Holwell show fighting spirit but still fall short at Radford

Holwell Sports captain Aaron Ridout plated his part in the fightback. EMN-161116-102919002
Holwell Sports captain Aaron Ridout plated his part in the fightback. EMN-161116-102919002
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A spirited fightback by Holwell in the second half of Saturday’s match away at Radford came just too late to save the points.

But it did at least show that there is some fight in the team which has not been so much in evidence in recent games.

Once again regular and experienced players were unavailable for selection and there was the added headache this week of regular keeper Cragg deciding to stop playing altogether.

Jordan Lawrance, a promising young keeper from Leicester, was pitched in for his debut.

There was little between the teams in the first 20 minutes, with the much stronger and quicker Radford unable to break down the Holwell defence.

However on 22mins Gino Kelleher was allowed to move along the 18 yard box then rifle a shot low past Lawrance.

Holwell tried to get back into the game but seemed lightweight up front, with the Radford defence easily fending off Tinsley and Reek as they tried to break into the danger areas.

On 38mins Radford went 2-0 up as Holwell failed to clear from a corner, Garton whipping the ball back over for centre back Simon Hore to head home.

Then Holwell skipper Ridout was harshly judged to have brought down Cooper Richard as he moved into the box.

From the resulting penalty, Radford increased their advantage to three as Liam Motson scored from the spot.

Foster went off after the break being replaced by Dean Randall.

With a little more sparkle to their play, Holwell gave the home defence something to think about and had a huge shout for a penalty rejected by the match official.

However, he did award another spot kick at the other end, which Lawrance saved well.

With Wood at the back growing in confidence and playing very well, Holwell looked a better side with good passing and strong presence up front putting pressure on the home back four.

It was against the run of play that Radford went further ahead. Danger man Ryan Smith turning in a cross from the right to put Radford 4-0 up on the hour mark.

Holwell’s first real chance of the second half fell to Tinsley, who tested keeper Dunn on 66mins with a deft touch which the keeper did well to turn over the bar.

Murray was beginning to make effect in midfield and on 67mins brushed aside the attention of two defenders to lay the ball off to Shaun Smith who shot past Dunn to get Holwell into the game.

Five minutes later Holwell cut the deficit to two as skipper Ridout was quickest to react in the box to lift the ball high into the net.

Now the game was truly on, with Radford rattled. Moments later Hazeldine just failed to connect in front of goal.

A converted late penalty from Michael Stevenson made the final score 4-3, with Holwell’s spirited fightback coming just a little too late.

Holwell: Lawrance, Foster(Randall), Ridout, Bitmead, Wood, Reek(Murray), B Smith, Stevenson, Fontoura(S Smith), Tinsley, Hazeldine. Sub Not Used Allen.