Holwell Sports look to strengthen for dogfight after Lutterworth loss

Former Holwell manager Andy Gray (right) is among the spectators at Welby Road as Tom Harris shows his pace EMN-180412-093504002
Former Holwell manager Andy Gray (right) is among the spectators at Welby Road as Tom Harris shows his pace EMN-180412-093504002
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Holwell Sports are looking to strengthen their ranks as they hunker down for a dogfight at the bottom end of United Counties League Division One.

Neil Miller’s side entertained league leaders Lutterworth Town and were no match once the visitors had taken the lead after 32 minutes as the pacesetters demonstrated why they are in that position.

Holwell Sports manager Neil Miller looks on as his side slip to a fourth straight defeat EMN-180412-093515002

Holwell Sports manager Neil Miller looks on as his side slip to a fourth straight defeat EMN-180412-093515002

General manager Steve Hendey said: “We played very well for the first 40 minutes and were a little unfortunate with the first and third goals.

“It’s a shame we couldn’t have gone in at the break just a goal behind, but we have to concentrate at all times, especially against the top sides, and Lutterworth are certainly a very good side.

“We’ve got a few additions to the squad and are hopeful of a couple more.

“Neil knows where we need to strengthen and is making efforts to do so.

“We’re in a dogfight at the bottom, but a couple of wins can take you up to mid-table so we need to roll our sleeves up and start getting some positive results.”

The opening half-hour was an even affair with Holwell passing the ball around confidently.

Challis made a smart save to deny Daire, while at the other end a Holwell move between Stevenson, Ambrose, Hendey and Clark almost brought the opening goal, but Peace’s timely challenge thwarted Harris at the near post.

After a couple of near-misses Lutterworth went ahead when a Holwell corner was cleared to Tyres.

His long ball found Small out wide who took the ball on after the referee waved aside appeals for offside from the hosts, and his cross was chested down for Shaquille Brookes to beat Challis from close range.

Holwell’s positive response almost resulted in an equaliser when Brookes was fouled just outside the area.

Betteridge’s free-kick looked destined for the top corner, but a superb save by Butlin denied the hosts.

Lutterworth pressed but were frustrated by two smart Challis saves, while Keenan’s free-kick struck the bar.

With half-time approaching, Holwell could have been pleased with their efforts, but like the week before, they switched off at a free-kick and were punished when Lewis found Small to hammer home the second after 42 minutes.

Lutterworth had their tails up and were handed another opportunity when Keenan’s testing through ball was intercepted by Hendey, but the referee thought that Keenan had been fouled and had lost the advantage, much to Holwell’s frustration.

The free-kick was swung in and the ball dropped loose for Small who again reacted sharpest to fire home on the stroke of half-time.

With the second half only two minutes old, Small completed his hat-trick with another excellent finish.

With the game in the bag, Lutterworth continued to press, but were met with resolute defence from Dunlop, Bitmead, Ridout and Betteridge.

Daire made it five just past the hour mark, but Holwell doggedly stuck to their task and could have pulled back a couple themselves, with McGarry going close and Cragg’s header shaving the post.

The defeat left Holwell in 18th ahead of Saturday’s home match with ninth-placed Bourne Town. Kick-off at Welby Road is 3pm.