Holwell Sports first half slump costs them at Anstey

Julian Joachim EMN-151222-102552002

Julian Joachim EMN-151222-102552002

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There was no Christmas cheer for Holwell as they sunk to another defeat at Anstey Nomads to extend their long winless run in the league to 13 matches.

The visitors started well enough and could be encouraged by their early play as Wells found space up front. On eight minutes he latched onto a through ball which took him wide on the left, but lacking support, he just couldn’t get the ball back into the centre to make the chance count.

Holwell enjoyed a good spell in the opening quarter-of-an-hour and more decent play saw Wells, Smith and Joachim combine to fashion a chance which led to the first corner. Bitmead rose highest, but his header just grazed the crossbar.

The visitors were managing the heavy turf better and giving Nomads something to think about. Stevenson’s great through ball put Joachim beyond the defence, but as keeper McMillan advanced Joachim’s weak shot went agonisingly past the post.

Nomads began to find their feet and made their pressure count when Callum Ball headed in unchallenged from a corner after 13 minutes.

The visitors were stunned and further poor defending saw Steve Armson extend the lead on 25 minutes as he bundled in.

Totally under the cosh now, Ball made it 3-0 three minutes later when a hopeful high ball into the centre again found him all alone to head past stand-in keeper Cameron Corkett.

Holwell finally started to steady the ship as the half ended and in the last 10 minutes produced a late flurry with Joachim heading over from a corner.

There was plenty of pressure to soak up after the break, but the second half was much better for Holwell who just didn’t have the strength to capitalise on their attacks.

Taylor McMillan had to look lively when Joachim laid the ball off to Brad Smith whose goalbound shot was tipped over the bar.

Wells’ shot from distance was also off-target, but at least Holwell seemed to have stemmed the flow and Corkett got down well to turn away Armson’s goalbound shot midway through the half.

With Nomads using their wide players better, Joe Hartopp was beginning to get more in the game on the right and broke free, but his wild shot was high and wide.

Grennan and Lowe came on for Smith and Wells, but it was Holwell’s defence who were busy trying to stem a late Anstey surge. And with eight minutes left, a ball into the centre was allowed to bounce around for Luke Day to poke the ball into the net and give Nomads a flattering four-goal lead.

The game was well beyond Holwell’s reach, but they deserve credit for their perseverance and desire to get something out of the match.

Their late push was rewarded when Matt Lowe struck with two minutes left and Joachim score a second in added time to send Holwell home with a little pride and a more respectable scoreline.

Holwell’s committee, management team and coaches would like to wish all of the players and, more importantly, the supporters who stand by the club a merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful new year.

Holwell next host Ellistown and Ibstock on Boxing Day and then travel to Arnold Town on Saturday January 2.