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Plymstock 1 Foxhole 1

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Plymstock 1 Foxhole 1

Saturday 13th March 2010

Depleted Foxhole produced a battling display to secure a hard-earned point in Devon. While Plymstock almost scored within seconds when Holland saved first from Jasper and then Francis' follow-up, it was the Foxes who took the lead after three minutes when Mackellar rose highest to nod home Bird's free-kick from wide on the left. The visitors were to create little else of note, although crosses from the industrious Pinhammer did produce dangerous headers from Rowe and Carpenter before the break. Otherwise, the home team were to enjoy comfortably the majority of the possession but, due to Jasper lobbing wide when clean through and then seeing his tap-in ruled out for offside, and Piggott blazing wide from a good position, they had to wait until the twenty-third minute for the equaliser when Piggott's free-kick from the right was turned home from close range by Souness. Bustling centre-forward O'Neill was proving a real handful, but he squandered two opportunities in quick succession, first with a poor connection to the lively Bass' inviting centre, and then by shooting wildly after out-muscling Lawrence. Holland had to move smartly to prevent an own-goal after the ball cannoned off Hazeldine as the pressure intensified, and, without even the luxury of a recognised substitute, the second-half was approached with genuine apprehension by the somewhat limited away support.

But we needn't have worried as Plymstock failed to turn their undoubted dominance into anything concrete, as the impressive Foxhole defence held firm with few alarms, their cause pleasingly aided by the mystifying withdrawal of both O'Neill and Bass. Following a flurry of cautions (Heveran for pulling Bird, Piggott and Yates for dissent and Hazeldine for high feet on Holt), the excellent referee soon regained control and no doubt wondered like the rest of us quite how the unmarked Holt was unable to convert Francis' cross or how Jasper missed Piggott's dead-ball at the far post. While Foxhole's entirely defensive mindset ensured Hardie was a frustrated and vocal spectator, the fact that Holland was only slightly the busier keeper meant that a late Plymstock winner would have been cruel on the committed Foxes.

Foxhole (3-5-2): Ryan Holland; Dexter Lawrence, Nick Carpenter, Tony Mackellar; CJ Bird, Ross Pinhammer, Scott Ansell, Michael Kempthorne, Lee Hazeldine; Mark Rowe, Liam Nicholls.

Plymstock (4-4-2): Ben Hardie; Paul Heveran, Nick Souness, Lewis Young, Stuart Berry; Jamie Bass (sub. James Yates), Ashley Piggott, Craig Holt, Kevin Francis; Michael O'Neill (sub. Aaron Hulme), Joe Jasper.

Referee: Mr Richard Greenwood (Plymouth).

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