Melton v Holwell - honours even in town’s rare derby clash

Jack Baker and David Hazeldine have both played for Melton and Holwell in different spells EMN-180612-163424002
Jack Baker and David Hazeldine have both played for Melton and Holwell in different spells EMN-180612-163424002
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With no league meetings before this season, derbies between Melton and Holwell have been rare, keenly-anticipated jewels in the fixture lists.

Meetings became even scarcer since the Melton Charity Cup became a youth team affair in 2013, but honours have been even over the last decade.

Laithan Hammond scored a stunning goal for Holwell in the county cup clash EMN-180612-163413002

Laithan Hammond scored a stunning goal for Holwell in the county cup clash EMN-180612-163413002

The teams last met almost two years ago to the day when they were drawn together in the quarter-finals of the Leics Senior County Cup.

After the original tie was frozen off, the rescheduled match took place the following midweek at Melton Sports Village.

The game was effectively over by half-time as Holwell roared into a 3-0 lead thanks to goals from Chris Hibbitt, Joe Williams and Laithan Hammond.

Ash Palfreyman’s shot deflected in off Hibbitt to give Tony Thorpe’s side hope in first-half stoppage-time, but that would prove to be the end of the scoring.

Holwell, led by John Webster, went on to reach the final, but were beaten by a last-gasp Leicester Road winner.

You would have to go back another six years for the previous meeting which also ended in an away win when the sides met at Welby Road in the Melton Charity Cup final.

Higher-league Holwell, who played two levels higher than Melton, were hot favourites to land the cup, having dominated the competition for several seasons.

But Melton Mowbray, as they were then known, kept themselves in the game and carried a threat of their own as the tie ended goalless.

The match went straight to penalties and Melton, managed by Matt Curtis, won the shoot-out to shock their hosts.

In a twist of fate, Curtis would soon be returning to Welby Road as Holwell’s new manager.