Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Staveley MW 2 v Clipstone 2 - NCEL Prem

Wednesday 3rd February 2016
Toolstation NCEL Premier Division
At Inkersall Road
Staveley Miners Welfare (1) 2
Kieran Watson 35, Charlie Oglesby 90+4
Clipstone (1) 2
Chris Salt 45, Jahmal Smith 50
Admission £5. Programme £1.50.
Attendance 283
The two faces of Brett Marshall.
A successful NCEL manager and chairman
Staveley Miners Welfare:
Nick Siddons, Chris Baugh, Greg Fitzpatrick, Ash Rawson, Matt Varley (C), Charlie Oglesby, Adam Scott, Steve Carty, Courtney Hasting, Kieran Watson, Jamie Brown
Subs - Ross Goodwin, Jack Hutchinson, Luke Walker, Lewis Naylor, Richard Mintoft
Steve Hernandez, Liam Royles, Luke Randle, Ellis Wall, Chris salt, Stuart Ludlam, Jahmal Smith, Nicky Walker, Oli Ryan, James ashmore, Alec Denton
Subs - Josh Scully, Liam Nelthorpe, Brad Holmes, Tyler Bates, Michael Ball
With both sides entering the field of play wearing stripes, I was pleased that I wasn't watching this game on my black & white portable telly.
After a slight delay because the host club hadn't got one of their goal nets ready in time for kick off, a lively NCEL Premier Division encounter ensued, that became a thoroughly entertaining affair, once the brief frantic spell at the outset had settled and both teams had found their rhythm.
Prior to kick off, a good few of the people involved with the Cobras, who had travelled across the M1 in decent numbers tonight, would probably have settled for a point before the game. but in the aftermath they may also have been entitled to feel a touch disappointed that they hadn't returned home to Nottinghamshire with all three points in the bag, after the home side snatched a very late equaliser with the game running deep into stoppage time.
Clipstone's manager Jas Colliver, won't be happy that his team have become prone to conceding late goals, but I'm sure he will be having a 'quiet word' with his players, about their pusillanimous approach to defending in the latter stages of games.
It was good to see that Greg Fitzpatrick, who was introduced to the first team squad at Staveley last season from their Under 21 team, is being given the chance to shine again this term and that Charlie Oglesby, who joined the Trojans development ranks from Espial FC in the Summer, obviously thrived on being given the opportunity to prove himself at NCEL tonight. They'll  both benefit no end from playing alongside the Staveley captain Matt Varley.
A nip and tuck, high tempo first half, saw two evenly matched sides, both going toe to toe and adopting an attacking approach.
The Derbyshire side took advantage of a defensive slip in the 35th minute, when Clipstone should have cleared their lines and Kieran Watson drew first blood for Staveley with an opportunist goal.
The visitors were almost on even terms straight away, but Alec Denton headed wide from close range, within a minute of the opening goal.
Oli Ryan split the Staveley ranks with a well weighted through ball, but Denton's shot was blocked for a corner. The home side attempted to clear the ball into their goalmouth, but Chris Salt was on hand to claim an equaliser for his side, which they had deserved on the balance of play thus far.
In stoppage time, Clipstone almost snatched the lead, but Nick Siddons did well to thwart the former Trojans striker Jahmal Smith.
HT: Staveley Miners Welfare 1 v Clipstone 1
However, Siddons could do nothing to stop Smith when they next came together, as Jahmal gratefully accepted the gift of some poor defending to put the visitors ahead, five minutes after the restart.
Nicky Walker and Alec Denton were causing the home side's defence a few headaches and pulling them wide as Clipstone began to gain the upper hand and impose themselves on the game.
The opening 45 minutes had been a very close run thing, but the Cobras were marginally in the ascendancy after the break, though Staveley obviously weren't about to give this cause up with a fight.
An announcement that a crowd of 283 was present crackled over the ever reliable PA system at Inkersall Road. With no other games taking place in the area tonight, the local footballing public had flocked to Staveley to watch what promised to be a good, open game between two of the better sides in the division.
