Holwell Sports fight back in vain as Birstall net late winner

Mark Tinsley grabbed Holwell's equaliser EMN-181104-104725002
Mark Tinsley grabbed Holwell's equaliser EMN-181104-104725002
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Holwell Sports again let a higher-placed team off the hook with an East Midlands Counties League defeat away to Birstall United on Tuesday evening.

The highlight of an even, but turgid first half, saw Holwell forward Mark Tinsley clean through after 34 minutes, but his shot cleared the bar with only the keeper to beat.

When the teams came out for the second half it seemed a few of the visitors had left their thoughts in the changing room and two minutes in Ryan Foster benefitted from hesitation in Holwell’s defence.

A long ball into the box saw keeper Jamie Witham come for the ball only to be caught in no man’s land allowing Foster to nip in and lob the opener.

But Holwell picked themselves up and pushed on with Tinsley again given a half-chance, but from a very tight angle, his effort unluckily came down off the bar and out.

The visitors were still in with a chance and with 19 minutes left, Tinsley got on the scoresheet when he blasted home from an acute angle following a long ball from midfield, his shot going in off the post.

But parity lasted just seven minutes.

Andrews was injured leading up to a corner and after a lengthy stoppage for treatment, he was replaced by Woodcock.

Sam Moore’s accurate corner from the left was met on the full by Dan Jelly who seemed to have a free header to restore Birstall’s lead.

Holwell tried to respond, but failed to get back on terms, having got themselves back into the game at 1-1.

Having been beaten 7-1 by Birstall in the opening weeks of the season, there seemed to be an acceptance that the draw would be a successful result.

But if Holwell had shown more belief and conviction, having fought back, Tuesday’s scoreline could, perhaps, have easily been reversed.

The games keep coming thick and fast for Andy Gray’s side, with another three games in five days, starting with the re-arranged derby at Barrow Town on Thursday.

Then comes back-to-back home games with Holbrook on Saturday (ko 3pm) and West Bridgford on Tuesday (ko 7.45pm).

Holwell: Witham, B. Smith, Bitmead, Andrews (Woodcock), Betteridge, Stevenson (S. Smith), O’Grady, Reek (Cragg), Ambrose, Cowling, Tinsley.