First goalless draw of the season
Difficult pitch denies both teams
The atrocious playing conditions conspired to produce The Greens’ first goalless draw of the season. Both sides tried to play good football, but invariably the standing leg lost its balance at the vital moment. Whether in the act of shooting, or merely playing a short ball to a teammate.
Aaron Brown made his debut in goal for Holmer and acquitted himself well. Pawel Kotwica and Johan Rennamo kept their places after performing well at Welwyn a few weeks ago. There were also returns for Eliot Derby and Tom Gant, from a few months at Flackwell Heath. As was there a homecoming for Tom Fifield, after a season and a half at Chalfont Wasps. So many changes as well as the difficult pitch means that the Holmer side will need time to get to know and complement each other. Dan Hunt also played only his second game since returning at Welwyn and formed a solid partnership with Jamie Britnell at the back. There was also a surprise and welcome return to the squad for James Burrell, after a couple of months out with a retina problem.
Holmer’s first half chances fell to Gant, Alex Rice, Kotwica, and Curtis Stone. But Colney also had their moments, and Brown was forced into two good saves. HT 0-0
The nearest to a goal for the home side occurred almost immediately after the break. A close-range Gant shot was blocked involuntarily on the line, and when Fifield returned the ball across the goal no one could get a touch. On the hour Gant put Fifield through with a perfect ball. But under pressure from two defenders and the advancing goalkeeper, his firm shot went narrowly wide. Tom Peddle-James, who had replaced Rice, was the recipient of The Greens’ other big chance of the half on 82 minutes. He got in behind the visitors’ defence but needed one extra touch to line the ball up on the slippery pitch. A defender got in a vital foot at the last moment. As in the first half Colney were not to be discounted, and they had a few minutes of late pressure which might have brought extra reward. Again if not for the tricky conditions. A very brief run-out for Jonty Summerell and Dean Munday failed to produce a late home winner from a set-piece. For Munday it was a first appearance since the end of October, due to injury. Chris Allen will have selection problems ahead, with so many now available again. But with more postponements probably to come, he will surely need to use all of his senior players in rotation. Just to see out what may become a heavy end of season rush, to get the games in before the end of April.
The home game against Edgware this Tuesday (30th) is unlikely to go ahead, after the pitch suffered so much damage in the rain before and during this match. Indeed it may take a load of effort to get the surface ready for the Saturday home game versus Biggleswade United.
Team: Brown, Gary Lines ©, Rennamo, Stone, Hunt, Britnell, Gant, Derby, Kotwica, Fifield, Rice.
Substitutes Used: Peddle-James, Summerell, & Munday.
Substitutes Not Used: Burrell, and Anthony Tyson.