Stapenhil make Holwell Sports pay for missed chances

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Holwell Sports’ winless run stretched to 12 as they were undone by in-form Stapenhill at a rain-lashed Welby Road on Saturday.

A Tom Liversage double, a Lewis Campbell strike and Hallam own goal gave Stapenhill their fourth straight win and left Simon Daws’ men rooted in the bottom three.

Despite struggling for form, Holwell started well as Julian Joachim saw his shot blocked and then released Graham Wells who was denied by a fine sliding tackle from Paul Furniss.

Holwell keeper Carlton Cropper was twice tested by Niall Dawkins and Alex Britton as Stapenhill responded, but the hosts should have gone in front after eight minutes.

Michael Stevenson and Matt Lowe combined to send Wells down the right. His ball across the six-yard box found Lowe whose effort was stopped by Bullock’s reflex save.

The Stapenhill keeper produced another good stop from Wells, and they were left to rue their missed chances on 15 minutes when a long ball over Holwell’s defence found Liversage who took a sublime first touch, eased past a defender and guided a shot into the bottom corner.

Cropper then denied Alex Rowland and Liversage, but the hosts hit back with Stevenson sending Lowe clear, but Gilligan snuffed out the danger.

A wicked low cross driven in by Alex Purkis reached Ian Wells, but Bullock again came to Stapenhill’s rescue.

And minutes later it was 2-0 when Gilligan picked out Campbell who easily beat Holwell’s offside trap to slide the ball past Cropper.

Stapenhill were indebted to Bullock when went through one-on-one, the Swans keeper again equal to it with a fine save.

The pitch began to cut up badly in the second half under the incessant rain, but the Staffordshire side added a third after 56 minutes when Britton crossed to Liversage who took a touch before finding the bottom corner with a good finish.

Holwell should have had a consolation when full-back Purkis picked out Gary Drake unmarked, but the substitute was off target.

And two minutes from time, an attempted clearance from Liversage’s cross ricocheted off Hallam into the net to complete a miserable afternoon.

Holwell: Cropper, Barnard, Purkis, Hallam, Bitmead, Daws, I. Wells (Harris 57), Stevenson, G. Wells, Joachim, Lowe (Drake 73). Subs not used: Anderton, Routen.