Holwell Sports dumped out of FA Vase by Pinxton
Holwell Sports gave up their FA Vase ambitions with a whimper against a determined Pinxton who came ready to take no prisoners.
The home side were under pressure from the start and never really got to grips with stronger, smarter and more coherent opponents who arrived on the back of a good start in the Central Midlands League.
Within three minutes Pinxton should have been in front when Debrouwer blasted wide when it looked easier to score.
Bitmead was penalised on the edge of the box for pulling back Stubley, and Holwell were relieved to see his free-kick fly past the left-hand post.
Holwell broke quickly and won a corner on the left after good work, but Hendey’s cross failed to beat the first defender, and like a flash, Pinxton were pressuring at the other end through the fast pace of Jack Hawkins.
Debrouwer missed another great chance on 10 minutes and it seemed only a matter of time.
But the hosts can think themselves unlucky when they conceded the opener a minute later.
As the home defence tried to clear on the edge of the box, Jay Cooper got his foot to the ball to send a shot through a ruck of players and past goalkeeper John Binns.
Pinxton were much stronger in the tackle, moving the ball about with ease, and after good work on the left Stubley doubled the lead with a rasping shot which left Binns with no chance.
Holwell rallied and as the half wore on began to get into the game, threatening the Pinxton goal as they approached half-time.
But to serve as a warning Binns was forced into a great save from Cooper’s shot to keep Holwell in the game.
As the second half started Pinxton looked to be controlling the game, conserving energy expended in the first half as Holwell came more into the picture, yet they still struggled with their opponents’ physical presence.
And Pinxton put the tie beyond Holwell with their first real attack of the half, eight minutes in, when Callum Triance was left with a clear run at a corner to power in a thumping header.
Holwell did not let their heads drop, but it was a flat performance as the home crowd tried to lift their side.
Manager Andy Gray made the changes, bringing on Michael Stevenson, Kieran Foster and Nikolajevs for Smith, Hendey and Tinsley.
This brought about a hopeful opening as Ambrose pulled one back just after the hour to give the home side a lift and the hope of turning the game around late on.
And as the visitors lost some composure, their centre-half Dan Riley was sent off for a second bookable offence after complaining too strongly to the assistant referee that Ambrose had been offside.
But this seemed to fire up the visitors again and the added a gloss to the scoreline when sub Scott Graham finished off the scoring 10 minutes from time with a fierce low shot from the edge of the box, just inside Binn’s right-hand post.
Holwell are still struggling to get the influx of new players to gel, and, perhaps, established players to buy into manager Gray’s plans, but the team’s attempts to get out of the poor vein of form is not being helped by availability.
Holwell will look to find a morale-boosting result on Saturday when they host Thrapston in the United Counties League (kick-off 3pm).
Holwell: Binns, B. Smith (Foster), Betteridge, Bitmead, Ridout, Thompson, Hazeldine, O’Grady, Hendey (Nikolajevs), Tinsley (Stevenson), Ambrose. Not Used: Fjodorovs, Robinson.