Holwell Sports take credit in Bardon Hill defeat

Holwell Sports EMN-150317-091920002

Holwell Sports EMN-150317-091920002

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Sports were looking to avenge the 3-2 defeat at Welby Road in early November, but after a very bright opening couldn’t stop the Bardon goal-scoring juggernaut.

After their victory at Ashby, manager Simon Daws was forced into changes as Wells and Barnard came in for Calver (work commitments) and the suspended Hibbitt.

On a sticky, bobbly surface, Holwell started brightly and almost led early on, but Wells couldn’t direct Stannard’s cross back towards goal.

An anxious Bardon were struggling to settle, knowing they needed to win to maintain their title pursuit, and these nerves were tested again when Hallam broke forward and poked the ball past the advancing Gutteridge. But as he went to slot the ball home, he lost his footing, allowing Gutteridge time to recover and stop the effort in the line.

Holwell pressed again and Mooney forced Gutteridge into action after a Wells cross.

But Bardon settled their nerves after 25 minutes in slightly fortuitous circumstances.

Breaking from a Holwell corner, Bardon carved Holwell open and Hart finished well, but only after appearing to handle the ball earlier in the move. Despite the protests, the goal stood and Bardon were ahead against the run of play.

The hosts grew in confidence and began to create more opportunities. A penalty appeal was waved away after a handball claim, and moments later the referee again rejected their pleas for a foul against keeper Stainsby.

Holwell left the pitch frustrated at half-time knowing they had more than matched their opponents, but had failed to take their chances.

With both sides looking to attack, the second goal would be crucial.

Bardon started the second half in dominant fashion, penning Holwell deep in their own half. But despite bossing possession, the home side struggled to create clear-cut openings with Stainsby called into action just twice as Ridout and Parra-Watson repelled their attacks.

The visitors struggled to gain any momentum and only threatened from set pieces as the Bardon defence closed ranks.

The hosts finally broke down a stubborn Holwell defence with 15 minutes left, again enjoying a hint of fortune when a scuffed shot deflected past the helpless Stainsby.

Bardon added gloss to the result in the final five minutes when Chaplin seized on a Ridout slip to prod home, and then Hart claimed his second at the back post when a cross eluded everyone.

The scoreline was harsh on Holwell with Bardon’s clinical finishing the difference, but had the visitors scored when enjoying the better of play, the match could have ended very differently.

Holwell return to action at Welby Road tonight (Tuesday) against third-bottom Radcliffe who all but ended Blaby’s title hopes with a shock 2-1 win at Warwick Road on Saturday.