Holker Old Boys
v. Bootle FC
Saturday 10th March
first team return to Rakesmoor for the first time in eight weeks as they entertain Bootle FC from Liverpool, who were themselves
also making a welcome return to Rakesmoor and North West Counties Football after a few years in lower standard football. The
talk before the game was would Bootle’s style of play have changed since us ‘old timers’ faced then, always
had plenty to say, tough & physical, but always able to play. On the face of yesterday’s game they were just the
same & it made for a superb afternoons entertainment. If you can find anywhere, where for £2.00, you can get this much
out of 90 minutes I’ll be amazed, todays game had everything & as both sides trooped off, lambasting the officials
(no more about them today, this websites had it’s say, but they just confirmed it) the spectators retreated to the bar
to discuss an amazing & exciting afternoon.
The game kicked
off with Holker playing down the slope and passing the ball around nicely, then on 10 minutes Bootle showed the pace of their
counter attacks, with their excellent right back Doran releasing Fowler with a quick ball, who in turn found Rainford with
an excellent pass and only the first of a number of saves from Holker keeper, and Man of the Match, Stephens prevented Holker
going 1-0 down early. Holker then had a period of dominance as Southward had two efforts & Bootle scrambled away a couple
of corners. Then on 15 minutes Holker should have taken the lead, Bamber’s long throw was flicked on by Southward to
Kennan, his excellent scissor kick volley was to high from 10 yards out, then on 20 minutes Southward went close as he turned
well, found space & chipped the Bootle keeper, Mawdsley, from 20 yards, the ball floating wide of the near post.
The game then started
to settle with Bootle playing well on the counter attack and a good Holker backline, marshalled by skipper Capstick, catching
them offside 80% of the time & Stephens being alert the other times. Then on 35 minutes Bootle’s Porter let his
team mates down by head butting Holker full back Smith only 5 yards from the referee, no matter how strongly Bootle’s
player manager O’Brian complained, there was little else the man in black could do but brandish the red card. The half
continued with Holker attacking and just before the break a good move involving the hard working Bamber and Southward released
right back Stevens, who could only put his effort wide. Half time arrived 0-0.
The second half
was a cracker with end to end play & to be absolutely fair to Bootle if you arrived now you’d not realise they were
down to 10 men, as they stayed in the game and a couple of the Holker veterans started to show signs of lack of fitness. On
55 minutes Bootle had a great opportunity to take the lead but Rainford pulled his effort horribly wide from 10 yards out
and 5 minutes later Holker spurned their chance as Hudson put over from the edge of the box after Bootle had once again struggled
to clear a corner.
On 65 minutes Stephens
showed the natural ability he has by getting a finger tip to an excellently struck freekick from McDonald that thundered onto
the cross bar & rebounded to safety almost on the half way line! Then two minutes later he made a great full length save
at the feet of Rainford as he was taking the ball around him, this save even got the keeper applause from the striker!
Holker then came
into the game and a good passing move involving Southward, Livingstone and Low saw a great near post cross scrambled out for
a corner by Doran with Kennan lurking. Holker then started to get momentum down the Bootle left and attacked fullback Marr
at every opportunity, with first Livingstone skilfully beating him and then Stevens getting into space but shooting wide.
Then on 81 minutes a 5-minute period of shear theatre, Stevens was again released into the box and was unceremoniously felled
by Marr, no question, penalty…play on…unbelievable! The home crowd went mad…three minutes later the giant
No 5 for Bootle Bazmer ‘lent’ on Southward in the box and they both went down, loud blast of the whistle…penalty,
the Bootle players went ballistic with player manager O’Brian almost ready to explode! Up steps Bamber to put Holker
1-0 up in the 84th minute. Before Bootle kick off O’Brian sees red in more ways than one…Bootle now
down to 9 men. Will they give in, not a bit of it, their response was excellent and they went for it!