Somebody sat behind us questioned the validity of the attendance figure and said: "They're not supposed to count the players and everyone who is at Weight Watchers in the Speedwell Rooms next door as well". But I can vouch for the fact that it is always difficult to estimate exactly how many people there are spread around this spacious and impressive arena, but with an above average turn out present and a sprinkling of representatives from at least a dozen other clubs in situ (it was akin to an Who's who of the NCEL) swelling the Staveley coffers, the total will have been correct, or as near as damn it.
Clipstone had deserved to win on the balance of play in the second half, but credit where it is due, with the clock ticking down, the home side kept plugging away... goals win games (or snatch draws late in the day), not percentages, when all is said and done.
In the 94th minute, the home side won a free kick just outside the Cobras goal area.
Steve Hernandez left his line to deal with the ball as the visitors only half cleared it to the edge of the area, where young Charlie Oglesby was waiting and he aimed his shot between the two defenders who were still guarding the posts from the dead ball and salvaged a point for his side.
It was a cruel finale to the game for the visitors, who'd given a very good account of themselves, but everybody headed home at least relatively content with what they had seen tonight.
FT: Staveley Miners Welfare 2 v Clipstone 2
All in all, a decent game, with a real sting in it's tail.
It was great to catch up with a few really good friends I have who are connected to both teams and representatives of several other clubs who were out in force too.
I spoke to Swallownest's Mick Kent on the way out of the ground and sadly I was informed that tomorrow night's U19 game at the 'Swall Siro' is a dead cert to be postponed. D'oh! I was looking forward to that.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Retford United 1 v Maltby Main 5 - NCEL Prem

Tuesday 2nd February 2016
Toolstation NCEL Premier Division
at the Jones & Co. Stadium/Cannon Park
Retford United (0) 1
Adam Lee (pen) 69
Maltby Main (4) 5
Gary Hibbert 2
Ryan Carroll 6, 48
Lewis Bemrose 12
Sam Forster 14
Admission £5. Programme £1.50
Attendance 79
Just 13 miles separate these two clubs, who kicked off  two places and six points apart in the league table, with 12th placed Maltby having played three games less than the Badgers, who occupy 14th spot.
At the weekend both sides enjoyed impressive league wins away from home; as Retford triumphed 4-1 at Garforth Town, while the Miners were picking up three points with a 3-1 win at Farsley, against Albion Sports.
Right, that is the niceties out of the way.
I wouldn't want to take anything away from Maltby, who thoroughly deserved their win tonight and had already killed the game off inside the opening fifteen minutes.
But, regardless of the selection headaches that the Badgers continue to suffer from, because of players not always being as committed to the cause as they could be and making themselves available more often, there is no scope for dressing it up or digging deep for positives out of such an appalling display, as the one I have just seen Retford United inflict on their long suffering fans tonight.
To compound matters, when a team has used all of it's substitutes and is trailing by five goals to one, with ten minutes remaining, it beggars belief that one of the most experienced players on the field can have a 'dummy spit' with his bench and simply walk off of the pitch, deserting his team mates and then just clear off home, but that is exactly what Jason Bradley did.
Well played Maltby and massive kudos to your good natured supporters, whose friendly banter and magnanimous humour helped to raise the spirits of my Retford United supporting pals in the stand.
The Miners deserved to win by (at least) a four goal margin, but if truth be told, Retford probably warranted getting more of a going over than they actually did in the end.
I am not writing a match report, I don't need to, it is fairly obvious what I've just witnessed.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Cleethorpes Town 1 v Kidlington 2 - FA Vase R5

Prior to this afternoon I've seen Cleethorpes Town in action three times this season... and all of those games were played away from home, in the people's republic of north Nottinghamshire, at Clipstone and Retford United in the NCEL and Handsworth Parramore in the 3rd round of the FA Vase.
The Owls wore a different kit in each one of these games and they won all three of them.
In spite of having travelled extensively around the highways and bye-ways of  non league football in several countries, this was the first time that I have ever seen Oxfordshire based side Kidlington, of the Uhlsport Hellenic League, in action.
Their supporters, the 'Green Army', who had made the long trip up to Grimsby, many of them overnight, were a very friendly bunch and very gracious about the outcome of this fifth round tie.
