Boss Romney refuses to knock his beaten Holbrook side

BACK IN THE ATTACK -- striker Nduoma Chilaka went close to a goal on his return to the Holbrook side.
BACK IN THE ATTACK -- striker Nduoma Chilaka went close to a goal on his return to the Holbrook side.

Philosophical manager Paul Romney refused to be too downhearted after his Holbrook Sports side had slid to a 3-0 defeat against fellow high-fliers St Andrews in the East Midlands Counties League’s Premier Division.

Holbrook matched their Leicestershire hosts for most of the game, but paid the price for not converting their chances when they came along.

Romney said: “St Andrews were more clinical than us and took their chances at the right times. I can’t complain about the way we played or our commitment. I am sure the goals will return soon and our good play will be rewarded.”

The Holbrook boss made two changes from the side that had lost to leaders Ashby Ivanhoe the previous week, bringing back Kyle Hazeldine to replace Ashley Hayes in midfield and Nduoma Chilaka to replace Ross Coxon in attack.

But his side started sluggishly and paid the price after only 24 seconds when St Andrews striker Andy Fell rounded goalkeeper Danny Graves to slot home easily.

It could have been worse in the next 15 minutes as the home team piled on the pressure. But gradually, the Brookies regained their composure and shape and started to play some football of their own. Indeed they could have equalised when a quick break down the right led to a cross headed wide by Chilaka at the back post.

With both sides attacking with pace, the game was still very much up for grabs at the interval. However, Holbrook began the second period as they had started the first, getting picked off again. This time a counter-attack down the left was slipped inside and although Graves made an initial save, the rebound was smashed home by Lewis Daniel Turland.

Graves made a wonderful one-handed save to prevent a third goal, but he was beaten again in the 79th minute when Ryan Hodkinson struck to effectively end the contest.

To their credit, the Brookies continued to knock at the St Andrews door. A header by substitute Vaughn Hallsworth came back off the bar, and chances also fell to Matt Harris, sub Coxon and Chilaka.

This Saturday, Romney’s men hope to return to winning ways when they entertain mid-table Stapenhill at Shaw Lane.

HOLBROOK LINE-UP -- Graves/ Labbate, Coulson J., Foster, Mather, Szondi, Hazeldine, King, Akers, Chilaka, Harris. SUBS: Mitchell, Coxon, Dodds, Hallsworth.