Hollington Lions back in action at the weekend

Hollington 1st – 5

Crowhurst – 0

So the international break saw the Three Lions beat the Dutch but they couldn’t match the mighty Lions as both the first and seconds returned to action.

With the firsts having only their third game this calendar year and their first home league game since the December 2, they had the chance to regain top spot with Battle Baptists being in cup action.

The Lions started well with Sam White and Luke Woodley causing all sorts of problems for the Crowhurst defence and it was Woodley who opened the scoring, arriving late at the far post to volley home.

The second wasn’t long in coming either when a White corner was headed home by Sean Ray. Two became three just before half time when Ricky Martin and White combined for Ashley Kidman to slide home.

The second half was a very similar pattern, the Lions having the majority of the ball but struggling to get any real tempo going as Crowhurst made it difficult to break them down.

With 20 mins to go Grant Cornelius, playing his first game this season for the Lions found a superb cross for Callum Smith to head home and keep his record of scoring in every game for Hollington.

It then became five when another great cross, this time from Ross Southwood, was superbly finished by Jay Tomlin – the just turned 16-year-old who was making his debut is another player brought through our successful youth system, this time from the U16s.

So all in all three points, five goals and a clean sheet which keeps the Lions unbeaten this season and in a good position going into a busy week with Battle (semi final) Rye (league) and Rye again (semi final).

Dynamic Scaffolding Man of the Match was Ricky Martin.

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Bexhill Utd – 1

Hollington 2nd – 4

After two disappointing quarter final defeats against Northiam firsts and Icklesham, who were both top of their respective leagues in division 1 and 2, the seconds returned to league action away against Bexhill Utd, who were the new leaders in division 2.

On a pitch that resembled Camber Sands, Hollington had the better of the early battles but struggled to defend the set pieces. This cost them as after ten mins a poorly defended corner ended up with Bexhill scoring.

Undeterred, the Lions continued to try and play some decent football with the snarling bulldog Micky Holland breaking up the Bexhill midfield with his usual ‘robust’ play, and Dan Kearly and Graham Stovell causing problems down the flanks.

With young Jay Edwards also terrorising the Bexhill back line with his lightning pace, it wasn’t long before the Lions equalised when Edwards was bought down in the box and up stepped Michael Shaw to notch his 405th consecutive penalty (catching Glenn Woodhurst).

The second soon followed when Edwards got the goal his hard work deserved.

The Lions started the second half quickly and after taking on two or three players, Kearly put in a great cross for substitute Rhys Warren to score a header with only his second touch – his first touch was taking the kick off! Ten minutes later Jan Bailey capped off a great midfield display with the fourth and final goal.

So back to winning ways for the seconds and some contenders for Man of the Match included Brandon Kovacs, Jan Bailey, Graham Stovell Michael Holland’s and George Murray all in with a shout, but Dan Kearly was Martin and Bowles Man of the Match.

No game for the U21s this week.

Withdean – 4

Hollington U18s – 3 

The U18s travelled to Withdean on Sunday knowing they were in for a tough game having lost to them 3-0 earlier in the season. Things weren’t made any easier with only ten players available due to injuries, sickness and last minute withdrawals.

This didn’t seem to bother the young Lions as they took an early lead through new signing Kian McDonagh. Withdean came straight back and equalised, then shortly after took the lead. Then with ten mins left of the first half McDonagh picked up the ball on the left wing and after beating two defenders cut in and put the ball in the back of the net to draw the Lions level.

Fifteen minutes into the second half Jordan Ray struck with a sweetly taken half volley that gave their ‘keeper no chance.

With the Lions now 3-2 up they tried to hold the lead, but the one man advantage and rolling subs for the opposition soon took their toll. Withdean equalised again with 20 minutes left and despite further chances for the Lions they conceded with five minutes left to make the final score 4-3 to Withdean.

A decent performance from the lads given how short they were and were even complimented by the opposition manager who said it was the toughest game they’d had all season – obviously they don’t realise what we instill in our players.

Rusthall – 2

Hollington U16s – 2 

The U16s travelled to Rusthall with a bare 11 players, the previous game between the two sides had produced two red cards and six yellows.

The young Lions took an early lead though through a great header from Alfie McDougall.

Rusthall equalised in controversial circumstances after one of the opposing players put the ball into the net with a clear hand ball. This only spurred the Lions on and Evan Crang restored the lead with a well taken free kick.

The second half was a closely fought affair but with Rusthall able to make continued substitutions with their 15 man squad, this soon told on the tiring legs of the young Lions and Rusthall got the equaliser to make the final score 2-2.

Coleman Construction and Utilities Man of the Match was Alfie McDougall.

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