Saturday 30th January 2016
FA Vase Fifth Round
at Bradley Community Stadium, Grimsby
Cleethorpes Town (0) 1
Brody Robertson 48
Kidlington (2) 2
Tommy Castle 8
Jack Quainton 45
Admission £5. Programme £1.50. Attendance 274
We'd thought it was cold for this lunchtime's Under 18 game at Rainworth between Mansfield Town and Scunthorpe United, but that was positively tropical compared to the icy blast that terrorised the Bradley Community Stadium this afternoon, as we 'enjoyed a four seasons in one day' experience out on the east coast.
At the end of the game, it was like driving home through the set of an episode of 'Ice Road Truckers', however those guys and gals who navigate their big rigs across treacherous terrain, don't have to contend with every other car coming towards them on the A46 being driven by a twat who doesn't know how to dip his/her headlights.
We positioned ourselves right next to the Owls singing section for the first half, where it was good to catch up with David Patterson, a noisy member of the Cleethorpes Town choir, who also doubles up as the progressive club's chairman.
The visitors were a bit of an unknown quantity, but they looked lively from the kick off, with Ancelot Odhiambo testing Miles Fenty early on.
The home sides first attack came to an abrupt halt when Jonathan Oglesby went to ground under a heavy challenge from Ben Weedon, but the referee Tom Bramall waved away the Owls penalty appeals.
Cleethorpes misery at not being awarded what they thought was a definite spot kick, was compounded shortly afterwards, when Tommy Castle cut into the area from out on the visitors left flank and drilled a low shot passed Fenty, to give the Oxfordshire side the lead.
Odhiambo put in a dangerous cross towards Castle, who came close to doubling the visitors lead.
Cleethorpes must've started to wonder if it wasn't going to be their day, when Marc Cooper rounded Sam Warrell, the Greens goalkeeper, only to see two close range strikes cleared off of the line.
Luke Mascall saw his shot crash against the right hand post as the Owls looked odds on to score again, to no avail.
Jack Quainton had a shot turned around the post by Fenty and then blazed the ball over from close range when Fenty parried Lewis Coyle's free kick and the Kidlington number 7 got to the loose ball first.
Mascall headed wide from Oglesby's corner at one end as the first half reached it's conclusion and then the visitors struck again in stoppage time, when Coyle played a sideways pass across the front of the 18 yard box to Quainton, who turned, made himself a yard of space and planted the ball into the back of the net.
HT: Cleethorpes Town 0 v Kidlington 2
Cleethorpes knew another Kidlington goal would probably kill the game off now, but Brody Robertson threw the game wide open on 48 minutes, when he took the ball past Warrell and rolled the ball into the visitors goal.
Within a minute Mascall came close to putting the Owls level, but the 'Green Army' let out a collective sigh of relief as the busy midfielder put the ball narrowly wide.
Driven on by some great vocal backing, the home side came close again, when Warrell strayed off of his line, but Cooper's opportunist long range effort cleared the crossbar.
Tim Lowe conceded a free kick against Castle just outside the Owls area; using a routine that probably worked well on the training pitch, Coyle rolled a short free kick to his captain Lewis Gabbidon, whose wayward strike illustrated to everyone present why he is a defender.
Oglesby had the goal in his sights, but shot over from long distance, before Warrell pulled off a brace of top class saves from Robertson and Danny Trott, that would prove to be just as important in the final analysis as Castle and Quainton's first half strikes.
Mascall picked out Robertson right in front of Kidlington's goal, but the Owls number 10 rattled his shot against the upright.
The woodwork was having a blinding game for the visitors this afternoon.
As the game went into stoppage time, even Fenty was up bolstering the Cleethorpes attack, as Mascall delivered two corners into the visitors goalmouth in quick succesion. The Owls keeper he even got a touch of the ball that fell into the path of Cooper whose close range strike was blocked in the crowded goal area.
With a sleat blizzard developing, Darren Hanslip saw his overhead kick drop just wide of the post with Warrell beaten, as the visiting supporters began to call out for the referee to blow the final whistle.
Mr Bramall did indeed sound his whistle and just for a moment he appeared to be pointing at the penalty spot too, but the cheers turned to jeers from the 'Clee' fans as it became apparent that he was actually pointing for a goal kick to Kidlington.
And that was that, Kidlington were through to the quarter Finals of the FA Vase and although they could hardly have put any more effort in this afternoon, Cleethorpes Town's dreams of Wembley are over for another season.