They attacked in
waves down the Holker left, with Doran superb, and they got ball after ball into the box, that Holker under pressure could
only just lumped forward. On 90 minutes a another move saw Stephens make a great save from Doran’s effort, the rebound
fell back to the right back & he instantly released Rainford who slotted home, but up went the yellow flag, offside, game
over now? None of it, again Doran attacked Holker & again found Rainford who coolly slotted home in what was acres of
room, 1-1, game over, eh-no! Holker then decided they’d better start playing again and Mawdsley made saves from Hudson
and Southward, the second a smart stop at the bottom of his near post.
The whistle then blew for full time, what a great game, thanks
Bootle I could watch that all day. However being a Holker supporter I’d like to return to the days of trying to pass
the ball, play football, not lump it up the field and make excuses when we give it away, both happened all to often. There
are the players at this club to maximise the benefit of the firm pitches coming up and to move steadily up the league. We
are sat in 15th place in the league at the end of this game, the same as we finished last season, we have 19 points
from 23 games, therefore the opportunity is there to finish higher than last season by using the ability we have within our
club. This season has been a great learning curve, lets hope we hold our nerve and finish this season in style.
|Well Done Lads...Lancashire Champions.....
Akzo Nobel Youth FC v. Holker Old Boys Under-18 AFC
Final - LFA - Furness Building Society Youth Cup
Tuesday 27th February 2007
The County Ground - Leyland
Holker Old Boys Under 18’s lifted the Furness Building Society Lancashire Youth Cup at ‘The
County Ground’ Leyland with a 1-0 victory over Akzo Nobel from Darwen.
Holker struggled to get any ball in the games early stages as the well organised & eager Akzo side
denied them any time or space to get the ball down, however on 20 minutes Holker had the ball in the net as Callum Livingstone
met Gareth Smiths long range free kick, but to the astonishment of the crowd the Assistants flag went up, apparently for offside,
but not the goal scorer? This kicked Akzo back into life and attacked endlessly down the Holker right, but Jordan Nicholson
& Tom Howlett stuck to their tasks, however Akzo still managed to smash a header against the Holker cross bar & then
Holker keeper Sam Stephens had to be alert to smother a couple of efforts. As the game approached half time Holker’s
strength & work rate started to pay off & Tod Bamber had two long ranges efforts that left the Akzo keeper routed
to the spot.
In the second half Holker started to find the room in mid field to play & Phil Morris and Gareth
Smith started to get down the flanks to put in darting raids that had Akzo stretched, however the Darwen side continued to
compete on the counter attack & Stephens again had to be alert to grab an effort on the goal line. Then, on 75 minutes,
the moment that won the game; Chris Low was fed by Morris wide on the left and as he took a few steps in off the touchline
he thundered a 30-yard effort into the far corner to put Holker 1-0, the goal was fitting to win any game. Akzo tried to come
back, but with the excellent Mark Daly now patrolling the mid field at leisure he was able to negate the Akzo counterattacks.
Jon McMenemey and David Robinson in the central defence also dealt with anything long thrown at them. As the Referees whistle
blew the cheer from the large Holker travelling contingent set off the celebrations. Holker’s skipper Bamber was presented
with the trophy from Furness Building Society CEO, Rob Cairns and Gareth Smith was awarded the Man of the Match. Holker would
like to thank those who travelled to support the team and also John Knagg, the areas LFA representative and his wife Barbara
for their support.
Credit must also go to Mark Bamber & Dave Smith the Holker managers & coach Mark Hetherington
who have all worked with these lads for over 5 years now.
So this team that’s been together since 10 years of age have finally fulfilled their
potential and leave Junior Football as Lancashire Champions…and the debate on the apprent lack of local talent rages
Holker Old Boys
v. Leek CSOB
On a bloody cold
afternoon with a biting Northerly wind Holker entertained Leek CSOB on another excellently prepared playing surface (thanks
Maxi & Sam).
debutant Kevin Watkins from Furness Rovers in the side, replacing the injured Tod Bamber. Kevin is exactly the quality local
talent that Holker are trying to develop & we are really pleased to have him at the club.
