Experience tells after late kick-off
By John Anderson
Motorway delay and 4pm start doesn't stop The Greens from putting up a good performance at Brinkworth Road.
With most of the Holmer team incarcerated on the westbound M4 by Reading for 90 minutes without moving, I (having with Rob Shed travelled via Oxford, having been forewarned) used the one hour delay to read the amazingly well-produced and ex-tremely informative progamme. The very new facilities at The Gerard Buxton Ground are immaculate and extensive. But the pitch, although well grassed, was surprisingly bumpy. When the teams were announced it was evident that the home team were very experienced, including Aulsberry in goal and Bohane on the bench who have “been there and done that” at a higher lev-el. Holmer by contrast fielded a new debut-making ‘keeper in George Hall, and Harrison Holbrook gained his first start after a good 30 minutes against Lydney. The sparsely inhabited bench included young Conor Stables who would later also make his first team debut.
With Kotwica, Riley, Stone, Britton, Wilson, and Adeyileka una-vailable for various reasons, the gulf in Step Five experience between the two teams was considerable. But apart from 15 minutes, immediately after battling back level (and how often has this happened) The Greens contributed impressively to an entertaining and open game. Bassett took the lead on 21 minutes. A free-kick was allowed across the goalmouth, and Lachacz forced the ball home at the far post. Holmer’s best at-tacking moments involved Dean Powles, and Hall proved adept at coming out to deal with dangerous situations on more than one occasion.
The first quarter-hour of the second half saw Holmer get a foot-hold in the game, down the slope. After Dean Munday had out-jumped the home defence 3 times with no reward, and Bassett conceded a string of fouls, The Greens drew level on the hour. A mistake in the home defence was seized on by Holbrook, who advanced and beat Aulsberry who got both hands to the ball but couldn’t keep it out. Just as Holmer should have been consoli-dating this impressive fight back, they showed the lack of awareness at this level that has let a promising situation slip so many times. Aftder Hall had produced another good save, Town scored on 62 and 68 minutes through Paglairoli to regain the lead. Stables came on at right-back on 70 minutes with Michael Duffy, who had deputized well for Wilson alongside Munday, moving to left-back. Bohane had come on for Bassett after their second goal, and he was involved in the move that led to Youssef – on loan from League Two Forest Green Rovers – adding Town’s fourth on 74 minutes as well as Pagliaroli’s sec-ond which was the home team’s third. Anthony Tyson came on for James Burrell and was cautioned for a unnecessary tackle almost immediately. But The Greens did get back into the game again, and a good finale to their game was rewarded late on. Af-ter Munday had brought an acrobatic save out of Aulsberry from close range, Powles received the ball back from Holbrook and emphatically scored at the near post to reduce the deficit to two goals. Holmer thus ended the match on the front foot, but Bas-sett closed to within one point with this win which saw The Greens drop one place. Town, not surprisingly with Bohane and Pagliaroli now having 36 goals between them, have scored 15 more than Holmer. But The Greens’ defence is better, with one less goal conceded in one more game. Yet again young players coming in to the team did not let the club down, quite the contra-ry. And with Ryan Parsons and Matt Wooster both having good games, in the view of some the latter being the most accom-plished player on show, half the side is 20 or under.
Team: Hall, Zach Crawford, Luca Perrin, Parsons, Munday, Duffy, Gary Lines ©, Burrell, Powles, Holbrook, Wooster.
Substitutes (both used): Stables, and Tyson.