travelled to Kirby with confidence on Saturday able to field a strong side, while Midlands Premier League side Kirby looked short of numbers with a squad of only 14.

As in previous matches this season, Holwell started quickly and Graham Wells headed past the post after a good cross from Liam Chapman on the left.

The visitors again went close after a slick move which saw Kieran Foster cross to the back post where Wells header was turned away by last-ditch defence.

Kirby played some good football out from the back, but lacked punch up front with Holwell’s defence again strong when called upon.

But the hosts were strong in midfield through Poall and Pradeep Bahrey, and on 26 minutes Richard Stainsby made the first of several timely saves low at his right hand post as Agar was sent through on goal.

Holwell went straight up the other end and Wells again forced keeper Butlin into action, doing well to turn away his effort for another corner.

Stainsby saved again from Agar had a shot on goal, and two minutes before thr break, Stainsby had to make another top-class save.

In what seemed like a change of tactics at half-time, the second half saw midfielder Poall withdrawn to play in front of Kirby’s back four which limited their impetus.

Instead, the hosts relied more on hitting Holwell on the break than trying to play through the visitors.

This gave Holwell more space and Julian Joachim was sent through on goal only to pull his shot wide of the right hand post.

Chapman on the left and Foster on the right were sending in decent crosses, but the home centre-halves were too strong and coped well.

With a home replay looking on the cards, manager Simon Daws withdrew Ian Bitmead, after he was cautioned, and sent on Dean Copson.

His tricky footwork and jinking runs began to open up the home defence and he almost broke the deadlock with a fierce shot which keeper Butlin turned away for another corner.

Wells came off injury, to be replaced by Stannard, but it was left to man-of-the-match Stainsby to once more deny Kirby with their last real attack eight minutes from time.

Holwell: R. Stainsby, K. Foster, D. Marshall, A. Ridout, M. Hallam, C. Hibbitt, M. Stevenson (c), I. Bitmead (D. Copson), G. Wells (H. Stannard 74), J. Joachim, L. Chapman. Subs not used: T. Harris, B. Smith, M. Lowe, T. Barnard.

* The home replay takes place at Welby Road tomorrow at 7.45pm.