Holwell Sports end league campaign on winning note

Mark Cowling restored Holwell's lead with his seventh goal of the season EMN-180424-152750002
Mark Cowling restored Holwell's lead with his seventh goal of the season EMN-180424-152750002
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Holwell Sports completed their East Midlands Counties League programme on a high note with home victory against Arnold Town last Wednesday evening.

Their 10th league win of the season - and seventh since Andy Gray took charge of a struggling side in January - kept Holwell in 18th place and out of danger.

But they could still finish in 19th if Borrowash win their final two games in hand this week.

Given Holwell’s parlous position near the foot of the table at the turn of the year, a place of safety marks satisfactory progress after a big improvement in performances under Gray.

Last week’s fixture was their fifth match in eight days, and ended a run of four straight defeats, two against teams in the top three.

But the punishing schedule didn’t sap Holwell’s start as they raced into an 11th-minute lead as Shaun Smith rounded the Arnold keeper after a frantic start from both sides.

Courtney Bonnick drew the visitors level four minutes before the break, but parity was short-lived as Mark Cowling restored the lead for a dominant Holwell, right on the stroke of half-time.

The hosts continued to create chances, but Arnold belied their lowly league position and pushed Holwell all the way in the second half.

And it took a neat finish from substitute Ross Cragg to finally wrap up the points with three minutes left.

Holwell still have a chance of salvaging silverware from a difficult campaign, as they travel to Nottingham tonight (Tuesday) for a league cup semi-final.

They face Radford, who finished seventh, at Clifton All Whites FC (kick-off 7.45pm).

Holwell: Richard Cragg, D. Hazeldine, I. Bitmead, R. Woodcock, L. Chapman, B. Smith, B. Betteridge, C. O’Grady, M. Stevenson, M. Cowling, S. Smith. Subs: Ross Cragg, K. Reek.