Holbrook Sports U16s 4
Pride Park Juniors U16s 1
Holbrook Sports U16s put the previous week’s disappointing cup exit behind them with a convincing win against high flying Pride Park Juniors at a damp Whitemoor on Saturday morning.
Sports started the game like a team possessed, dominating the opening minutes with some slick passing football and it wasn’t too long before they created the first real chance of the game with Ben Marsden going close.
The Brookies didn’t have it all their own way with the table toppers pushing forward intermittently via the long ball. However, this caused little problem for the formidable central defensive partnership of Brad Reed and Harry Bell.
The home team continued to pass and probe until the stalemate was broken midway through the first half after some good build-up play between Shelton, Attwater and Marsden before Dan Johnson unleashed an unstoppable low drive from the edge of the area.
Sports’ stranglehold on the game became tighter still when the impressive Johnson looped over a delightful chip, to be expertly converted by Jordan Whitehead.
Holbrook passed and moved the ball with ease and should have got a third just before half-time, but for an excellent stop from the Pride Park keeper.
The second half started in the same vein with the home side playing some delightful stuff culminating in a 13-pass move which saw Jackson’s shot narrowly go wide.
As the half progressed, the visitors began to gain the upper hand with some nice passing of their own and finally tested Houseman in the Brookies’ net but he was more than equal to it.
However, the visitors soon reverted to their weapon of first resort which seemed to upset the flow of the home side, although the vocal Walker effectively marshalled his under siege defensive colleagues.
Indeed, it was a long ball which resulted in a penalty award for the visitors with Reed being adjudged to have handled.
The resulting penalty kick was converted, despite Houseman getting a hand to it. At 2-1, the home team began to look a little vulnerable to the long ball, although the Brookies’ keeper was very rarely troubled.
With 20 minutes remaining, a double substitution made all the difference for Sports with Sam Johnson making his debut after a long layoff with injury and Jak Groom returning to the fold.
The two new additions enabled Holbrook to regain the initiative which resulted in Ryan Jackson getting a well-deserved third with a well-taken volley.
Brookies’ fourth quickly followed with a bullet header from Marsden after an expert flick on from Jak Groom.
An appreciative crowd cheered as the referee blew for full time after a thoroughly entertaining game.