The game kicked
off with Leek playing down the slope, they must be the biggest side in the league with a number of them being over 6 foot
2, however their ‘liking’ of tight shorts make them look like a 70’s side with only the Kevin Keegan perms
missing. It was not long before their No. 4, Barlow demonstrated that he was to be a pain in the a**e all afternoon with his
continuous moaning and disputing every decision, but I suppose when you have no pace & can only ‘launch’ the
ball, there’s not much else you can do, but for heavens sake man, give it a rest!
The first half was
fairly even with Holker playing good football down the flanks and creating some chances, however Leek fell into the long straight
ball trap & spent the first half chasing balls that went out for goal kicks. They did have one chance on 25 minutes when
Ritter was clean through & only a great tackle from Capstick prevented a shot on goal.
On 20 minutes Holker
had to make a change as skipper Bruce was caught, for the third time from behind, & left the field to be replaced by Livingstone.
Holker's first opening came on 30 minutes with a great move down their right with Daly releasing Keenan, his cross was met
by Livingstone but Powell defended well to block the effort, then on 33 mins a cross from Smith hit the bar & as the ball
fell to Keenan he smacked it goal bound, it was in all the way until Leek’s No 11 Fox made a superb block. Half time
0-0, but Holker confidant that if they continued like this the 3 points should be theirs. Keenan & Watkins had had good
first halfs & so the warming cup of tea in Maxie’s room was enjoyed with a fair degree of satisfaction and anticipation.
On to the second
half & Holker just did not play, except for a 25 yard shot from Watkins and a shot from the edge of the box by Livingstone,
both saved by Smith, Holker did not pressure the goal.
The game also lost
all shape as the whistle continually blew for what appeared minor offences and Leek enjoyed this disruption to launch counter
attacks. One such attack on 66 minutes saw Holker keeper Stephens make an excellent brave stop at the feet of Ritter. Then
on 70 minutes Leek scored the goal that resulted in 3 points. Ritter hit a fierce drive from outside the box that Stephens
somehow turned onto the bar, as the ball rebounded Bradbury was allowed the opportunity to nod the ball into an empty net.
Holker still tried
to create opportunities, but as fitness started to tell they reverted to shooting from distance and trying to deliver 30-yard
killer passes. Then on 85 minutes Leek went down to 10 men as Bradbury was sent off for his second bookable offence, but Holker
could not make the advantage pay.
At the final whistle
Leeks reaction showed how much they wanted the win & the spectators all trooped of to the bar to give our ears a rest
from Mr. Barlow. One final point, Barlow’s defensive partner Powell had had banter all afternoon with the Holker contingent,
but came over at the end with a big smile (well they had got the 3 points) & thanked everyone for the laugh, well done
period of competing but not getting results continues and with other results we are in danger, along with Daisy Hill &
Norton, of getting cut adrift at the bottom.
Off to New Mills next week in the Q/F of the Div. 2 Trophy,
lets hope that we can get a result.
Holker Old Boys
v. Aston Athletic
Well it had to happen,
after 5 games in eight days Holker ‘hit the wall’ producing the poorest 45 minutes of football this season in
a totally inept first half. To see quality footballers just ‘boot’ the ball up-field is depressing, it may be
alright for some clubs who only have the players to execute ‘route one’, but Holker have players who can pass
it about. A half decent crowd had turned up today and they must have wondered why at half time!
Holker were without
skipper Rob Bruce and stalwart Robbie Coulter as a result of injures from the mid week Morecambe ties, whilst there is little
doubt these two were missed they still had enough ability on the pitch to win this game, if only they had played from the
The first twenty
minutes were fairly poor as both sides decided that ‘booting it’ down the middle was the order of the day. Nothing
happened until on 21 minutes Ashton executed the long ball for the first time with Holker keeper Stephens making a smart stop
after Mahoney had run through. The respite lasted a minute before McVeigh was put through to slot home and give the visitors
an early lead. No sooner had Holker kicked off then they were caught flat again with Bennett’s effort hitting the post,
the game then descended into a poor one with Holker only managing one passing move, but it was of quality as 8 passes down
the right released the overlapping Robinson, but Southward could not get the touch required to level the game.
