Melton Town v Holwell Sports: Who will claim the bragging rights?

Action from the 2009/10 Melton Charity Cup final when Melton Mowbray beat Holwell on a penalty shoot-out PHOTO: Jim Harrison
Action from the 2009/10 Melton Charity Cup final when Melton Mowbray beat Holwell on a penalty shoot-out PHOTO: Jim Harrison
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Melton Town and Holwell Sports have the chance to put aside an indifferent run of league results when they go head-to-head in the County Senior Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday.

The derby tie will present a rare chance to claim local bragging rights and is the first time in six years the teams have met.

Melton Town boss Tony Thorpe is targeting a top eight finish and FA Cup qualification  EMN-161123-121047002

Melton Town boss Tony Thorpe is targeting a top eight finish and FA Cup qualification EMN-161123-121047002

The game at Digital Deadline Park is also the first time ever they have met as equals with both sides on step six of the non-league ladder.

In a twist of fate both Holwell and Melton beat teams from their opposing leagues in the previous round.

Sports brushed aside United Counties League side Oakham, while Town laboured past Holwell’s East Midlands Counties League rivals Anstey Nomads.

Melton manager Tony Thorpe said: “I do like Holwell. I went to watch them a few weeks ago at Oakham and was really impressed.

Holwell manager John Webster was on the coaching staff at Melton last season EMN-161123-121108002

Holwell manager John Webster was on the coaching staff at Melton last season EMN-161123-121108002

“They are very similar to us: they break with pace and it will be an exciting game.

“They have had a strange season like us - they have had some really good results and then some really poor ones, but the teams are evenly-matched and it’s all down to who wants it on the day.

“If it wasn’t Holwell would anyone be excited about a cup quarter-final? Probably not, but the fact it’s a derby makes it a little more tasty.”

Assistant manager Andy Hill insisted the cup was not a distraction for Holwell and could help improve their stop-start campaign.

He said: “We all want to go as far as we can. Cups can build confidence and it’s bit of relaxation away from the league.

“Form will go out of the window because it’s a local derby.

“Everyone is buoyed by it and we won’t have to do much motivation-wise.

“I hope there is a good crowd there and at least one of the Melton sides will progress to the semi-finals.

“This season we have played better against the better sides for some reason, maybe because of their style of play suits us more.”

The last fortnight has been symptomatic of Holwell’s season as a spectacular 6-1 win at Holbrook was followed by more selection headaches and a 4-3 home defeat.

Ahead of Saturday’s trip to Kimberley Miners Welfare, Holwell are on a sequence of eight defeats in 11 league matches.

Hill added: “We are finding the league quite tough at the moment, but I would put most of that down to not being able to field the same team two weeks running because of injuries and suspensions.

“It’s hard to get any consistency and get settled; we have probably one of the smallest squads in our league.”

Melton also go into the game on a difficult run of results with four defeats in five, culminating in Saturday’s 4-2 reverse at league leaders Daventry.

A tough run against top five opponents hasn’t helped, and Thorpe insists the performances are much improved.

“We have had some strange results over the last two weeks,” he added. “It’s the best we have played for a very long time, but we’ve come away with nothing.

“The Daventry manager said we were the best team they had played this season by far, and we were the better team by a mile, but two silly mistakes cost us the game.

“I don’t have much choice but to be attack-minded because we are missing a few natural defenders.

“We either go and win 6-0 or lose 4-3 which is great for the neutrals; we aren’t boring!”

The game at Digital Deadline Park, off Burton Road, kicks off at 7.30pm.