Another away blank
By John Anderson
Four injuries sum up Holmer's day
Holmer again failed to trouble the opposing goal net for the seventh time in nine away league games this season. The home side started the day in second place and never really let The Greens into the game, being quick out of the blocks. Holmer can point to the fact that during the match four of their players had to leave the field injured, and so they played the last ten minutes with ten men. But it remains a cause for concern that they cannot seem to compete away from home, at anything like the level required.
The narrow pitch was grassy, soft, and bumpy. Not surprisingly the hosts’ speedy direct football kept Holmer mostly on the back foot, from the first whistle. But Adam Riley had a half-chance very early on, and Pawel Kotwica got in a tricky run and cross after 10 minutes. But just one minute later, Kotwica became the first visiting player to have to be substituted, after an opponent had accidentally trod on his heel. Immediately Aaron Brown denied the home side an opening goal with an acrobatic claw-back at the expense of a corner. However from the corner Brown was cleverly blocked off, and a Brimscombe central defender was allowed an unimpeded run at the ball. Which was connected with, six yards out, for the first score. Ten minutes later it was two, as The Greens failed to pick up a run, again, this time from a free-kick. They did however keep their goal intact from then until the interval. HT 2-0
If The Greens were to get anything from the game, they needed to score next. They had two chances to do so. On 48 minutes after Tom Fifield had to be replaced, James Britnell had an excellent chance. A cross from Adewale Omotayo was connected with, but was guided wide. Two minutes after this, the second opportunity came and went. Mason Scott crossed from the right, and Gary Lines ran in unchallenged at the penalty mark. But his header went straight at the exposed ‘keeper. These two misses spurred to home side to get at Holmer again. They were helped, when on 57 minutes, a suspicious looking “going to ground” by a home player was interpreted as a foul in the area. Brown got both hands to the penalty, but the well-struck ball had enough momentum to take it over the line via the inside of a post. Brimscombe now looked as though they would run riot, but Holmer kept them out with some desperate defending. Having used their third substitute to replace the injured Riley, Holmer was down to 10 when Ryan Parsons had to be withdrawn. On 87 minutes Omotayo drew a foul inside the home area after a good dribble. But The Greens’ day was cast, and as the Brimscombe ‘keeper threw himself towards his left-hand post his right shin inadvertently diverted the ball up to safety from the usually ultra-reliable Curtis Stone’s spot-kick.
Team: Brown, Oscar Harrison, Michael Duffy, Stone ©, Dean Munday, Parsons, Riley, Scott, Kotwica, Matt Wooster, Fifield.
Substitutes Used: Omotayo, Lines, & Britnell.