Holwell Sports sunk by late Ashby Ivanhoe salvo

Centre-half Rob Woodcock bagged Holwell's second equaliser EMN-180201-131542002
Centre-half Rob Woodcock bagged Holwell's second equaliser EMN-180201-131542002
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Holwell Sports suffered a late hammer blow as three goals in the last five minutes condemned them to defeat by fellow strugglers Ashby Ivanhoe.

Sports had twice come from behind to level on Saturday and looked the more likely to grab a winner, but Ashby punished the hosts for their lack of concentration late on.

Kyle Reek (left) slammed made it two goals in as many matches on Tuesday evening EMN-180201-131531002

Kyle Reek (left) slammed made it two goals in as many matches on Tuesday evening EMN-180201-131531002

The match started evenly with Ivanhoe perhaps having the slight edge as both sides showed endeavour in approach play, but poor finishing.

The visitors broke the deadlock after 18 minutes when Holwell lost the ball in midfield after Rob Woodcock’s mistake, allowing captain Mitch Woodbine to break free and slot past Witham.

Holwell rallied with a good move down the left as Michael Stevenson passed to Kyle Reek who set Tyler Sibson through to shoot agonisingly wide.

And minutes later Stevenson’s volley forced keeper Nik Ivanov into a great save.

Ivanhoe struggled to get to grips with Stevenson in midfield, and while dangerous on the break, Holwell looked safe at the back.

The home side had another chance on the half-hour when Liam Chapman received the ball on the left of the 18-yard box, but with a clear target, fired over the bar.

Holwell chose to swap Reek and Reeves at half-time for Cowling and Shaun Smith, and it looked a good move.

Within a minute of the restart Cowling had a clear chance to level, but was caught cold so soon into the game and the keeper saved easily.

Holwell had started with the greater intent and seven minutes in were deservedly level when Sibson benefitted from Ashby’s failure to clear their lines from a Holwell throw-in.

Ashby were back in front within six minutes as Holwell sat back, leaving themselves open at the back for Angus Blair-Park to steal in and beat Witham.

But with the game becoming end-to-end, Holwell were straight back in it just a minute later when Woodcock scored from close range after yet another corner.

Holwell were easily on top with Stevenson smashing another volley at Ivanov’s goal, but this time the effort went just over.

Shaun Smith was getting some tough treatment on the right, but still went close with a left-footed effort which forced another great save from Ivanov who tipped the shot over the bar.

Bitmead then went close, heading over from a corner when he should maybe have done better.

Holwell brought on Luke Underwood for Dean Randall who was teetering on the verge of a second yellow card for persistent fouling.

The home side also lost Sibson to a leg injury and the game suddenly turned as 10-man Sports lost momentum.

The match looked likely to finish level as both teams started to feel the effects of the very heavy pitch, but Ashby, rallied by their numerical superiority, produced a profitable push for victory.

Holwell seemed to lose all concentration as the visitors struck three times in as many minutes.

Woodbine first beat Witham after 86 minutes with a strong shot from just outside the 18-yard box, the shot dipping and bending as it flew, leaving Witham with no chance.

Two minutes later Josh Malmeron was allowed to weave his way through the defence to slot past Witham, and a minute later Woodbine capped a strong performance with his hat-trick.

The scoreline flattered Ashby and was a real pity for Holwell who for most of the match looked favourite to get a good result to end the year.

Holwell: Witham, B. Smith, Bitmead, Woodcock, Hazeldine, Reeves (Cowling), Reek (S. Smith), Randall (Underwood), Stevenson, Chapman, Sibson.