Stoppage time penalty denies Holmer
By John Anderson
Great team performance away against 5th placed team
Match Report, Saturday 7th April 2018
Biggleswade FC 1 Holmer Green 1
After conceding a stoppage-time equaliser in this match, and finding that Oxhey Jets had apparently scored 7 goals at Hadley, The Greens may have left the field feeling frustrated about the loss of two possible points. But in fact it was a good point, turning around a seven-goal drubbing by the same opponents at Watchet Lane in August last year. Also the Oxhey result turning out to be an error, with the Jets actually losing 3-1. This now completes 75% of the league season for Holmer, and it seemed that the Management Team had already decided on a rotation system for the remaining games. Especially with home games versus Cockfosters and The Jets to come in the next seven days. Team changes were actually driven by availability, with Gary Lines, Tom Gant, James Burrell, and Eliot Derby all missing. James Jarrott came in at right-back, and Alex Rice proved his versatility by comfortably filling the other full-back berth. This in the absence of Martin Lancaster, who had become injured in his first full game of the season against Tring. Matt Wooster started for the first time since mid-March, four games ago. Rikki Gilbert also got a rare start. Not since early September at nearby Stotfold had he begun a senior match, mainly due to injury. Pawel Kotwica dropped to the bench after a run of eight straight starts, which finally brought him a much-deserved goal two days ago. The pitch was fairly bumpy, as all grounds are finally beginning to dry quickly. The Greens started confidently and Gilbert got an early shot in. Then a promising exchange of passes between Wooster, Tom Peddle-James, and centre-forward James Britnell ended disappointingly with no shot at all. Biggleswade are not in fifth place for no reason and passed the ball about confidently. But Holmer competed well, determined to extend their four-match unbeaten run. Midway through the first period The Greens had their first scare. A home corner ended with a shot which Jarrott was to clear comfortably off the visitors’ goal-line. On 39 minutes Aaron Brown palmed away a shot from the FC main striker following a quick break. The half came to an end with Dean Munday being denied by a very good save by the home ‘keeper from a corner, after which Britnell could not keep the resulting half-chance down. HT 0-0
After the break an early Holmer free-kick was headed over the home bar by Britnell. If there was one particular disappointment from this game, it was that The Greens failed to score from any of the many aerial opportunities that they won from set-pieces. On 51 minutes the speedy FC striker was well-policed by Munday, when trying to get onto a long ball. Gilbert gave way to Anthony Tyson on 56 minutes, and almost immediately the home ‘keeper had a lucky escape when he completely missed his kick from a back-pass. The ball passing narrowly wide of his post. On the hour
Holmer took the lead. After Peddle-James had taken the ball across the field evading three tackles, Britnell, Wooster, and Leo Blackman interchanged passes. Wooster was released behind the defence and steered the ball into the corner of the goal. The home side made three substitutions in order to regain parity. But Holmer might have increased their lead when Blackman nearly got though. But was held back in the area with an unseen tug on his shirt. Two minutes later FC almost scored out of the blue, when one of their substitutes tried his luck from range and the ball took a fortunate bounce when originally going wide. The ball rebounded off Brown’s right hand post and was safely gathered. On 85 minutes Britnell almost lobbed the FC ‘keeper whose height enabled a tip-over. Then one minute after coming on Kotwica homed in on goal, but the ‘keeper got down well at the expense of a corner. As the game moved two minutes into stoppage time. A harmless-looking cross from the FC right hit a Holmer defender on the arm, just inside their penalty-area. This gave the home side a fortunate point from the resulting spot kick. A view generously acknowledged by their Twitter Feed.
Team: Brown, Jarrott, Rice, Blackman, Munday, Ryan Parsons, Gilbert, Curtis Stone ©, Britnell, Wooster, Peddle-James.
Substitutes Used: Tyson, Kotwica, Richie Wallace.