Holbrook Sports U16s eased through to the next round of the Derby City League Saturday Challenge Cup in front of a bumper Shaw Lane crowd with a convincing 4-1 winners over 2nd Division Sherwin.
Sports entered the game knowing a win would be enough to take them through to the knockout stage of this season’s cup competition, after the previous week’s victory at Mickleover.
Holbrook started the game well, playing attractive flowing football revolving around the midfield threesome of Atttwater, Marsden and Whitehead. Indeed it was a 12-pass move which broke the deadlock midway through the first half, culminating with the impressive Shelton slotting through the perfect pass to Jordan Whitehead who finished with aplomb.
Sports were in complete control of the game when the referee awarded a free kick against Dan Johnson after he’d taken on what seemed to be half of Sherwin side to score.
Undeterred, the home team continued to play their passing game and after another great move Ryan Jackson scored the second with a delightful chip past the advancing keeper. The first half concluded with Sports two to the good, which could have easily been more.
The second half began in the same vein with Holbrook dominating possession with some excellent link up play between Johnson and Bradley almost resulting in the third but a fantastic save from the in form visiting keeper.
The home team didn’t have to wait long though for the illusive third, after the referee awarded a penalty kick for an obvious handball. Skipper Attwater made sure with a powerful strike high to the keeper’s left.
The game then became more scrappy as the warm weather and big pitch took its toll on the tiring players and all credit to Sherwin they never gave up and caused a few anxious moments in the Holbrook final third.
With the clock showing ten minutes to go Jackson had a golden opportunity to finish the game off but the visitors’ keeper was equal to it and pulled off a brilliant point blank save. He then launched the ball downfield which managed to evade the excellent defensive partnership of Bell and Reed for the Sherwin’s forward to slot home a consolation goal.
Holbrook looked to freshen things up with multiple substitutions close to the end and after some good work down the left by Shelton and Johnson, Connor Bradley killed the game off with a calm sidefoot into the open net.