The bar talk at
half time was lets hope they get a ‘Christmas’ roasting and come out & play, pass the ball, it’s what
Holker are good at!
The second half
was a much better game as Holker responded & played and Ashton were good on the break.
On 50 minutes Ashton
were awarded a free kick when a mistake by Robinson resulted in him pulling White back, from the free kick Mahoney’s
superb effort hit the post. Holker were now starting to play & Southward’s control and shot from 35 yards just drifted
over. Then in the 56th minute an incident that changed the game, Holker youngster Low cut in from the left and
as he cut back in the box he was clearly tripped by Rigby, clear cut…no argument…penalty, er no! Play on, the
spectators went mad, but the injustice fired Holker up and at last they got involved and on 60 minutes they were level as
Southward controlled another cross from the right and fired the ball home from the edge of the box, 1-1 game on.
the pressure and the momentum and forced Ashton back, however Ashton can play on the break and in one move they released Mahoney
who was brought crashing to ground by Houson, penalty rightly awarded, up stepped right back Wallace, who had a fine afternoon,
to coolly slot home in the keepers bottom right (other teams keepers take note!). There is always something about full backs
taking penalties; they are always of top quality. 2-1 and harsh on Holker, but that’s football.
Straight from the
kick off Holker got the ball down and passed and on 70 minutes a superb diagonal ball from the once again excellent Daly released
Hudson in the box, whose progress was impeded by Rothwell, penalty said the Ref., not as clear-cut as the first! Up stepped
Bamber to power into the roof of the net, Holker then piled on the pressure with Ashton just about hanging on, then on 80
minutes an almost comical moment as the ‘aged’ Ashton skipper, Rothwell, who had struggled to run 10 yards all
afternoon suddenly became a 20 year old winger and speed down the Ashton right flank & delivered a superb cross that took
a quality tackle from Robinson to snuff out any danger. The game then ended in controversy as Bamber powered into the box
and had his heals clipped, but did not dive, he stumbled & in doing so lost the goal scoring opportunity, play on waved
the Ref., never went down he shouted, what happened to the advantage rule…! The Ref then booked Smith and Bamber for
frustration (dissent). The shout of the game then came from the Assistant
Referee, who summed it up, “ If you want better officials play at a higher level…” and of course he is absolutely
So 2-2 & at
least an enjoyable 45 minutes to finish, but we have to be careful with the younger lads, too many games in a short space
of time will not help, but the Management at Holker are aware & will look after the lads, this may be at the detriment
of other clubs who use our players, but we cannot let them get burnt out!
Merry Christmas, I’m off to Sunny climes so there will
be no match reports for the next three games……
Morecambe v. Holker Old Boys
Thursday 21st December
At the fourth attempt it was game on as Holker
travelled across the Bay to take on Nationwide Conference side Morecambe at their Christie Park home in the second round of
the LFA United Co-op Cup.
Holker field their normal mix of youth &
experience with six of the Under-18s who had knocked Morecambe’s Youth team out of the LFA U-18 Cup on show & seeing
the return of skipper Rob Bruce in attack. Morecambe again went for a strong team with first teamers Wayne Curtis, the ex
Holker forward, the dynamic Garry Hunter, Ged Brannan, the ex Man. City (signed for £750,000 by City) star and the prolific
non league goal scorer David McNiven, they also included Jamie Burns who they have recently signed on loan from Blackpool.
The game kicked off with no FOG present and it
was Holker who had the better of the early play and on 5 mins. should have gone ahead as Bruce got behind the Morecambe back
four and found Low un marked in the six yard box, but he could not find the corner of the net as he placed it past the keeper.
