Railwaymen's power too much for youthful Greens
Courageous effort by Holmer ends in B&B Senior Cup exit at Didcot Town.
Match Report, Tuesday 19th September 2017
Berks & Bucks Senior Cup Round 1
Didcot Town 4 Holmer Green 1
Following the County’s decision to re-organise the County Cups this season, Holmer found themselves in the Senior Cup together with several Step 4 clubs including Aylesbury United, Beaconsfield, Chalfont St Peter and Maidenhead United so it was always going to be a tough ask visiting Didcot Town who are currently 7th in the Evo-Stik South West Division.
Due to injuries and unavailability’s, Holmer had a young look about the side with four seventeen year olds in the starting lineup and put in a courageous performance against more illustrious performers.
Unsurprisingly The Railwaymen started the stronger with right-back Jeacock making the most of the amazing amount of space he was allowed, constantly probing the visitors defence, but to his credit Jarrott dealt well with little support. McNish sidefooted wide from one Jeacock cross when well placed, but as Greens settled they forced two corners in quick succession after good work by Couch and Wooster, but both came to nothing.
With twenty-two minutes played, Didcot had a chance to take the lead when Reid burst into the area but was blocked by Lines and a penalty was awarded. Jeacock’s powerfully struck spotkick was magnificently saved by Luca Gastor who then dived on a header from the resulting corner. The young keeper was having an assured start and was again soon in action saving well from a Barder free-kick. With the home side’s frustration growing, they final broke the deadlock on thirty-four minutes when Greens were caught out by a long ball from right to left and the lively Callum McNish powered through a couple of challenges and hit a powerful shot that squeezed through Gastor’s dive. Soon after Reid had two chances, but blazed the first over the bar and saw the second well saved by Gastor.
Holmer weren’t totally out of it and following good work by Summerell, Powles was just unable to get any power into his header from the cross.
With the players ready to start, Holmer were forced to make a change as Parsons was taken ill on the pitch and Michael Adeste came on to make only his third first team appearance in two years, all as substitute. Greens started the half much brighter and within minutes of the restart, a good run by Blackman took him into the Didcot area where he won a corner. Couch’s kick fell to Jonty Summerell who turned and fired home the equaliser. Soon after Adeste picked up a loose ball some forty yards out and his speculative effort seemed to surprise Bedwell who struggled to push it away to safety.
Didcot slowly regained their composure and again started to dominate with Barder shooting well over after good play by Reid and Hayden forcing another good save from Gastor. Jeacock and Lamptey were continuing to cause problems on the flanks and on fifty six minutes, Reid broke clear on the left and his cross found Louis Joyce who fired home. Minutes later a mistake in midfield by Munday allowed Lamptey to run clear and into the Holmer area and although he appeared to lose control the ball and his initial effort was blocked, his second effort found the net. Greens refused to give up and to their credit could and probably should have had a second when soon after Summerell shot wide of the near post, a superb cross by Adeste found Joseph unmarked in the six yard box at the far post, but somehow he put his effort wide.
As Greens tired, Joyce was again allowed through on goal, but Gastor made another fine save before in the dying minutes, the Railwaymen scored a fourth when Holmer got caught pushing upfield and Humphries headed forward for Joyce to run onto unchallenged and fire past the oncoming keeper.
All in all, a gallant effort by Holmer who never gave up, but in the end the power, strength and experience of the higher rated opponents proved too much. The young lads all put in a good showing and they will all have learnt from the experience.
Holmer Green MOM – Luca Gastor.
Team: Luca Gaster, Ryan Parsons, James Jarrott, Gary Lines ©, Dean Munday, Jonty Summerell, Aaron Couch, James Burrell, Dean Powles, Matt Wooster, Leo Blackman.
Substitute Used: Alex Rice, Michael Adeste, Raiqwan Joseph.
Substitutes Not Used: Anthony Tyson.
Report by John Ostinelli