Holwell Sports punished again for missed chances in Irchester defeat

Holwell manager Andy Gray looks on as Matt Hendey battles for possession EMN-180820-115609002
Holwell manager Andy Gray looks on as Matt Hendey battles for possession EMN-180820-115609002
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Holwell Sports again failed to cash in on their dominance as they were pipped by highly-tipped Irchester United on Saturday.

Irchester arrived with quite a reputation, looking a very professional set-up with a strong squad, some of whom had played at much higher levels in their early career.

Irchester keeper Hamilton kept Ross McGarry off the scoresheet on Saturday EMN-180820-115620002

Irchester keeper Hamilton kept Ross McGarry off the scoresheet on Saturday EMN-180820-115620002

But once the match started, spectators would have thought it was Holwell who were the more experienced side as they took a grip of the game from kick-off.

Set up with a diamond midfield, Holwell had the greater control, with early pressure from Jack Baker on the right who seemed to have the measure of his full-back Brown.

Mark Tinsley, in for the suspended Liam Ambrose, looked lively, and battled hard to win possession and create space to go close after eight minutes.

Baker then sent in McGarry who may have done better squaring the ball to the supporting Tinsley and Thompson as Holwell continued to dominate.

McGarry was causing the defence problems as again he was sent through, but he hesitated instead of taking a shot across the keeper.

It was fully 20 minutes before Irchester mounted any real attack, ending with a free-kick which came to nought.

A defensive error presented Matt Hendey with a great chance on 24 minutes, but his shot went agonisingly past the keeper’s left-hand post.

McGarry was a thorn in the side of the defence, forcing Hamilton to save his shot before almost breaking the deadlock again when the keeper just managed to hold on to his volley.

Continuing to move the ball well, keeper Witham’s pinpoint pass found Baker on the right who set McGarry away again, but he could not finish.

The game was held up for several minutes by an injury to Irchester forward Jared Harewood who was forced off and replaced by Tom Gordon.

Holwell did not want the half-time break to come as they bossed the match, but as was the case in the last two matches, the dominance was not turned into goals.

As expected, the visitors came out on a mission after the break, and Holwell’s failure to gain an advantage was shown up on the hour when possession was lost in midfield.

The ball was moved out to winger Josh Burge on the right who found himself one-on-one with Witham and beat the Holwell keeper.

The hosts were under the cosh now as Irchester sent balls over the defence, to try and turn the back four.

Ryan Lovell got on the end of one such move, but Witham saved with his legs.

However, with Holwell pushing on chasing the game, they succumbed to another ball over the top after 70 minutes which Lovell controlled and lobbed the advancing Witham.

Thompson was unlucky not to get the home side back in the game a minute later when Liam Chapman, on for Hendey, teed him up.

He then beat two defenders and got a shot away, but to sum up Holwell’s day, the diving Hamilton touched it onto his right-hand post, and the rebound bounced back across goal to be cleared by a defender.

Home fans will hope their team can take their first half positive display into the League Cup match on Tuesday when they host UCL Premier side Sleaford Town (ko 7.45pm).

Holwell: Witham, Surridge, Betteridge, Bitmead, Ridout, Stevenson, Baker (Fjodorovs), Hendey (Chapman), Thompson, McGarry (Calver), Tinsley.