Sweet revenge for Holmer against old foes.
The Greens recover from going down to 10 men, and score four unanswered second half goals.
Match Report, Saturday 5th August 2017
Emirates FA Cup, Extra Preliminary Round
Holmer Green 4 AFC Hayes 0
After a close season in which they lost at least four players of considerable ability and experience, The Greens faced opponents who had shown the difference between Steps 4 & 5 just three seasons ago. The pre-season friendlies had offered Manager Chris Allen and his Assistant Kevin Stone a good look at possible replacements. 17-year olds Ryan Parsons, Mason Scott, and JJ Jarrott had all shown great promise, and a few new faces also put themselves in contention. Come 3pm on the first Saturday of the competitive season, Parsons had “got the nod” along with three newcomers. But local “best buddies” Scott and Jarrott just missed out. Alex Rice, another Allied Counties’ player also made the bench along with last season’s skipper Gary Lines, Anthony Tyson, and another new signing Rikki Gilbert.
This was Holmer’s 20th tie, in 15 seasons in The FA Cup
The Greens started the better of the two sides. On 13 minutes a bout of ping-pong in front of the Hayes’ goal ended in Holmer Dean Munday heading at the visitors’ keeper, who was well off his line and vulnerable to a finessed effort. Holmer was in control, but unable to convert passion into goals like last season. Also as last campaign, they were susceptible to unnecessary defensive lapses. This Hayes team was not sharp enough up front to capitalise on any defensive uncertainty. The first half ended goal-less, but one incident could have changed the course of the game. On 31 minutes a loose ball on the half-way line brought a poor tackle from Curtis Stone. He should have known better. Earlier pulled up three times for fouls, and kicking the ball away following one such occasion, he had already come to the attention of the Referee. Having a good view from only a few yards away the Referee duly produced a Red Card. Not surprisingly this event lifted AFC Hayes, and newcomer Michael Davies was replaced by Gary Lines. Last year’s skipper did not play much towards the end of last season, hampered by an injury which is still in the throes of being dealt with by our under-pressure NHS. The steadying influence was definitely needed, and half time arrived with the score at nothing each. HT 0-0
After an early scare for Holmer at the Spurlands Road end, the home side went up the pitch and gained a left-wing corner. Lines’ corners are as good as those of Stone. The flighted cross evaded the ‘keeper, and the surprised full-back on the far post completely missed his kick under pressure. The ball entering the net via his standing leg. The ten men had their tails up now. First Burrell had a shot blocked, and Jamie Britnell headed into the side-netting at the far post. In the next 5 minutes AFC spurned two possible openings to get back in the game. Then with Dean Powles, who had been withdrawn deeper following the dismissal, beginning to come more into the game Holmer achieved the second breakthrough. After another debutant, Adam Milligan had just failed to return Powles’ headed pass. Holmer had two corners in quick succession. From the second, the third newcomer Munday powered in a header from eight yards. Milligan was withdrawn for Rice to come on. Holmer looked even more threatening now, and it was too much for one of the AFC wingers. Feeling hard done by over one decision, he took matters into his own hands. Now with ten versus ten, even two substitutions from the visitors failed to stem The Greens’ impetus. Even right-back Parsons was getting forward now. After Parsons shot straight at the ‘keeper, Munday failed to steer home a precise Powles header from close range. Then on 83 minutes Britnell saw a header from another accurate Lines’ corner come back off the bar. This is an area that the big centre-half, who has taken over the captaincy in Lines’ absence, can surely improve on? Both for his own satisfaction, and Holmer’s “Goals For” column in the league table. A minute later a through ball confused AFC ‘keeper and defender alike. Rice also chased the ball down, and when it rebounded few yards up-field he had the presence of mind to turn quickly and fire the ball into the relatively unguarded
net. After Rice had another shot deflected, Powles was taken off in favour of a fourth new boy,Gilbert. Yet another Rice effort brought a save out of the ‘keeper, before Parsons broke through on the right. He kept his head and put the ball under the advancing ‘keeper, to complete an emphatic win. Gaining revenge for the same score defeat by the same opposition, three years ago in the same competition. The Greens reward will be an away tie with either Cockfosters or Risborough Rangers in a fortnight’s time.
Team: Sam Butcher, Parsons, Ben Bradley, Stone, Munday, Britnell ©, Jonty Summerell, Milligan, Powles, Davies, Burrell.
Substitutes Used: Lines, Rice, Gilbert.
Substitutes Not Used: Tyson, Scott, Jarrott.