Adrian Swan

Holmesdale Youth 2 v 3 Metrogas Youth

1-0 Lewer-Smith (5), 2-0 Stevens-King (53), 2-1 Williams (74),

2-2 Williams (86), 2-3 Hamouchene (87).

This match was really a tale of the goalkeepers.

In the case of the visitors Metrogas, their keeper Pedro de Silva had a superb game making numerous saves to keep his side in the game whilst the home side Holmesdale, were lacking  a keeper and utilised two of their outfield players during the match.

The first of which was totally competent but his replacement was not so and was culpable in all three of the visitors goals.

Holmesdale started the game with their Captain and midfield maestro, Omar Belazregue donning the gloves and he was largely untroubled during the first half as the home side dominated proceedings.

They took the lead after only 5 minutes when William Keene’s through ball found the speedy Nathan Lewer-Smith who raced through on goal before calmly slotting home low to the right of the exposed de Silva.

Minutes later the same combination almost created a second goal when Keene’s left wing cross found Lewer-Smith at the far post but his hooked shot on the turn flew narrowly over.

On 11 minutes another fine crossfield pass from Keene released Lewer-Smith down the right and he cut into the box before having his close range shot blocked by de Silva diving low at his right hand post for a corner.

Shortly afterwards Holmesdale missed a glorious chance to make it two when a lofted pass from Reece Stevens-King over the Metrogas back line put Lewer-Smith in on goal but with only de Silva to beat he fired wide of the target.

It was then the turn of the lively Keene to go close when he made space well on the edge of the box before hitting a low shot that de Silva blocked to his right with his legs for a corner.

Keene then tested de Silva again minutes later with a rising shot that the Metrogas custodian saved high to his right for another corner.

Keene’s pass then put George Squires-Clark in on goal but de Silva made yet another good save this time low to his right to deny the Holmesdale player.

Keene was then put through on goal himself by a Squires-Clark pass but also shot wide when well placed. This profligacy in front of goal from Holmesdale was to come back and haunt them later in the game when the visitors took full advantage of the few chances they created.

However on 19 minutes it looked as if the hosts would finally get their second when Sulaiman Bangura’s close range shot was blocked by de Silva with the rebound falling to Lewer-Smith who swept the loose ball goalwards beating the visiting keeper to his right only for Donovan Gabriel to clear it off the line to safety.

Lewer-Smith then got through on goal minutes later but again de Silva made another good close range block to thwart the Holmesdale striker.

Holmesdale then decided to make some substitutions to give everyone a game but the changes seemed to upset their rhythm.

For the visitors their chances in the first half came from long range shots from Amin Hamouchene and Jay Reed both of which were comfortably saved by Belazregue.

The final chance of the half on 43 minutes fell to the home side when Ryan Brown’s pass sent Lewer-Smith away down the left and he raced through before cutting back into the box and hitting a fierce drive that de Silva saved superbly diving high to his left palming the ball onto the bar and over.

Holmesdale continued on the offensive in the second half and doubled their lead on 53 minutes when Keene’s left wing cross fell to Stevens-King at the far post and he tucked the ball home low to the left of de Silva.

At this stage the home side were comfortably in control of the game but then came the turning point.

Again to give everyone a game Belazregue swapped goal keeping duties with one of his colleagues and from then things unfortunately went wrong for Holmesdale albeit not immediately.

On 61 minutes Belazregue’s deft pass put Squires-Clark in on goal but de Silva produced another good save low to his right to turn the ball out for a corner.

However on 67 minutes it should have been three when Keene got through on goal only for his close range shot to be blocked by de Silva but the rebound fell kindly for Kane Black who with an open goal at his mercy fired over.

More substitutions were made by both sides but suddenly it was the visitors who took control of the game.

On 73 minutes Khalifa Dieng hit a swerving 25 yard shot that the stand-in home keeper missed high to his left but fortunately for him it crashed against the angle of post and bar before flying out to safety.

Clearly the Metrogas players noticed his nervousness and adopted an almost shoot on sight policy.

Hamouchene drilled in a low shot that the Holmesdale keeper unorthodoxly kicked away to safety before they scored on 74 minutes.

Hamouchene’s free kick from wide right to the far post was headed back across for Finley Williams to tuck home from close range.

Metrogas kept pounding the home goal but the hosts stood firm until the 86 minute when a long ball forward from Ken Kerr was headed on by Reed for Williams to again score from close range.

However worse was to follow for Holmesdale a minute later when there was pinball in the home box before the loose ball finally fell to Hamouchene who drilled in a low shot that the stand-in keeper dived over as it flew into the bottom corner of the net.

The crest fallen keeper was immediately replaced by Belazregue and despite Holmesdale pumping several balls into the visitors box they stood firm to record their first victory of the season.