Five goal romp takes The Greens to within three points of the top.
By John Anderson
West hat-trick helps Holmer onto thirteen points, along with Windsor, Flackwell, Wootton Bassett, and Brimscombe & Thrupp
Holmer recorded their biggest home win for 18 months, after capitalising on a perfect start gifted to them. Ardley had beaten title-chasers Reading City by 3 clear goals only ten days previously, and fielded 9 of that successful side for this game. But as they comfortably played the ball across their back line in the opening minutes, a stray pass was pounced on by Jamie West. He finished the chance off comfortably, with the away ‘keeper wanting to berate his team-mates almost as much as trying to save the shot. On 10 minutes Ryan Parsons had a good opportunity to increase the lead. Curtis Stone’s corner kick was headed on by West at the near post. However the chance came very quickly, and the young defender almost involuntarily headed over the crossbar from close range. The recalled Joffy Cox did increase the home side’s advantage on 19 minutes. With the Referee playing an excellent advantage he shrugged off the miscreant, and placed a fine shot across the ‘keeper into the bottom corner from 25 yards out. On 27 minutes a James Burrell free kick was headed onto the Ardley crossbar by Dean Munday. Lewis Workman was quickly onto the rebound, to steer the ball home. But the stand-side Assistant denied him his first Holmer goal, with a marginal offside decision. Cox then had a near post effort cleared off the line. United fashioned a couple of corners just before the break. But generally The Greens kept the visitors well under control, and restricted them to hopeful long-range efforts when under pressure. HT 2-0
Burrell helped the home side increase their lead on 57 minutes. His left-wing cross just evaded the oncoming Workman, but that run had distracted the defenders from West’s presence at the far post. Like a true striker, he took just one touch to control the ball perfectly. Enabling him to half-volley the ball immediately and firmly past the ‘keeper. Cox was denied by the Ardley ‘keeper’s legs, before The Greens went further ahead on 65 minutes. A Stone corner-kick was met by the onrushing and unchallenged Parsons, who bulleted a header into the net from eight yards. Adam Riley and Matt Wooster came on for Holmer. Riley quickly struck up an understanding with West, and on 78 minutes the fifth goal and West’s hat-trick were confirmed. When West was able to slip Riley’s pass under the ‘keeper. That combination set up several more unsuccessful attempts on the visitor’s goal. Ardley set up their best chance of the game on 82 minutes with a right-wing break. But the accurate cross was headed wide. Wooster got a good 15 minutes under his belt, following his return after a couple of games out as Holmer comfortably saw the match to an end.
Team: Aaron Brown, Zach Crawford, Burrell, Stone, Munday, Parsons, Gary Lines ©, Workman, West, Cox, Dan Hunt.
Substitutes Used: Wooster, Riley, & Mason Scott.
Substitute Not Used: Leo Blackman.