Then on 10 mins. Morecambe went ahead when the Assistant referee on the near side went to sleep and embarrassingly missed
Curtis being 3 yards off side, Wayne looked embarrassed as he coolly slotted home & even the stewards and policeman behind
the assistant smiled and shook their heads…it’s hard enough against sides like this without poor officials making
it impossible. It was a theme tonight that no way took away from Morecambe being the better side, that Mr. Roberts and his
officials protected the ‘professionals’.
Straight from the kick-off Bruce won a header
in the box and the ball again fell to Low whose effort was saved, the momentum stayed with Holker as Bruce again picked the
ball up wide and ran at the Morecambe defence, he nut-megged Brannan leaving him on the floor and as he was about to enter
the box Medowcroft decided enough was enough & brought him crashing down. Bamber stepped up & smacked the free kick
against the wall, the ball broke to Hudson in the six yard box, but he failed to make good contact & the keeper saved.
Morecambe then started to get into the game as
the excellent Hunter started to run things, this guy is quality, I’ve never seen anybody work as much to get space and
can play when he has the ball, he is only small but to see him out jump Glen Capstick in the second half was quite amazing.
As Morecambe got on top so Sam Stephens came into the game and made a number of quality saves that showed his class to a higher
audience. On 37 minutes Morecambe went two up as Hunter burst into the box to ‘toe pock’ into the bottom corner,
again Holker attacked straight from the kick off with a great ball from Hudson finding Bruce who fed Southward who brought
a save out of Morecambe keeper Kelly. Morecambe then had three great chances but one hit the post & Stephens making smart
saves off the others. One feature of the first half was the play of 17 year old Mark Daly who marked McNiven out of the game,
this guy on Tuesday had torn us apart! H-T 2-0, better than Tuesday.
The second half kicked off with Holker making
changes to protect lads for Saturday’s home game against Ashton Athletic. Holker again started brighter and when Morris
and Glen Capstick won the ball in midfield they found Livingstone who released Southward for the first of his second half
chances, his good effort was just wide. The game then was end to end and continued to be entertaining for the crowd.
On 61 minutes Morecambe went 3 up, when McNiven
managed to break the Daly shackles for once and found Curtis 10 yards out, Wayne powered his finish past Stephens despairing
dive. Both sides then exchanged chances with Southward becoming a real thorn in the Morecambe side, even on 75 minutes out
pacing Meadowcroft before shooting just over, three more times Southward got space and was unlucky not to hit the back of
So the game finished 3-0 and Holker had got out
of it what they wanted, they worked hard, but also saw what is required if any of them want to move to a higher level.
In the first half Bruce had an excellent game
running at the Morecambe back four, 17 year old Stephens in the Holker net showed why he is highly rated and kept the first
half score respectable. Graham Capstick had a great tussle with our old friend Curtis and the rest of the lads worked hard
all night, never gave up and walked off with their pride and reputations intact. For me the Holker Man of the Match was Mark
Daly, he was like a limpet on McNiven and also cleaned up when required.
One final mention for Paul Southward, he takes
some stick & knocks but tonight never stopped working & tried to get that goal that Holker really deserved.
Holker would like to wish Morecambe well in the
future, our younger lads are starting to build a relationship with some of the Morecambe lads & it was good to see them
chatting during & after the game.
to Rakesmoor on Saturday and our important league game against Aston Athletic, see you there.
Eccleshall v. Holker
After the rain this
week it was a surprise when the call come through that the game was on, so the 31/2-hour coach journey was completed and Holker
arrived at the ground nice and early. The pitch was in old terms ‘heavy’ with the middle being sand & mud,
but after the rain what did we expect, but it was playable.
the officials now as I don’t want to go on about them, I’ve said before that at this level of football the standard
of officials has deteriorated over the past few years, probably as a result of restructuring and the lack of referrers overall.
However today two of them were poor and affected the game for both sides, it is sad when the players & managers are walking
off shaking hands talking about how bad the officials were, a quote ‘…it’s the same every week…’.
