Late penalty sends Holwell Sports into League Cup quarter-finals

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
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Holwell Sports continued their improvement under manager Andy Gray to see off Holbrook on Tuesday evening with an assured performance and book their place in the league cup quarter-finals.

Having been postponed four times, the away tie was switched to Welby Road by the East Midlands Counties League, and from the start the hosts looked in control, with Cowling going close within a minute of kick-off.

Holbrook took time to get going but had a good chance to go ahead through Hallsworth, but Holwell were spreading the ball about well, with Chapman seeing plenty of the ball on the left.

And from one of his fine crosses the home side went ahead as Kyle Reek rushed in at the back post to fire home a strong volley after 18 minutes.

Holwell continued to pressure the visitors’ defence with O’Grady and Stevenson controlling midfield. The industrious Liam Ambrose caused problems every time he got the ball, running the forward line well.

He did well to play in Stevenson who found Cowling but his shot was just wide.

The hosts were unlucky to lose the influential Chapman to injury just before half-time, replaced by Shaun Smith.

Holwell looked good for their lead, but needed another goal to make things a bit more comfortable, and they went close to scoring within a minute of the second half.

But Holbrook were not out of the tie and started to get back into the match, with winger Szondi seeing more of the ball on the right, and causing panic when his cross came down on top of the crossbar and over.

The hosts were living on the edge as Holbrook continued to press, but the defence did well, with keeper Witham making some great saves to retain the lead.

But it seemed only a matter of time before the visitors levelled and 13 minutes from time Szondi beat the offside trap, and in acres of space in Holwell’s half the winger rounded Witham and his shot crept into the net

The hosts resumed control with Ambrose still looking the most dangerous forward on the park.

And his hard work was rewarded with three minutes left when he burst into the box from the left and was brought down.

Referee Donaghey pointed to the spot and Ben Betteridge slammed the penalty past keeper Gilbert for 2-1.

The home side held on to follow up Saturday’s home win over Borrowash and book a last eight clash with Gedling Miners Welfare, at home, on Tuesday, March 13.

Holwell visit Stapenhill in the league on Saturday (ko 3pm).

Holwell: Witham, Hazeldine, Bitmead, Woodcock, Betteridge, Reek, O’Grady (Andrews), Stevenson, Chapman (S. Smith), Cowling, Ambrose. Subs not used: Walker, Cragg, Harris.