Game slips away in final 15 minutes
Oxfordshire side prevail with two late goals
Holmer’s first-ever FA Vase game was also in West Oxfordshire, way back in 1996 when they went down 2-0 at Carterton Town. In that game The Greens were outclassed by a big-spending side, who were just too strong for them. In this encounter at Radcot Road, just a few miles away from Kilkenny Lane, the two sides were pretty evenly matched. The deciding factor was yet again Holmer’s inability to convert good play and possible openings into goals. Both sides played better kicking up the slope, and all three goals could be said to have caught central defenders out. As the forward ball, on each occasion, held up for the oncoming forward to slip the ball past the ‘keeper. The main moment of an open first half, which was marred by both sides’ wayward passing, came on 24 minutes. Ryan Parsons kept the ball alive close to the clubhouse. Aaron Couch received the short pass infield, and looked up to see Dean Powles set off. His pass cleared the central defenders and Powles kept his composure to score from 15 yards. Raiqwan Joseph was making his competitive debut for The Greens. His pace was troubling Clafield. But not surprisingly, with Powles having missed the last six games through injury, there was little meaningful interplay between them to trouble the home defence. HT 0-1
Holmer started the second half on the front foot, and this was when the game should have been won. Powles was denied by a last-ditch tackle, Alex Murray struck the crossbar, and Jamie Britnell had both a header and a shot blocked or cleared off the line all within the first twenty minutes of the half. But there were signs that Clanfield has begun to find ways of putting Holmer under pressure.
Murray had to stop a dangerous low cross at the expense of a corner. The home side was happy to concede a free-kick and a caution when Joseph was clearly prevented from getting away from the last defender. Albeit fifty yards from goal. Substitutions from the home side definitely upped their game. Matt Wooster picked up an unlucky caution. The Referee, coming under verbal criticism from the home crowd following confusion at a home substation and a simultaneous return to the field by an injured Powles, decided to re-stablish some control by carding the unlucky midfielder for an innocuous foul by the touchline. On 78 minutes a hopeful punt up-field caught Holmer’s central defence out, misjudging the high bounce. Kennedy tucked the ball under Luca Gaster, who gave yet another good performance between The Greens’ sticks. Six minutes later Holmer withdrew Parsons and Wooster, sending on Jonty Summerell and Anthony Tyson. The game was resumed with a free-kick just in the home side’s half. This time, Holmer’s central defence was seemingly caught napping. The ball floated over them and substitute Kennedy ran on to repeat the equaliser. A further five minutes, and another four of stoppage time were successfully negotiated by Clanfield, much to Holmer’s frustration.
Team: Gaster, Parsons, Bradley, Gary Lines ©, Murray, Britnell,
Joseph, Wooster, Powles, Couch, Burrell.
Substitutes Used: Summerell, and Tyson.
Substitute Not Used: Curtis Stone.