Good win on the road for confident Holwell

Liam Chapman was on target. EMN-170305-095232002
Liam Chapman was on target. EMN-170305-095232002
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Holwell made it three wins out of four matches on Saturday when they travelled to Clifton All Whites in the EMCL Premier Division.

Following their top drawer performance last week against Belper, the squad were in upbeat mood to face Clifton, a side who were six places higher than Holwell.

The visitors took the game to the home side from the off, with Holwell pressing hard.

After good work at a corner from Woodcock and Bitmead the ball fell to Fontoura in the box, but his close range shot was smartly dealt with by Alex Smith in the Clifton goal.

Both teams seemed full of endeavour but lacked a telling final ball.

Clifton had a good opportunity on 18 minutes as Jeauon Seaton was allowed to shoot but the ball soared high and wide.

With Stevenson, Randall and Chapman running the midfield, Holwell got the opener they deserved in the 21st minute following a great move from defence to attack.

Bitmead fed the ball to Brad Smith on the right, he in turn passed to Stevenson who moved it on for Reek to set up Liam Chapman.

Chapman broke into the box, swerved his way past two defenders before sending a bending right foot shot past the keeper and inside the left hand post.

Clifton battled to get back into the game but Bitmead and Woodcock comfortably dealt with most of their attacks.

However, the home side had an opportunity from a Connor Hardy, but the shot went well wide of the target, much to the displeasure of the home supporters.

A minute before the half hour mark Holwell extended their lead.

Bitmead won the ball on the edge of the Holwell box and sent in a long ball over the top which centre half Grant Walton headed backwards towards his keeper. But the ball went over the clutching hands of the outcoming keeper and Joe Hartopp pounced to walk the ball into the Clifton net to make it 2-0 to the visitors.

Holwell had the ball in the net again on 33 minutes, but Reek was ajudged offside.

After the half time interval both sides became frustrated by some of the decisions of the match official.

Holwell felt aggrieved when, in the 51st minute, Hazeldine was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box. Nial O’Rafferty stepped up and coolly placed the ball past Jamie Witham to pull one back for Clifton.

Clifton had their tails up now but Holwell held firm at the back to deny the home side.

Michael Stevenson and Liam Chapman enjoyed good games for Holwell, while Dean Randall put in a hard shift with some big ball winning tackles in midfield. Stevenson was particularly impressive, running the midfield with some stunning trademark footwork which had Clifton chasing shadows for most of the second half.

And keeper Witham did his bit to ensure three points for Holwell, pulling off a couple of important saves, with one particular save from Jeauon Seaton 15 minutes from time proving vital.

This Saturday Holwell have a tough test away to Holbrook Sports, who sit in eighth place.

Holwell: J Witham, B Smith, I Bitmead, R Woodcock, D Hazeldine, A. Fontoura (S. Smith) D Randall, M Stevenson, L Chapman, K Reek (A. Walker), J Hartopp. Subs not used: L Underwood, A Wood, T Harris