Sports end their losing streak in style with Thrapston victory

Melton Mowbray Croquet Club are hoping to build on solid foundations EMN-180609-151719002

Sports ended a run of five straight losses as a good performance saw them take the United Counties League points on Saturday.

As Jack Baker and Liam Chapman returned to the side after holidays boss Any Gray also brought back Michael Stevenson to midfield and Robinson to right back following injury, whilst moving Connor O’Grady to striker.

Holwell v Thrapston. Photo: Tim Williams.

Chapman twice went close in the early stages before Sports took a 13th minute lead when Ambrose collected Baker’s through-ball in acres of space as the visitors defence moved up and he confidently slotted past keeper Vitue opening the scoring.

Harry Thompson nearly doubled the lead with a header after a good cross, but the visitors levelled against the run of play in the 19th minute when Gatting sent a ball over the top for Ethan Lee to run on to and round the advancing John Binns in the Holwell goal.

Up front for Holwell, O’Grady and Ambrose were causing havoc as the visitors were pinned back relying on long balls out of defence, and they regained the lead on 27 minutes as Jack Baker collected the ball centre of the field 25 yards out and controlled the ball well before shooting high to the keeper’s left.

Ambrose twice had shouts for a penalty before the home side were again hit by a sucker punch against he run of play two minutes before the break when Gatting managed to unshackle himself to score the goal of the match as he made space for himself, he curled a ball high to Binns’ right hand corner, a stunner against the run of play.

Holwell v Thrapston. Photo: Tim Williams.

But Holwell restored their two goal lead before half time as a Robinson cross was sent out for a corner and from the flag kick Ian Bitmead scored at the back post.

The second half continued as the first with Holwell on top for most of the half.

Thrapston tried but could not counter the more positive play by Holwell and on 59minutes the game was seemingly won as a catalogue of errors saw keeper Vitue inexplicably head the ball instead of catching it near the edge of the box.

Connor O’Grady leaped to the ball as it came back down planting a header at goal which a defender failed to get to on the line to put Holwell 4-2 up.

Thrapston still looked troublesome at times as Bitmead did well to save a goalbound shot with a good header away but Holwell could have scored another couple before the end of the half as they continued to push on with Ambrose striking the bar after a cross from Chapman and Baker might have finished better after a mazy run through defenders but run out of space.

The result lifted Sports up to 13th in the UCL Division One table, and on Saturday they will travel to Aylestone Park who are two places ahead of them.

Holwell: Binns, Robinson, Betteridge, Bitmead, Ridout, Stevenson, Baker, Thompson, Chapman, Ambrose, O’Grady (Tinsely); Not used: Hazeldine, Calver, Cowling.

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