Holwell Sports boss has faith repaid with back-to-back wins

Holwell Sports v Bedworth United EMN-160302-132517002
Holwell Sports v Bedworth United EMN-160302-132517002

Holwell Sports boss Simon Daws has challenged his squad to climb the table after ending their worst sequence of results in many years.

The Asfordby Hill club had been without a win since September 5 following a catalogue of long-term injuries and players departures.

Simon Daws EMN-150712-173225002

Simon Daws EMN-150712-173225002

But they put that unwanted run to bed with two East Midlands Counties League wins in the space of four days.

Sports, who started the weekend second-bottom in 18th, opened with an attritional 2-0 victory at bottom side Greenwood Meadows on Saturday thanks to second half goals from centre-half Ian Bitmead and Brad Smith.

They then recovered from a goal down at home to beat fellow strugglers Ellistown and Ibstock United 4-1 on Tuesday evening and move above Barrow into 16th.

Daws said: “They were the two games we had to win when you looked at the league table.

“Greenwood was a battle on an awful pitch, but we won and you could see the lads grow from there.

“Going into the Ellistown game, everyone in the dressing room was up for it and they did really well after going a goal down.

“We got our act together and scored twice in the 10 minutes before half-time and then I thought we were superb in the second half.

“For me it has been the process of getting the mindset right and getting them to believe in themselves.

“I believed in them and believed they could do it, and they have proved me right.”

The winless run of 16 league matches – which included a sequence of eight straight defeats – had dropped them from the top five at the start of autumn to a relegation scrap.

Daws believes the recovery, and establishing all-important confidence, was rooted in their previous two EMCL matches: a 3-3 draw with Aylestone Park and a narrow defeat at title hopefuls South Normanton where Holwell were considered unlucky not to pick up a point.

The performances also uncovered a new system to suit the current makeshift crop of old heads and young bloods.

“We have let Julian (Joachim) play deeper in between midfield and the forward line,” Daws added.

“So when we’re under pressure he drops into midfield, but when we are on top, he can push on and link up with Graham (Wells).

“When Julian drops back we have also been pushing Tom Harris and Colton Cropper forward on the flanks to keep attacking outlets.”

Before a catastrophic run of luck which depleted his squad, Daws believed he had a team good enough to challenge for the title, but targets had to be swiftly revised.

The manager is looking forward to starting afresh next summer with new recruits and a bank of yougn players with a season of experience at this level.

But he still has unfinished business with the current campaign.

“The league position doesn’t lie,” he said. “You get points from performances which we haven’t managed so we are probably at the right place at this time, but I do believe the players are better than the league position shows.

“Ian Bitmead has been outstandng in the last four games, Graham Wells is on fire again, and Michael Stevenson has put so much effort into helpign the youngsters,

“It looks like we have turned the corner and over the next month we have a lot of fixtures against teams around us, so let’s see how high we can finish.”