Unfortunate Britton Red Card overshadows excellent team peformance
By John Anderson
Promotion-chasing Mitres held at Kayte Lane, as The Greens move up to seventh
The Greens prevented the promotion-chasing Mitres from doing the double over them. Stopping the Gloucestershire side joining only Binfield, so far, with that distinction this season. Only Lyd-ney Town can now join this exclusive club. Holmer put up a much better performance than in the home game, where they conceded six unanswered goals in the last 30 minutes. To go down despite having an undeserved half-time lead.
The wind at Kayte Lane was as strong as any encountered all season, and blew straight towards the clubhouse throughout. The visitors obviously lost the toss, and had to kick into the wind from the off. With Riley, Stone, and Powles unavailable, there were starting places for Luca Perrin, Greg Wright, and Josh Adeyileka.
Expecting a 45 minute onslaught from the start, The Greens withstood early pressure and took an unexpected lead from the third of quick successive right-wing corners. Skipper Dean Munday outjumped the large clutch of players at the near post, and placed his header just under the crossbar on 10 minutes. Just a minutes later a chance to increase the lead was spurned. Adeyileka was brought down in the act of shooting, But Wright’s spot-kick was well saved by the home ‘keeper. Holmer contin-ued to defend well and break dangerously, but were pegged back on 25 minutes. A through ball resulted in a shot that Aaron Brown saved, despite the ball bouncing in front of him. But Crowe followed up to score. That Holmer was playing well was underlined by the number of fouls that the home side were con-ceding at this stage. But when the game was in added time after the first 45 minutes the visitors conceded direct from a wind-assisted corner. HT 2-1
Matt Wooster was injured early in the second half and was ini-tially much hampered in his play. But generally The Greens were well in the game, and equalised on 73 minutes. A James Burrell pass was controlled by Adeliyeka’s chest into the path of substitute Elliot Britton, who had replaced Wright on the hour. The young midfielder passed the ball beyond the advancing ‘keeper, who is apparently off to Sweden this week to play pro-fessionally. But the Mitres almost took the lead again seven minutes later. A left wing break followed by a square ball pro-duced a shot against the foot of a Holmer post. Fortunately the ball passed across the goal to safety. On 83 minutes hesitation in the home defence resulted in a trip on Pawel Kotwica. Gary Lines, despite being on the field for just a few minutes having displayed the after effects of a very recent interaction with near-by Cheltenham Races before the kick-off, despatched the pen-alty firmly. Regaining Holmer’s one-goal advantage. The game took another turn a few minutes later. Britton was adjudged to have fouled an opponent, in a manner requiring an inordinately quickly-produced Red Card. From the view of the vast majority of onlookers, almost exclusively sheltering in the stand and at a 180 degree angle from the Referee, this seemed incredibly harsh. As the visiting player would not have seen the opponent coming in from behind him. This meant The Greens having to play the last ten minutes with only ten men. They held out until the sixth minute of stoppage time, when after a home corner had been cleared out wide the returning low cross could only be palmed inside his near post by Brown. This after a defender had lunged at the ball first, and failed to connect.
Holmer’s early season shyness in front of goal away from home is now a distant memory. From scoring only two away goals in the five months before Christmas, the 3 goals at Tuffley have been followed by no less than 10 more in the next five away matches.
Team: Brown, Zach Crawford, Perrin, Ryan Parsons, Munday, Dan Wilson, Wright, Burrell, Kotwica, Wooster, Adeliyeka.
Substitute Used: Britton, and Lines.