Greens take first step on the long road to Wembley
HOLMER Green will visit Spartan South Midlands Premier rivals Cockfosters in the preliminary round of the FA Cup after the north Londoners beat Risborough Rangers on penalties following a 2-2 draw in a replay on Tuesday. After a close- close-seasonseaso which saw the Gre Greens lose four experienced players, Chris Allen’s side had a few new faces as they too took their place among the 370 team teams competing in the extra prelim preliminary round of this season season’s competition, against AFC Hayes on Saturday. Allied Counties player Alex Rice was on the bench alongside last season’s skipper Gary Lines and fellow new signing Rikki Gilbert, writes John Anderson.
Allen gave 17-year-old newcomer Ryan Parsons the nod along with fellow new arrivals Adam Milligan, Dean Munday and Michael Davies.
The manager’s faith was rewarded as the Greens reversed the scoreline they had suffered in the same compe- tition to the same opponents three years ago, when Hayes were playing one step higher.
But, susceptible to defensive lapses and unable to convert their dominance into goals, Holmer had to go in with the match goalless at half time and with 10 men.
Curtis Stone was the culprit. Having committed three early fouls and been booked for kicking the ball away, the player was shown a second yellow for a poor challenge in the 31st minute.
But the hosts caught a break early in the second half when a corner from Lines – brought on for Milligan after the dismissal – went in off a defender. Munday added a second before Hayes had a man sent off and substitute Rice and Parsons added a gloss to the scoreline late on.
The Greens kick off their league campaign at Biggleswade United on Saturday (ko 3pm) and host Berkhamsted on Tuesday (ko 7.45pm).
Holmer Green’s Curtis Stone was sent off on Saturday