East Midlands Counties League: Holbrook Sports 3-4 Holwell Sports

Holwell Sports Reserves are beaten 4-0 at home by Lutterworth Town and stay bottom of Leics Senior League Division One EMN-141222-114905002
Holwell Sports Reserves are beaten 4-0 at home by Lutterworth Town and stay bottom of Leics Senior League Division One EMN-141222-114905002
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Scott Mooney’s hat-trick set Holwell on their way to an excellent three points away at high-flying Holbrook on Saturday.

Not for the first time this season, manager Simon Daws saw his squad stretched to its limits with Hibbitt and Hallam both suspended, and Barnard and Calver both unavailable due to work commitments.

Smith replaced Hibbitt and Denigan came in for Hallam, while Chapman was recalled to the bench after injury along with Samuel Daws.

Holwell almost made the perfect start, but unfortunately Wells couldn’t convert his chance in the opening minute after Mooney sent him through.

The visitors bossed the early exchanges with only last-ditch tackles and blocks preventing clearer chances. But then Holbrook broke forward and took the lead against the run of play through top scorer Minnott as he poked past Stainsby.

The game then turned scrappy with neither side really on top of a midfield battle.

But when Holwell were dispossessed on the edge of their box, Holbrook took advantage to double their lead.

The visitors responded, as Wells again went close when his header, from Stannard’s cross, was saved.

Mooney burst through and sent a lob just past the post, and with five minutes of the first half remaining it was 2-1.

Holbrook failed to clear a corner and this time Mooney made no mistake, slamming the ball into the net to haul Holwell back into the game.

Holwell nearly levelled when Wells looked certain to head in from Foster’s cross, but the ball took an unfortunate bounce which favoured the hosts.

After half-time Holwell again started brighter and duly equalised within minutes. Foster slipped Mooney through superbly to notch his second of the game.

This spurred Holbrook back into life and Minnott restored their advantage just after the hour mark.

But the home side were struggling to kill off the game, and 10 minutes later Mooney completed his hat-trick, curling a shot into the top corner to level for a second time.

With both sides now looking for a winner, the game became even more stretched on a boggy pitch.

The game’s final telling moment came with 15 minutes left when Mooney crossed for Foster to head home and put Holwell ahead for the first time.

Despite late pressure, the visitors saw out the match for a well-deserved three points, which puts them nine points clear of Borrowash directly below them in 15th and brings them within six points of eighth-placed Barrow.

Holwell: Stainsby, Denigan, Ridout, Rose, Randall, Foster, Smith, Stevenson, Wells, Stannard (Chapman 80), Mooney. Subs not used; S. Daws.