First League game versus Flackwell in over 40 years ends all square
By John Anderson
Crossbar denies West winning goal in late Holmer flurry
The Greens visited Wilks Park for the first time in over 40 years for a league fixture. Since the mid-seventies when the two clubs won the County Intermediate Cup in successive years. Both by beating the now-defunct, then Reading giants, Rabson Rovers.
It was also Holmer’s first August Bank Holiday afternoon game for many years, with the Spartan South Midlands League generally eschewing such fixtures in favour of Tuesday nights.
Playmaker Matt Wooster failed a late fitness test, and Ryan Parsons started on the bench after missing the win at Brackley last Wednesday. Gary Lines regained the captaincy, from Curtis Stone and Dean Munday, in his first start of the season. Lewis Workman again provided the pace up front.
On 4 minutes The Greens very nearly took the lead. Cox had a shot saves at full-length by Watkins in the home goal. Lines quickly followed up, by Watkins recovered at the expense of a corner. From that Stone set-piece, Dan Hunt headed on and the ball struck a Flackwell hand. But it was an involuntary movement, and only elicited weak appeals from the Holmer players. The rest of the half was fairly even, with Workman’s speed worrying the Heathens’ defence as the visitors’ main threat. HT 0-0
After the first 15 minutes of the second half, the home side began to assert themselves, but without troubling Aaron Brown. The game finished however with Holmer threatening to take all the points. On 82 minutes Tom Fifield found fellow substitute Jamie West. The striker’s volley crashed back into play, off the bar. The ball fell invitingly for Workman, but his header just cleared the same part of the frame of the goal. Five minutes later a desperate home tackle led to a Stone free kick 25 yards out. The kick was deflected past the wrong-footed Watkins. But it had come off a Holmer player in an offside position, reprieving the hosts.
The result cost Flackwell second place. With Reading City surprising losing at Ardley, Wantage move three points clear at the top. Holmer retain seventh place after six games.
Team: Brown, Zach Crawford, Michael Duffy, Stone, Munday, Hunt, Lines ©, James Burrell, Jamie Britnell, Jonathan Cox, Workman.
Substitutes Used: Parsons, Fifield, & West.
Substitute Not Used: Wooster.