Holker OB v City



Up until the week-end, Holker had been enduring a horrific run of results but a managerial change just before the Atherton game brought a 5-0 victory, and suddenly this game looked a different prospect. City’s preparations were not helped when, bizarrely, the team coach ran out of diesel just as it left the M6 for the A590. Stuck on the slip road, the coach was towed away by the Highways Agency whilst enough cars were summoned to get the starting eleven to the ground. The rest of the travelling party arrived just five minutes before half-time.

As the supporters entered the ground with half-time approaching, play was suspended as the Holker keeper had been sent off, seemingly for two yellow cards, which is a rarity for a goalkeeper. The home side had gained an early two-goal advantage with goals from Reid and Smith, but they now faced the rest of the game with new manager Watkin in goal. City pulled a goal back just before the break as a fine ball from Hoolickin was controlled and finished expertly by McCartney.

The extra man advantage did not tell at the start of the second half as a poor kick from Townsley was gathered by Holker and they scythed through the City defence with Stanway easily scoring their third. This was followed by a couple of Holker corners as City looked dazed at this stage, on a ground where they often seem to perform poorly. The game swung again on 57 minutes as Watkin parried away a shot and possibly fouled a City player as he chased the loose ball, and the referee awarded a penalty, which was converted by McCartney.

The referee was busy with his cards all evening and then produced a second red for another Holker player, again after two yellows. McCartney saw a shot saved by Watkin before City replaced Shiel with Blair. In the 72nd minute it was 3-3 as the home side struggled to clear a corner and Greenslade rose to head In his third of the season.

Predictably now, most of the game was played in the Holker half, although the nine men still looked remarkably dangerous, with Wraighte in particular looking very sharp. In the 74th minute, City were ahead for the first time as McCartney completed his third hat-trick of a remarkable season so far. The game then began to reach farcical proportions as a Holker player was booked for delaying the re-start of play and then booked again for giving the official a round of applause, reducing the home side to just eight men.

City took further advantage of this in the 83rd minute as Lucock neatly slotted his shot past Watkin. The flurry of cards continued, with City receiving four yellows on the night- Simpson, Blair, Lucock and Townsley- and the referee certainly applied the laws of the game although perhaps not with too much common sense and the game as a spectacle was ruined.

TEAM- Townsley, Jake Simpson, Greenslade, Josh Simpson, Allison, Hoolickin, Lucock, Earl, McCartney, Shiel, Bradbury SUBS- Armstrong, Blair, Ballantyne, Heath, Gallimore

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