Holwell Sports manager Neil Miller feels his side are beginning to bring back the good old days to Welby Road as their momentum gathered more pace on Saturday.
Sports recovered from a slow start to see off Rushden and Higham United 4-1 and extend their unbeaten home run to nine league matches.
The last time home supporters witnessed defeat was back in September – the infamous 9-4 hiding by Blackstones – which conversely proved a turning point in their season.
“It was another professional performance from the lads,” said Miller.
“I don’t give them enough credit sometimes for the work they do, but over the last 12 weeks I believe they’ve really stepped up and made Holwell Sports the team they used to be five or six years ago.”
For Miller, Saturday was another yardstick of his side’s progress as well as a chance to lay a few ghosts following their 4-1 defeat at Rushden way back in August.
“It was the game I’d personally been looking forward to since about 5pm on the opening game of the season,” he added.
“We travelled to Rushden full of enthusiasm and left realising we had a lot of work to do.
“We feel between then and now we’ve worked really hard both on and off the pitch to put that right, and for me Saturday was about showcasing that.
“The only disappointment was how we started. At 3pm the ref blew the whistle, and we turned up about 3.15pm.”
Rushden took advantage of Holwell’s sluggish start and could have been further in front than the single goal, scored in some style by forward Jory Mann.
But Sports are a different beast these days and were level with their first sniff of goal, Harry Allcock reacting quickest to a long ball to round the advancing keeper and slot into an empty net.
Holwell looked to turn the screw and forced the Rushden keeper into a string of top-class saves to keep the scores level up to half-time.
Encouraged by starting the second half still on level terms, Rushden carved out a couple of half-chances which home keeper Ben Challis dealt with in an even opening 10 minutes.
But from then on it was business as usual as the hosts spent much of the remaining match camped in the Rushden half.
Two more high-calibre saves denied Holwell the lead, and frustrations grew when in-form Aaron Black headed over from a yard out.
Yet the home side kept knocking at the door and with 15 minutes left, their persistence finally paid off when Black redeemed himself to put the Green and Gold ahead for the first time.
This knocked the stuffing out of Rushden, and now playing with their tails up, Holwell went for the kill.
Two minutes later, Aidan Black doubled the lead after Kyle Reek and Aaron Black combined well.
And with seven minutes left, Luke Peberdy capped the win from an inswinging corner, and Holwell had four goals at home for the fourth successive match.
“They are a great bunch who continue to show they are hungry for more, added Miller. “They’re a pleasure to work with.”
Holwell’s seventh home win of the season extended their unbeaten start to 2020 to five matches and lifted them up to 11th, within four points of Harrowby in seventh.
They now face a run of three away matches, starting at Raunds on Saturday. Kick-off 3pm.