Tyson & Riley down Champions
By John Anderson
All-round team effort takes Holmer onto 39 points with 6 games to go.
Match Report, Saturday 21st April 2018
Holmer Green 2 Welwyn Garden City 1
Arguably The Greens’ best previous result this season was against promotion-chasing Leighton, back in November. Then the line-up was very youthful, probably the youngest ever fielded by Holmer at this level. For this game against the newly-crowned Champions, who are surely looking to break the 100 points barrier, Holmer were without Darren Britnell, Tom Gant, and Eliot Derby. Two of their most experienced players, and their top scorer. The two goals that Holmer scored, exceeding their previous average of 1.15 per game, came from players with just eight starts between them. For this game they also left regulars Curtis Stone and James Burrell on the bench. The visitors started like the winners that they obviously are, given their reported budget. A luxury that Holmer have never had, nor want. Within two minutes, City had come close twice and from the resulting corner they headed the ball against the bar. But The Greens gradually grew into the game, and on 10 minutes Tom Peddle-James found the ball conveniently at his feet as the City defence first began to show their fallibilities. But his effort was scuffed from eight yards. Leo Blackman was the next to threaten the visitors’ rear-guard, but his cross was hastily hacked away. League top-scorer Jon Clements got a chance for City on 24 minutes but his firm shot struck the outside of the post with Aaron Brown having the goal covered. Two minutes later, Pawel Kotwica robbed a dithering defender and bore down on goal. But his clean strike was just off-target. On 28 minutes Blackman was in on the right, but the ‘keeper came out and saved his effort. Gary Lines followed up, and his shot was deflected for an unproductive corner. These close calls fired Welwyn up, and they created a series of good situations. But they failed to find the correct final ball. A good first half for The Greens. HT 0-0
On 48 minutes a Lines’ free-kick was met solidly by Dean Munday. The ball fell to Peddle-James, but his attempt was tipped over by the ‘keeper. After Aaron Brown had foiled a good attack down the City left-wing, Peddle-James engineered a good situation at the other end. But after tying up two defenders he failed to notice that Kotwica had pulled away advantageously, and lost the ball. Young Adam Riley then came on for Peddle-James. On the hour Kotwica chased down a pass-back, the ball falling to a defender under pressure from the hard-working Tyson. The Greens’ midfielder robbed his man, advanced, and sent in a low shot which the ‘keeper got down to but could not prevent its progress towards goal giving the home side the lead. City were even more irked at this stage, and Brown was injured as they put more pressure on Holmer. But at the other end Corran earned the only yellow card of the match, when he blatantly committed handball to deny The Greens getting in on goal. This proved to be a punishment worth taking on 76 minutes. Holmer failed to deal with a corner, and the ball was put into the net at the third attempt. However, on 83 minutes Holmer regained their lead. Substitute Tom Fifield, put away on the right found Blackmore in the middle. A neat lay-off back to Riley was despatched into the goal via the left-hand post from 20 yards. In final ten minutes City tried to throw the kitchen sink at Holmer, but it was The Greens who had the best opportunity in this period. Fifield was put clear, with the ‘keeper having to venture into no man’s land. But he was put off by the opponent’s presence, and missed the ball completely. This famous win moves Holmer onto 39 points with six games left. In late January they only had 22 points and were in 19th place. Now they are in 16th place with games in hand on teams both below and above them.
Team: Brown, JJ Jarrott, Alex Rice, Tyson, Munday, Ryan Parsons, Peddle-James, Lines ©, Kotwica, Matt Wooster, Blackman.
Substitutes Used: Riley, & Fifield.
Substitutes Used: Paul Nicholls, Stone, & Burrell.