HOLWELL SPORTS 2 BLABY & WHETSTONE 5
Holwell twice fought back to level the score against strong opposition on Tuesday night before the class of the visitors told in the second half.
It was tough on Sports, though, after they matched a team which now sits in the top five of the Premier League.
Again Holwell gave the opposition a start as Ricky Bates opened the scoring for Blaby on 15 minutes.
As Holwell set up to defend a corner, the ball was passed out to the unmarked Bates on the edge of the box and he shot low and hard through advancing defenders leaving Jamie Witham unsighted as the ball nestled in the corner of the net.
But it only took Holwell five minutes to get back on terms.
It was yet another profitable Chapman cross from a corner which Mark Tinsley managed to head beyond Warren Butlin in the Blaby goal.
There were chances for both teams to take the lead as for the rest of the half Holwell matched their high-flying visitors. Both teams hit the bar as they lifted the tempo.
Blaby again started the smarter in the second half, going 2-1 up within four minutes of the restart.
They exploited David Reeves’ lack of height, sending a high ball to the back post where Aaron Preston towered to head the ball past Witham.
However, back came Holwell again as they levelled on 52 minutes.
Chris Hibbitt rose to head a Chapman free kick from the right, only to see his effort hit the right upright. As the ball ran along the goal line, Ian Bitmead reacted quickest to force it in.
Holwell nearly went ahead on the hour as Mark Tinsley again got his head to a free kick but Butlin managed to finger tip the ball over the bar.
Blaby regained the lead three minutes later when Preston managed to work an overhead kick in the box which went in off Witham’s post.
It almost got worse for Holwell shortly after when desperate defending led to Hibbitt heading against his own goal pos.
There was a glimmer of hope in the 70th minute when the referee sent off Blaby’s Tom Hill following a challenge.
But despite being a man down, the visitors made it 4-2 with six minutes left when Butlin sent a long ball to Preston on the right and his low cross was stroked home by Jack Lane.
Preston fired a shot against the post before Blaby netted a 90th minute fifth, George Tyler stealing in to slot the ball past Witham.