Holwell Sports gained some much-needed confidence with their first win of the season on Saturday against Graham St Prims at Welby Road.
A modest crowd were on hand to witness two teams having difficulties getting off the ground this season, with the Prims having accrued three points from five matches, with Holwell on four points from as many matches.
Holwell survived a scare in the sixth minute when Lee’s cross beat keeper Richard Cragg and skimmed along the front of the crossbar before the clearance was made.
The first real chance fell to Holwell two minutes later when good work on the right opened up a clear chance, but Hazeldine, leaning back, shot high and wide.
Ian Bitmead led the forward line and was unlucky to put an acrobatic effort over as Holwell dominated.
And after 10 minutes, Ryan Page was set free to run into the box and was brought down by Matthew Pearce for a penalty.
Pearce was lucky not to see a red card as Page seemed to have outstripped the chasing defenders, but Holwell’s new signing easily beat keeper Chris
Camm with the spot kick.
Holwell maintained the impetus and again Bitmead won an aerial challenge and headed down to Brad Smith whose pile-driver from 10 yards was tipped over the bar by the diving Camm.
There was danger after 25 minutes when Aaron Ridout brought down Kev Morron, and Worger’s low free-kick was spilt by Cragg, but Lee could not control his shot and fired the rebound over.
It was a let-off for the home side who were dominating, but missing chances.
Bitmead gave the Prims defence all sorts of problems and his peach of a pass teed up Michael Stevenson whose audacious volley was wide of the left-hand post.
Underwood thought he had extended the lead, but Camm’s last-ditch finger-tip save took the ball away from the top corner of the goal.
Holwell had chances galore to kill off Prims, but they came back to haunt the hosts as Prims lifted their game before the break.
Failing to clear a corner, the ball was fired back at Cragg who parried the ball straight to Josh Lee at the back post who slammed it into the net two minutes before half-time.
Holwell were back on it after the break with Page again profligate in front of goal as he failed to convert two one-on-ones with the keeper.
But the hosts persevered and Smith, in his first game of the season, put them back in front after 57 minutes.
Good work on the left saw a ball spread out to Smith who sent an unstoppable shot past the keeper to settle any nerves.
No sooner had they gone in front than Foster put Holwell in real danger, conceding a poor free-kick on the edge of the box.
The free-kick was partially cleared, but when the ball was sent back into the box, Cragg had to be smart with two point-blank saves.
The fresh legs of Fontoura, for Underwood, and Shaun Smith, for Page, brought some life back into Holwell’s game for the last 10 minutes as they pressed the visitors’ defence.
Smith broke free in the last minute and was brought down, with Stevenson converting the penalty.
Holwell head to Blaby and Whetstone on Saturday, but are at home two days later for a Bank Holiday Monday derby with winless Barrow Town (kick-off 3pm).
Holwell: Cragg, Foster, Ridout, Underwood, Chapman, Hazeldine, Stevenson, Underwood (Fontoura), B. Smith (Andrews), Bitmead, Page (S. Smith).