Three more vital points
By John Anderson
Six goals in two visits to Gloucester
Goals from Dean Munday (who else?), Dean Powles, and Pawel "Pav" Kotwica secure the win versus bottom-placed Longlevens who may still have their fate in their own hands.
The Greens came through this vital game and won a very important Step Five survival encounter on their first visit to Sawmills End. It’s just six weeks after another long trek to Tuffley Rovers (just two miles down the road towards Bristol) where Holmer also scored three goals on one match. A feat that is fairly unusual on the road, given that before Christmas they had only scored two away goals in the league. Before the game it was known that both Holmer and Longlevens had still to play Reading City twice this season. What will be the number of points required for safety? In a 42 game season it was always a 40-point target. This campaign it is an unknown quantity. 35 may be enough. With this win, Holmer moved onto 34 points with 7 games remaining.
And so to the actual 90+ minutes. Holmer basically stuck with the team that had seen off Chalfont Wasps in midweek to reach The Wycombe Senior Cup Final for the first time since 2006. That meant places on the bench only for Greg Wright, Luca Perrin, Pawel Kotwica, and Josh Adeyileka. The first half was definitely shaded by the home side. But The Greens went ahead on 9 minutes through Dean Munday, who moved onto eight goals for the season when using his thigh to turn in a Stone free-kick. Skipper Gary Lines had already been cautioned before this, as The Greens’ formation meant that the midfield was struggling to contain the home side’s proficiency in that area. Longlevens deservedly equalised on 26 minutes, when Aaron Brown was crowded out at the far post following a second phase cross, and the ball was hooked into the roof of the visitors’ net. At this stage Brown had already kept Longlevens at bay with several timely interventions. HT 1-1
Holmer started the second period beginning to match the home side better in midfield, but within 12 minutes had decided to make a double change. Wright and Perrin came on for full-backs Zach Crawford and Michael Duffy. Lines reverted to left-back, and Perrin played on the left. Within two minutes Matt Wooster had drawn a foul just outside the Longlevens penalty-area on the left.
The narrowness of the pitch was used to great effect by Stone, who wiped in a waist-high free-kick. Dean Powles got in front of his marker at the near post and bulleted the ball past the ‘keeper with his head. This moves the centre-forward onto 4 goals from only 11 starts, a good ratio for such a generally low scoring team. On 72 minutes a free-kick found its way to Adam Riley via Powles, but his shot took a deflection and came back off the crossbar. The Greens were looking much more comfortable now, and a left wing corner also found the top of the bar at the far post.
On 75 minutes Pawel Kotwica replaced Riley, and his fresh legs meant that he was able to constantly put the home defence under pressure when they were trying to play the ball out. His efforts finally paid off as the game moved into its five minutes of stoppage time. A ball from Munday was headed on by Wooster, finding Kotwica harrying the centre-back. He robbed the defender and took the ball round the ’keeper, to give the visitors a fairly easy final passage of play.
Team: Brown, Crawford, Duffy, Ryan Parsons, Munday, Dan Wilson, Lines ©, Stone, Powles, Riley, Wooster.
Substitutes Used: Wright, Perrin, & Kotwica.
Substitute Not Used: Josh Adeyileka.