Kimberley Miners Welfare 0-0 Holwell Sports

Kieran Foster went closest to a winner for Holwell in the dying minutes at Kimberley EMN-150902-104250002
Kieran Foster went closest to a winner for Holwell in the dying minutes at Kimberley EMN-150902-104250002
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After another weather-enforced break, Holwell returned to action at Kimberley who sat immediately above them in the table at the start of play.

With the sides level on points, this was always going to be a close encounter, especially on a pitch which was not football-friendly.

Manager Simon Daws had the rare luxury of naming an unchanged side with keeper Stainsby – returning from suspension – coming into the team which beat Anstey.

Both sides showed plenty of endeavour, but the footballing quality was minimal, mainly down to the state of the Stag Ground pitch.

Kimberley had the first chance to break the deadlock but their striker’s header was off-target with the goal at his mercy.

Holwell responded and had the best of the play for the remaining 20 minutes of the half.

Mooney was put through by Stevenson but his clip over the on-rushing goal keeper drifted wide, while further chances fell to Keast, Wells, and Stannard but all failed to trouble the keeper as their efforts were blocked or intercepted.

The second half began in much the same vein with the midfield the main battleground. As the half progressed, Kimberley began to get on top and restricted Holwell to counter-attacks.

The home side’s best chance saw Stainsby forced into a smart double save, rushing off his line to deny the oncoming forward before quickly reacting to block the follow-up effort.

Holwell weren’t content with just defending for the draw with Stannard, Mooney, and Stevenson all trying their luck, but failing to trouble the keeper.

Daws introduced new signing Parra-Watson for his debut as he reshuffled his pack in search of the opening goal.

With time running out the hosts were reduced to 10 men when the referee showed a second yellow card to a Kimberley midfielder, but time was against Holwell to take full advantage.

The visitors created two further chances in the final five minutes, but failed to make either count.

Keast shot wide from distance with runners overloading the attack, and in the dying moments Foster was put through and beat the keeper, but saw his effort flick off the crossbar and to safety.

The result maintained the status quo with Kimberley and Holwell in 11th and 12th respectively, but with Sports having two games in hand.

Daws’ side has the chance to gain places on Tuesday night when they host Aylestone Park at Welby Road. A good win could see them jump to ninth before they travel to Ellistown and Ibstock on Saturday.

Holwell: Stainsby, Foster, Hallam, Ridout, Chapman, Keast, Stevenson, Hibbitt, Wells, Stannard (Parra-Watson 75), Mooney. Subs not used; Smith, Denigan.