Poor display in local derby
By John Anderson
Risborough run out deserved winners.
Holmer Green failed to build on their recent good form. This had seen them win at Oxhey Jets and pick up six points from the matches at Airedale Park in the last week. Right from the kick-off they were generally second best to the visitors who seemed far more the hungry for the points.
New signing Howard Holmes started in goal, and in the first five minutes Rangers threatened twice with untaken half-chances. Then a Risborough free-kick over the “wall” was clawed away by Holmes. The new ‘keeper then gave his own team a fright, by mis-kicking a clearance straight to an unmarked opponent. But although the ball cleared Holmes on its way to the goal, it lacked sufficient power and the custodian was able to smother the ball before it crossed the line. In this opening period all Holmer had to show was a left-wing surge and cross by Nick Little which was palmed away with some difficulty. But no Holmer player was alert enough to take advantage, and this became a familiar pattern as the game moved on. On 10 minutes, a double failure in the Greens’ defence to clear the ball resulted in Holmes being beaten by a low shot. A Stuart McLaughlin run and shot, and a Jamie Brailsford header from a corner were the most significant efforts that the home side could muster in the first half. But the Rangers ‘keeper was not troubled by either. HT 0-1
Anyone who had witnessed the home side’s first half efforts, would have expected that the half-time “chat” would result in greater urgency from Holmer in the second period. But it was not to be. Again, Risborough was much more likely to score. Within five minutes Rangers had missed an incredible opportunity to double their lead, but at the far post with Holmes isolated the ball was somehow headed wide by a visitor under no pressure.
On 55 minutes Gareth Williams put Adam Seymour through. But the Rangers’ ‘keeper was out quickly. Although Seymour pushed the ball past him, and was bowled over for his troubles only a free-kick from 20 yards ensued. Perhaps this was the moment that Holmer could get back into the game. But they selected a right-footed player to shoot the ball past the left side of the wall. Although it evaded the wall, the course of the ball hit with the instep took it predictably wide of the goal. The Greens used all three substitutes allowed in a vain effort to breach the visitors’ defence. In fact, Holmes had to save from two Risborough breakaways. Rangers put the game out of Holmer’s reach with ten minutes left. A well placed free-kick between the home ‘keeper and his defence caused havoc, and was headed past Holmes by a Holmer defender.
The well-worn phrase “lucky to get nothing”, springs to mind. Holmes generally performed well, to keep the score down.
Holmer Green Reserves: Holmes, Billy Fraser (Pablo Howard 62), Little, Adam Weedon, Sam Pettyfer, Brailsford(c), McLaughlin (Andy Stephen 79), Lindsay, Williams (Sean Christie 85), Seymour, Callum Clarke.