Holwell Sports stun high-flying Aylestone with comeback

Dean Randall shepherds his opposite number EMN-170310-121312002
Dean Randall shepherds his opposite number EMN-170310-121312002
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Holwell Sports bounced back from their Birstall drubbing by going close to landing a win against third-placed Aylestone Park on Saturday.

Hopes were not high for the home side after the 6-1 midweek defeat, but by the end of the match, fans were on their feet willing Holwell to get a much-deserved winner.

Mark Tinsley netted twice and missed a penalty in an eventful afternoon EMN-170310-121323002

Mark Tinsley netted twice and missed a penalty in an eventful afternoon EMN-170310-121323002

Holwell were quickest out of the blocks with Mark Tinsley getting the better of the defence and combining with debutant Joe Hartopp, newly signed from Anstey Nomads.

He laid the ball off to Tyler Sibson who in turn teed up David Hazeldine, but his shot went over, before Sibson won back possession and set up Tinsley whose shot was blocked.

But it was déjà vu after seven minutes when Aylestone took the lead from win their first corner as the experienced Joel Potter rose above Holwell’s defence to head in the opener.

Holwell dug in, but individual errors were making any fightback difficult.

Lawrance sent a free-kick straight to Aylestone’s Foster who set Alcott free, but the normally dependable keeper was relieved to see his shot narrowly off target.

Zak Yusef was causing problems on the right for Holwell with strong running, while Ryan Foster began to take control of midfield.

Yusef then switched to the left, and from one surging run sent the ball across to Foster who gave himself a yard of space and drilled a low shot past Lawrance after 25 minutes.

But Holwell remained determined and were awarded a penalty just after the half-hour mark when Stevenson’s free-kick found Hartopp who beat one defender before being pulled down.

Stevenson’s spot-kick crashed back off the left-hand post and along the goal-line before being cleared.

Holwell were again unlucky when Hartopp combined with Sibson whose shot was agonisingly wide.

Aylestone were given the chance to extend their lead on the stroke of half-time when Alcott was brought down in the box, but Lee Tyres’ penalty also smacked a post.

Holwell quickly got on top after half-time, pressing Aylestone, and five minutes in were awarded another penalty when skipper Kieran Neat was adjudged to have handled.

Tinsley this time took the kick, but took no run-up and the Aylestone keeper easily parried away.

The hosts continued to dominate with Hazeldine’s shot hitting the bar after good work from Stevenson and Ridout.

It looked as though it was going to be one of those days when Stevenson sent Sibson away, but his shot again went agonisingly past the upright.

However, the fightback was finally on when Tinsley was set free thanks to Hartopp’s good work in the box, to rifle home a 68th-minute shot.

With the home fans firmly behind them, Holwell were level three minutes later when Hartopp again found space to beat the centre-half and lay the ball off to Tinsley who struck his second of the match.

Holwell pressed to the end, but could not break down Aylestone’s defence, and were given a let-off nine minutes from time when Tomlinson slipped in the box as he shot at goal.

The home fans will hope the great fightback will be a turning point in the club’s season.

Holwell: Lawrance, Randall (Black), Ridout, Bitmead, Wood, B. Smith, Stevenson, Hazeldine, Tinsley, Hartopp, Sibson (Reek). Sub not used: Underwood.