Enough said & lets hope the league, as well as challenging the clubs to raise our standards, can also challenge the various
The game kicked
off on time and was fairly even, however Eccleshall did look a powerful and well-organised side in the mould of Winsford.
The heavy conditions in the middle of the park did not help the Holker young pair of Bamber & Daly to play football, with
the excellent McDonald, who may be small but what an engine he has, seemingly everywhere. On 25 minutes the game kicked into
life, Holker lost the ball in the midfield mud & the home side released Millington who was stopped just as he entered
the box by a superb tackle from Robinson. The reprieve last a few seconds as Holker again lost the ball in the middle, this
time the huge blond figure of Dunn was fed who turned smartly and buried the ball into the bottom corner, 1-0 up and no real
surprise. Holker continued to play & created a number of half chances with a free kick on the edge of the box being closed
down by Mills from out of the wall, either he is quicker than Linford Christie or the wall was about 5 yards back!
On 36 minutes some
poor play by Holker allowed a cross to come in, Dunn’s presence attracted everybody to the front post and as the ball
was missed by everybody Williams executed a scissor kick that saw the ball go in off both posts, 2-0 and time to fight (for
the ball!). Holker then started to get into the game & with Bruce running at the home back-four & Southward being
strong up front they started to get some reward, however the central pair of Eccleshall, Mills (J) and Reeves were quality,
strong quick and good in the air. The game seemed to be heading for a 2-0 half time score when the ‘assistant’
went to sleep and missed a 3 yard off side decision for Dunn to slot home. You know the official has got it wrong when the
home supporters laugh and the official starts arguing with the players! 3-0 down & a little harsh.
The second half
was a totally different game as Holker dominated; it was the classic game of two halves with the home team not getting out
of the dressing room. Holker brought big Glen Capstick on & he out muscled the Eccleshall midfield and they totally disappeared,
where they had won everything they now won nothing. The half started however with an example of the inconsistency from referees
that infuriates all others involved in the game, a throw from the wrong place by Holker was awarded to the home side, however
in the first half exactly the same ‘offence’ had resulted in it being retaken!
On 50 minutes Holker got back into the game
when a good ball down the line found Smith whose run and pass found Bruce, who ran clear to coolly slot home, Holker than
had a wave of half chances, as Smith, Robinson, Stevens, Southward, Livingstone and Bruce all had chances to make Abel work,
however Eccelshall clung on. In 71 minutes another talking point as Ecceleshall were denied a clear-cut penalty that had everybody
in the ground groaning!
Holker trooped off disappointed, their work
in the second half not quite making up for the poor first half display, but with Graham Capstick a rock at the back and the
Holker play in the second half, brought some positives out of a defeat.
Off to Christie Park on Tuesday…
Old Boys v. Castleton Gabriels
Castleton visited Holker today and
the young Holker side, that started this season as a group of kids with no hope in a lot of peoples eyes, drew a good crowd
& took the 3 points and now move into double figures, another milestone.
The game kicked off on a raw winter
afternoon with the lights on after 20 minutes & the wind, blowing the flag horizontal, straight off the Irish Sea. Holker
were on top from the start and were knocking the ball around well. Castleton tried to knock them out of the game with foul
after foul however, as tends to happen, Holker refused to lie down & Castleton ended up with all the injures.
Holker were excellent at the start
and passed the ball around without creating any clear cut opportunities, until on 14 minutes a great passing move down the
right flank resulted in Hudson finding Daly, cutting inside he picked Southward out on the edge of the box who finished with
aplomb, a superb side foot into the bottom corner, 1-0 and playing up the hill.
On 20 minutes the visitors kicked
into action and had their only real period of pressure all afternoon, first Barrington got behind Daly & only an excellent
save by Holker keeper Stephens prevented the equaliser as he was quickly out at his feet and then Barrington’s superb
effort from 30 yards just sneaked over. At this stage it was obvious that referee Mr. Bartle was having a poor day & was
probably out of his depth at this level as he failed time & time again to manage the game and constantly forgot to look
at his assistant for offside, numerous times the crowd shouted “…liner…” for him to stand surprised
as he looked across to see a flag raised! Then on 25 minutes Bruce broke through & was brought down by Canning, no penalty
was awarded… did not appeal shouted Mr. Bartle! What, so we are now playing
cricket, it was rock solid! Half time 1-0.
