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First Team - Match centre

Welwyn Garden City
Holmer Green FC
Wed 30 Aug 19:45 - Cup Full time

Young side performs well at Title Favourites

The Greens hold out for 83 minutes before conceding two late goals as legs tire

The Citizens paraded yet another new signing in ‘keeper Charlie May, late of Leverstock Green. But The Greens had their own debut man between the sticks with 17 year-old Tom Wilson, very much looking the part both physically and in fine action. There was also a first start for young Alex Rice up front, and Parsons along with Mapley made up a quartet of U-18’s in the side. Added to Murray and Wooster who both played for the Youth Team, earlier in their playing careers within the past few seasons. This Holmer side probably barely had 10% of the home side’s experience at this level, but they thwarted their hosts for most of the match. Wilson excelled on several occasions and Parsons headed off the line on the half-hour. Ben Bradley was again regularly exposed by a large void in front of him; a problem which needs to be addressed if the defence is to be more watertight. The only card of the evening was a yellow for City’s Bronti, who crudely tackled Bradley on half-way. HT 0-0
On 53 minutes Rice enthused the Holmer faithful with a fine run. Record must be made, at this point, of the fine 90-minute contribution from fellow forward Rikki Gilbert. His selfless running and closing down, consistently made room for Rice to run at the Citizens’ defence. Which the young player did, attracting no little physicality. Welcome to The Spartan South Midlands League! By the hour mark the home side had resorted to Route One. As despite individual errors, there was always another Green shirt to cut out the danger or Wilson to gather the ball safely. On 66 minutes City sent on two substitutes, an out and out centre-forward and a left-winger. This definitely increased the likelihood of a home breakthrough. On 83 minutes it came from a left-wing attack and cross. The centre found a gap at the far post between Jamie Britnell and Bradley. Rolfe read the situation perfectly, and met the ball with a thumping volley which gave Wilson no chance. Immediately at the other end, Gilbert and Rice forced a mistake in the home rear-guard. But another defender was on hand, to clear the loose ball from in front of goal. Holmer were now visibly tiring, and despite the introduction of Tyson in midfield, they succumbed to a freak event. A forward ball in midfield was going to no particular Welwyn player. But in his attempt to head the ball away, Curtis Stone headed the ball accidentally backward into his own penalty-area. Where three opponents, who would have been offside to a ball deliberately played there by a team-mate, were lurking. Bronti accepted the gift in the last minute of normal time. An excellent overall performance by the mostly young and inexperienced Holmer Green team. Which will give Manager Chris Allen plenty of thinking time, when older players have recovered from injury or are available again.

Team: Wilson, Parsons, Bradley, Callum Mapley, Alex Murray, Britnell, Stone, Gary Lines ©, Gilbert, Rice, Matt Wooster.
Substitute Used: Tyson.
Substitutes Not Used: James Burrell, Mason Scott, & JJ Jarrott.

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