Holwell Sports skipper: Melton derby could kickstart our season

Holwell Sports captain Aaron Ridout EMN-161116-102919002
Holwell Sports captain Aaron Ridout EMN-161116-102919002
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Holwell Sports captain Aaron Ridout believes next Tuesday’s Senior Cup quarter-final derby with Melton will draw an interesting comparison between the two leagues.

It will be the first time both sides have met on an equal footing at step six of the non-league pyramid, with Melton Town promoted to the United Counties League this season, while Holwell play in the East Midlands Counties League.

Holwell reached the first qualifying round of the FA Vase this season EMN-161024-125315002

Holwell reached the first qualifying round of the FA Vase this season EMN-161024-125315002

Ridout said: “In Melton’s league they like to play a bit more football, while ours is a little more physical.

“It’s massive for the town and a massive game for us to kickstart our season. It’s been a while since we won a trophy so this is a good chance for us.

“Our supporters are always loyal to Holwell and Melton have a good fan base so hopefully the weather’s nice and we get a fair few down there to watch.”

Holwell’s last major silverware came in May 2006 when they lifted the Beacon Bitter Senior League Cup, beating Ibstock on a rainy evening at Barrow.

Underlining the many connections between the two clubs, Holwell’s caretaker manager that night, Howard Eccleston, is now vice-chairman of Melton.

Ridout is aware of the dangers Melton possess going forward, but believes there is enough firepower in his side to book a semi-final spot.

“There will be a lot of good football and there will be goals in the game,” he added.

“They have some good strikers scoring lots of goals at the moment, but when Laithan (Hammond) is on it, he’s unstoppable.

“I don’t think it will be feisty, but we will be there ready to go.

“Being at their place is perhaps a little bit of an advantage for them, but I would expect to go there and get a result.

“It will come down to who wants it more on the day.”

It has been a frustrating campaign for Holwell so far with injuries, unavailability and suspensions stopping manager John Webster from consistently fielding his strongest XI.

They lie 15th in the East Midlands Counties League after a run of eight defeats in their last 11 league outings.

“Webbo is methodical in his way of going about things, but it’s been frustrating for him not to get the same team week in and week out,” Ridout said.

“When we have more consistency in the team selection then we will be alright.”

“We have a better squad now with a decent reserves team and also a development side so we can take players from there which helps the squad as a whole. “We have had to call on the young lads to try and fill the gaps.”

* Kick-off at Digital Deadline Park, at Melton Sports Village, off Burton Road, is 7.30pm.