First win in two months with fine performance
Sixth-placed Leighton succumb to twentieth-placed Greens in excellent team performance from Chris Allen's Watchet Lane squad.
With no home wins in the league at all, and two months without a win of any sort, The Greens came into this game on the back of two poor defeats. But Leighton, despite being on a ten match unbeaten run, didn’t fare too well on their visit to Watchet Lane rather like last season. With Leighton back at Step 5 after over 20 years at the level above, Holmer beat Town 3-0 with goals from Derby, Tackley, and Matt Wooster, last February. With two of those three named departed for presumably self-improvement, The Greens could not have been too confident of reversing recent results in this game. But at least several players were able to return to familiar positions on the field instead of filling in for others. Ryan Parsons reverted to right-back, Oscar Harrison got his first start of the season after one appearance as a substitute, playing at left-back. Both gave assured performances, with Parsons immediately getting back into his usual steady groove. James Burrell was to return to his preferred midfield berth. Alex Rice’s absence was compensated by a debut from young Alex Riley, making a total of six Holmer starters in the 17-19 age bracket. Alex Murray came back in at centre-half after late unavailability travails recently, making it four more at the kick–off between the ages of 22-25. Evergreen skipper Gary Lines making up the eleven, and still in his twenties.
A very young line-up who were to do the Club and Chris Allen proud over the ensuing 90 minutes. The game started with Holmer defending the Spurlands Road end. At this time of the year due to the low afternoon sun, this is not the preferred option. But Holmer were holding their own, when after 18 minutes Leo Blackman and Riley exchanged passes after picking up a loose ball. The former was in on goal and coolly slid the ball home. Luca Gaster in the home goal had to be alert on several occasions as Town looked to hit back. But the final minutes of the first half were fifty-fifty. HT 1-0
Expecting a second half onslaught from the away side, the young Greens managed the situation well. There were a few alarms, but both Jonty Summerell and Curtis Stone caused consternation in the Town defence on 66 and 73 minutes respectively. Gaster was determined to make it a clean sheet on his fifteenth consecutive game. He did so comfortably, thanks to his own ability, and solid defending further forward. Harrison had slotted comfortably in at left-back effectively countering Leighton’s most experienced player and captain, Marsala. The 90 minutes seemed to come up fairly quickly, thanks to Holmer’s extremely competent display. Gaster’s first clean sheet was duly achieved, and it was also The Greens’ first since early August!
Team: Gaster, Parsons, Harrison, Lines ©, Murray, Burrell, Summerell, Stone, Riley, Wooster, Blackman.
Substitute Used: Tom Peddle-James (for Riley 71 mins.)
Substitutes Not Used: James Awokoya, JJ Jarrott, Ben Booker, and Aaron Edwards.