Manager Paul Romney bemoaned missed chances as Holbrook Sports slipped to a disappointing 1-0 defeat at home to Anstey Nomads in the Premier Division of the East Midlands Counties League.
“We should have had the game won in the first half,” said a rueful Romney. “Numerous chances went begging and for all our possession, we didn’t trouble the Anstey goal enough times. These are the kind of games we have to win if we are going to compete at the top end of the league.”
Leicestershire visitors Anstey made the trip to Shaw Lane a point behind Holbrook. But they ended up moving two places above them thanks to a solitary goal in the 56th minute when a left-sided corner resulted in Nick Reeves beating a static home defence to head home.
Not even the return to midfield of skipper Niall Mather could inspire The Brookies, who also welcomed back Chris King, with both Kyle Hazeldine and Ndouma Chilaka unavailable.
The home side started well enough and looked the better side on the coldest day of the season so far. In the 13th minute, Stephen Akers went close when a good chance was well saved by Taylor McMillan in the Nomads goal.
Ten minutes later, terrific skill down the left-hand side by Mather released Matt Harris, only for the ‘keeper again came out to smother the danger. And further openings for Harris, a header, and Seb Szondi, a shot, came and went before the half-time whistle.
Holbrook also started the second period brightly as an effort by Akers with the outside of his foot fell the wrong side of the post. But they were stunned by Nomads’ goal and took time to recover.
Substitute Jermaine Palmer was sent on and found the arms of McMillan with an overhead kick. And then Roberto Labbate saw a long-range effort flash narrowly wide.
But even though they continued to push for that equaliser, the Nomads ‘keeper wasn’t seriously tested, and The Brookies must now bid to return to the winning trail at struggling Ellistown and Ibstock United this Saturday.
HOLBROOK SPORTS LINE-UP -- Graves/ Labbete, Coulson (man-of-match), Foster, Mitchell, Szondi, Hayes, King, Mather, Harris, Akers. SUBS: Baker, Palmer, Collins, Coxon, Morgan.