Second home league clean sheet secures the points
Riley goal settles the outcome of close local "derby"
One aspect of the change of leagues for Holmer, is the number of games that could be classed as “local derbies”. This won’t make up for the extra 50% traveling involved overall. But games against other East Berkshire teams like Ascot, Windsor, and Binfield, may well attract more interest than those against our previous “neighbours” like Berkhamsted, Tring, and Leverstock Green.
In front of the biggest home crowd for 12 months, The Greens made several enforced and voluntary changes from Saturday’s line up which saw the club exit The FA Cup. Michael Duffy was injured, so Martin Lancaster came in at left back. Luke Rhyll who had performed in an unaccustomed role at right-back dropped to the bench, and Zach Crawford made his debut in that position. Ryan Parsons came back from holiday to resume in central defence, releasing James Britnell to play up front. James Burrell also made his first 2018-19 start. In the forwards Jamie West was injured, and Dean Powles was left out. With the management giving Tom Fifield his first start of the campaign instead of the unavailable Leo Blackman. Jon Cox made his first start after a couple of substitute appearances. Even previous skipper Curtis Stone was on the bench, which also included Mason Scott, and Adam Riley.
The first half was fairly even, but with ten minutes to go the break the dangerous Minhas finally got way from Dean Munday and Parsons. But he was thwarted by Aaron Brown who defended his near post well. The visitors went on to have two other half chances almost immediately, but both goals survived fairly comfortably over the first 45 minutes. HT 0-0
The first real action of the second period saw a Dan Hunt header
blocked at the visitors’ goal. A passage of play which ended with a corner at the other end that was delayed while Parsons was treated for a knock. The corner eventually came finding Holmer with only ten men on the pitch. Far post action almost finished with an Ascot goal, but the ball came back off the angle of post and bar. After Riley replaced Fifield on 63 minutes, Brown again had to perform his near post heroics. But the change of Holmer’s formation up front seemed to trouble the away defence. Perhaps they felt that their forwards needed help, as they had failed to capitalise on the play and chances thus far. Whatever the reason, they seemed to play further forward and this played into the home team’s hands especially those of Riley. But a long range Ascot shot, on 69 minutes, grazed to top of the Holmer crossbar. Two minutes later The Greens took the lead. Hunt released Riley who drew the ‘keeper, and slid the ball past him into the corner of the goal. Ascot must have felt that they still had plenty of time to rectify the situation. But the onslaught didn’t really come, as Holmer was regularly stretching United’s defence. The game did liven up a little with two cautions for each side. But the body language of the now well-policed Minhas said it all, and Holmer held on.
Team: Brown, Crawford, Lancaster, Burrell, Munday ©, Parsons, Matt Wooster, Hunt, Britnell, Cox, & Fifield.
Substitute Used: Riley
Substitutes Not Used: Powles, Stone, Rhyll, & Scott.