Cowling double helps Holwell Sports past ailing Radcliffe

Mark Cowling has scored four goals in his last three for Holwell EMN-181004-090932002
Mark Cowling has scored four goals in his last three for Holwell EMN-181004-090932002
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Holwell Sports returned to winning ways as they completed the double over bottom side Radcliffe Olympic on Saturday.

The away match was switched to Welby Road with Radcliffe’s Recreation Ground home still waterlogged by the high water table and the nearby River Trent.

But Holwell started poorly, with Radcliffe given two big chances within the first five minutes.

James Longridge missed the best of them, slicing his shot well wide when faced with an almost open goal.

However, Holwell gradually responded and fashion a corner after Kyle Reek did well on the left to beat full-back Purkis with ease.

Reek took the set-piece and after some pinball in the box, keeper Eatough gathered Mark Tinsley’s shot.

The hosts were on the front foot and from Ben Betteridge’s free-kick from the right, Nicholas Andrews went close after 12 minutes when he sent a header just wide.

Another slick move by Holwell, started by keeper Jamie Witham, saw Sam Wright advance down the right and sent Tinsley away. He controlled the ball before playing in Reek who shot straight at Eatough.

But Holwell were knocking on the door as first Ian Bitmead and then Reek had half-chances.

Radcliffe were still competing and Jake Towers went close after Toby Wildig worked hard to create an opening for the visitors.

Holwell went straight upfield with a good move from back to front and went ahead on the half-hour when Reek’s good pass played in Mark Cowling whose crisp shot went in off the post.

Holwell were by far the better side in the first half, but plucky Radcliffe were still making some chances to keep the hosts honest.

Having now scored for in three matches running, Cowling was seeing plenty of the ball and again went close after the restart, but Eatough did well to thwart him.

Holwell scythed through the midfield and defence in a great move, finished by Mark Tinsley, but the goal was disallowed as the striker had strayed offside.

Holwell nearly extended their lead when Betteridge sent over a long cross from the left which eluded everyone and rebounded back off the far post and across the face of goal before being hastily cleared.

Holwell were good value for their lead, but still could not kill the game off until yet another good move up the right with 18 minutes left.

David Hazeldine collected the ball and sent Tinsley off into the right channel. He played in Cowling who outstripped a defender before slotting low past Eatough’s left.

With Holwell in full control, Cowling saw a hat-trick looming as he acrobatically met another Reek cross, but his volley cleared the bar.

With Holwell playing their second match in less than 48 hours, Radcliffe made them work hard for the three points.

All league teams now go into a demanding schedule of four games in seven days until the fixture backlog is completed, with Holwell away to Birstall tonight (Tuesday 7.45pm) and Barrow Town on Thursday (7.45pm) before hosting Holbrook on Saturday (3pm).

Holwell: Witham, Wright, Bitmead, Nicholas, Betteridge, Hazeldine, O’Grady, B. Smith (Ambrose), Reek, Cowling (S. Smith), Tinsley (Cragg).