Holwell Sports 3-1 Kimberley Miners Welfare - match report

Chris Hibbitt, who began Holwell's comeback, tussles for possession against Kimberley EMN-150223-100943002
Chris Hibbitt, who began Holwell's comeback, tussles for possession against Kimberley EMN-150223-100943002
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Scott Mooney’s second half double moved Holwell up to ninth after a comeback win with familiar opponents Kimberley on Saturday.

The two sides faced each other for the second time in a fortnight after a goalless draw in the reverse fixture at The Stag Ground.

Manager Simon Daws was able to welcome back Michael Stevenson and Kieran Foster who were both unavailable for the defeat at Ellistown, while Graham Wells returned to the bench.

But Holwell were without Keast because of family commitments, while Rose was also unavailable through suspension following his dismissal the previous weekend.

Kimberley were visibly different from the side faced two weeks ago with a different shape and at least five different players in the starting XI.

The first encounter was a closely-fought battle on a damp pitch, as were the opening exchanges at Welby Road with both teams looking to gain the upper hand.

Kimberley broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute when Honeyman headed in at the back post after good work by their left winger.

The goal galvanised Kimberley and they began to control the game without ever really looking like adding to the tally.

Holwell began their comeback as the half drew to a close, firstly when Mooney found space in the box from a corner but fired over.

Barnard was then unlucky when he almost reached Foster’s cross, but the home side were level three minutes before half-time when Chris Hibbitt headed his sixth goal of the season, rising highest to convert another threatening Stevenson corner.

Holwell started the second half as they had finished the first, on the front foot and looking to go on and take the lead.

With Foster now enjoying more space and involvement down the right, the second goal looked only a matter of time.

Foster’s scissor-kick volley rattled the bar before Chapman crossed for Stannard who headed wide.

Mooney eventually made the pressure tell in the 56th minute when he was sent racing clear by Stevenson, and drilled his shot straight through the keeper and into the net.

Five minutes later, Mooney added his second and his 23rd of the season. Another pinpoint Foster cross was headed down at the back post by Stannard for Mooney who prodded in from close range.

With the game seemingly under Holwell’s control, play became disjointed as both sides made enforced changes as tired legs became a factor. Smith replaced Hibbitt with 20 minutes left before Denigan replaced Calver.

Kimberley began to threaten again without creating clear-cut chances, the best of which saw Hallam clear off the line as Ridout marshalled his back line to preserve the lead.

Another battling victory for Holwell who now lie 12 points adrift of sixth-placed Ashby with three games in hand.

* Tomorrow evening (Tuesday) Holwell Sports host Quorn in their twice re-arranged Westerby Cup quarter-final at Welby Road. Kick-off is 7.30pm.