Sound result against perennial bogie opponents
Third clean sheet from three for Aaron Brown
With Tom Gant pushed up to replace the suspended Tom Fifield, Eliot Derby was missing so James Burrell moved back into his favoured midfield. Martin Lancaster was able to start at left-back, and if Nottingham University can do without him on his Aeronautical Engineering studies we may have the luxury of a regular left-back for a few weeks! Aaron Brown came back in goal after his holiday and injury which had kept him out for four games. He responded by keeping his third clean sheet in his three appearances so far. After finishing fifth last time out, Athletic have struggled in the league this season, but had picked up recently and climbed above Holmer.
The Greens took the lead after only five minutes. Tom Peddle-James nipped smartly in front of his marker getting onto a through ball and set up Tom Gant with a short pass. Gant scored his first goal of the season as he ran through from 25 yards out and passed the ball confidently past the oncoming ‘keeper. On 13 minutes Dean Munday was unable to keep the ball down when shooting at goal following a corner, and soon after Pawel Kotwica had the ball in the Tring net only to see the Assistant’s flag raised for offside and extending the wait for a deserved first Holmer goal in his eighth successive appearance. Tring had a couple of forays into the The Greens’ penalty-area before the lead was doubled on 24 minutes. Curtis Stone fed Lancaster whose low cross was turned goal-ward by Kotwica. Despite a great effort from the visitors’ ‘keeper the ball hit the back of the net at pace. On 35 minutes a promising Holmer attack was intercepted. Tring counter-attacked quickly. Sunderland, who was to be their biggest threat all night, got in a shot which passed just the wrong side of Brown’s post from an angle. HT 2-0
For the first time in a home league match this season Holmer had the luxury of a two-goal lead. Many times over the years such an advantage has been wasted. But The Greens displayed an air of confidence, no doubt brought about by their recent form. That is not to say that that Athletic was not dangerous. On the contrary it was an open game with both sides setting up promising attacks. In Holmer’s efforts, on 51 minutes Kotwica actually got around the Tring custodian but couldn’t keep his balance or his shot under the crossbar. Two minutes later Leo Blackman noticed Gant and Tom Peddle-James, both at the far post. His perfect cross was met by the former who headed it in textbook style back across the goal beyond the ‘keeper. But just as the ball was about to cross the line a defender had got back to make a brilliant and acrobatic clearance from under the crossbar. On 69 minutes Gant had a fierce shot beaten out. On 74 minutes Kotwica gave way for Jamie Britnell, after putting in yet another great shift up front. Burrell also soon made way for Matt Wooster to come on, and Munday again had an effort off target following a set-piece. On 85 minutes after a good clearance at one end from Gary Lines, Holmer got the ball up the field smartly and Blackman’s immaculate cross was headed home simply by Britnell from six yards. Rikki Gilbert then came on for Peddle-James and the home side were able to continue on the front foot. As Athletic finally realised it was not their night despite having plenty of the ball. Ryan Parsons at the back had another sound game continuing his partnership with Munday, which has served Holmer well over the last few games.
Team: Brown, Lines ©, Lancaster, Burrell, Munday, Parsons, Peddle-James, Stone, Kotwica, Gant, Blackmore.
Substitutes Used: Britnell, Wooster, & Gilbert.
Substitutes Not Used: Alex Rice, & Anthony Tyson.