In the second half with the slope
and wind Holker totally dominated Castleton by playing good football and working hard to put pressure on. On 50 minutes Low
hit the bar from 30 yards with a great strike only to see it bettered 5 minutes later with Bamber picking the ball up from
a poor Canning clearance, taking 2 strides and smacking a 25 yarder home! It roared into the net…
On 60 mins, Holker went 3-0 up when
Southward controlled and fed Bruce, who coolly slotted home under the advancing Canning. 3-0 and cruising!
However Castleton then started to
try to play as Holker seemed to lose concentration and on 70 mins Phebey hit over from distance. But by know Holker were the
comfortable winners, but just forgot to be composed & played the last 10 minutes out in what appeared to be a state of
panic. Then on 90 minutes the inevitable happened when the visitors hit the net from a free kick by Barrington that went in
off the post. The game ending with a very comfortable 3-1 home win.
at home on Tuesday… now that will be fun!!! A number of players have played for both sides, Dave Woodburn, Jimmy Capstick
& of course Wayne Curtis to name a few, will there be some more in the Green & White on Tuesday...
Old Boys v. Norton United
NWCFL Division II Cup
The first Saturday
of December and Holker have a home Cup tie against bottom of the league side Norton United, who had to make the three and
a half hour journey from Stoke to South Cumbria. No doubt by the end of the game a few of them were wishing they had spent
the day Christmas shopping as they crashed out 2-0.
Holker kicked off playing
down the slope against a side they had defeated 4-2 only four weeks earlier and were quickly into their stride without really
creating any openings.
Norton were also trying
to play but seemed, even in the early stages, not to have any penetration from their forwards. The game was a tussle in midfield
but Holker were starting to get the ball down & pass it about with Bamber in the midst of most passing moves. Holker were
also creating space on both flanks but did not produce enough quality to get the ball out to them quickly enough to cause
any damage. Then, on 15 minutes, Bruce was put clean through but Norton keeper Latham turned his shot for a corner. From the
corner, as Norton’s defence stood & watched, Southward powered his header against the bar with the rebound being
Holker did not have
to wait to long to take the lead, on 20 minutes Bruce again broke down the left wing and as he cut in along the by-line he
pulled the ball back across the face of the goal and with Latham & his fellow defenders all stood watching Low nicked
in to score at the far post from, oh…about a foot!
Holker then continued
to press and first Livingstone hit the post with a free kick and then Bamber was put through by a quality pass from Southward
but could not get the ball out of his feet to shot, allowing Norton skipper Kirk just enough time to got back and make the
tackle. As half time approach the game petered out………..
It is worth saying
now that the second half was a non-entity, with not much to note for all the huff and puff. Holker’s goal was in itself
almost predicable as once again (two goals in the first game had come in similar fashion) Latham and his defenders stood and
watched as a cross came in, this time a corner from Low went straight in. 2-0 up and game over, for all Norton’s endeavour
they only created one opening and this was blasted wide by substitute Goodwin. The only other point to note in the second
half saw young Phil Morris, another 17 year old, make his NWCFL debut and so the development of youth at Holker continues.
Overall this was a poor game and with Nationwide Conference side Morecambe due at Rakesmoor on Tuesday, in the 2nd
round of the United Cooperative Cup, Holker will have to substantially up their performance. As for the second round of this
cup we hold our breath in anticipation awaiting the draw, could we yet have a cup run in what is a very transitional season
for the club.
NOTE: there will be no Match Report from Tuesday’s game as I’ll
not be at Rakesmoor, so I recommend you buy an Evening Mail on Wednesday for any details…….the result will be
on the NWCFL web Site.