East Midlands Counties League: Depleted Holwell Sports hammered by Aylestone Park

Holwell had to field their third keeper of the season, Nathan Clare, against Aylestone Park EMN-151013-114117002
Holwell had to field their third keeper of the season, Nathan Clare, against Aylestone Park EMN-151013-114117002
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When it comes to football a lot is said about keeping your shape, but for the moment at Holwell, their fortunes are clearly pear-shaped.

Another bad week was capped as injuries saw them well-beaten by Aylestone Park who are enjoying better times after a change of manager and influx of improved players.

Preparation again saw manager Simon Daws scraping a team together with yet another keeper in between the sticks, Nathan Clare.

Holwell were under the cosh from kick-off with the returning Robbie Aldridge and captain Aaron Ridout struggling to deal with early corners, and after nine minutes the visitors went in front when the unsighted Ridout headed into his own net.

Play was all one-way with home clearances coming straight back at the defence as Holwell’s midfield struggled against powerful opponents with Kieran Neat and Rich Lewis running riot up front.

Clare did well to stop Lewis opening his account with a fine save, but with Joynson and Jorge Jesus finding space on the wings it wasn’t long before the hard-working Lewis extended the lead in the 20th minute.

Brad Smith lost the ball out on the right, and Jesus sent in a hopeful cross which found Lewis at the back post.

Holwell’s first chance came soon after when Carlton Cropper found Harry Stannard in the box. His quick turn and shot was deflected towards Julian Joachim but he couldn’t direct the ball in.

As the half wore on Holwell had a period of sustained pressure, forcing several corners and a series of free kicks, but none were converted.

The hosts were again denied the services of Dean Copson who went off injured to be replaced by Tom Harris.

Holwell started the second half strongly, but the Park defence handled everything the hosts had to offer.

The home side went close when the ball broke to Harris who tried to force the ball over the line, but keeper Batson did well to smother.

And the game was killed off after 59 minutes when centre-half Ben Harris rose well to fire in a strong header from a corner.

Lewis then broke free and was brought down just outside the box by Aldridge, but as the referee played the advantage, Neat walked the loose ball into the net.

Holwell were all at sea as Ridout and Aldridge both picked up bad knocks, but carried on to prop up the badly depleted squad.

The final nail in the coffin came after 75 minutes when Lewis again brushed past defenders and broke into the box where he was pulled down by Clare who was red-carded. Cropper went in goal but had no chance with Lewis’ penalty.

Real work must be done to rebuild Holwell’s confidence, but with so many players injured and unavailable players, the pain may continue for a few weeks until the treatment room empties.

A welcome break in league fixtures on Saturday may help the team get some regulars back.