With just a little bit of good fortune here and there, when the visitors rode their luck once or twice, it could have been very different. But in the end, I suppose you could say, Kidlington got 'the rub of the Greens' today.
FT: Cleethorpes Town 1 v Kidlington 2
All in all, a decent game, played in several kinds of bloody awful weather.
Good luck to both teams for the remainder of the season.

Mansfield Town 2 v Scunthorpe United 1 - FLYA (NE)

These two sides played out a closely run draw at the Lawrence Academy in Scunthorpe back in September, see here and here for more details.
Today the visitors arrived at Rainworth, perched at the top of the FLYA (NE) table, three points ahead of the young Stags, who still had a game in hand over the north east Lincolnshire side.
This impressive win by John Dempster's side, who were back to their best following a disappointing result at Chesterfield last week, puts them right back in the title race.
Saturday 30th January 2016
Football League Youth Alliance (North East)
at Kirklington Road, Rainworth
Mansfield Town (1) 2
Tyler Blake 22, Drew Gibson 86.5
Scunthorpe United (0) 1
Jack Dyche 86
Mansfield Town:
Adam Bishop, Teddy Bloor, Charlie Shaw, Drew Gibson, Morgan Ratcliffe, Kieran Harrison (C), Cain Smith, Cameron Healey, Tyler Blake, Tyler Johal, Zayn Hakeem
Unused subs - Devante Reittie, Tom Marriott, Alistair Smith, Kane Baldwin, Sam Wilson (GK)
Scunthorpe United:
Ben Ledger, Riley Baker, Fortunate Sitole, James Dean-Atkinson, Charlie Cleminshaw (Harvey Ablett 73), Lewis Butroid, Noel Burdett, George Hornshaw, Jack Dyche (C), David Barber (Leslie Sackey 60), Sonny Shilling
Unused subs - Joe Parker, Michael Tolchard
When the team sheets were released, it became apparent that several changes had been made to the starting eleven since last Saturday.
Several regular watchers of the Under 18 team games, were slightly concerned that the players seemed to have lost some of their impetus during the enforced Winter break; but were satisfied to see that the collective spark had been reignited again today.
The Stags kicked off on a bitterly cold morning, knowing that they were going to have to be at their very best to get anything against a strong Scunthorpe side, and in the event, they weren't found wanting in any quarter and turned in a great performance.
It wouldn't be stretching a point to say that their dominance throughout the game wasn't really reflected by the narrow margin of victory.
Earlier this season, John Dempster had addressed a seminar of club sponsors at the One Call Stadium and emphasised that his priority with the youth teams was the development of players, while results were of secondary importance. But the win today and, more importantly, the manner in which the league title favourites were overcome by an all round team performance, was a little bit special.
On days like this, when everything that has been worked towards at the academy training sessions all falls into place, it is a complete vindication of the clubs approach to their development programme and makes all of the effort worthwhile for everyone.
Mansfield went straight for the jugular from the off and Ben Ledger, the visitors keeper, was called into action almost immediately, when Zayn Hakeem saw off a challenge from Fortunate Sitole and powered a shot towards the Iron goal.
Kieran Harrison, who had been handed the captain's armband today in recognition of some solid performances in the centre of defence of late, played a long free kick forward to Tyler Blake, that Ledger initially struggled with, but saved at the second attempt.
The Scunthorpe back line, were very strong in the tackle, with Riley Baker and Charlie Cleminshaw in particular looking as uncompromising as anything that the Stags have come up against this season. But the home side were relishing the challenge, with Hakeem and Tyler Johal combining well and working off of each other to keep a very competent visitors defence on their toes.
Judging by the smiles on the faces of the Mansfield players they were loving every minute of it.
The Stags took the lead on 22 minutes.
Zayn Hakeem won the ball on the left hand side of the area and laid it back to Charlie Shaw who crossed first time to Drew Gibson, two Scunthorpe defenders blocked Gibson's route to goal and the ball broke loose to Tyler Blake, who without any hesitation shot past Ledger from ten yards out, before the Iron defence had the opportunity to close ranks again.
Baker over-hit a backpass to Ledger that had the Scunthorpe keeper muttering under his breath as he chased a lost cause and the ball went out for a corner.
Teddy Bloor's in-swinging kick was cleared back towards him from the six yard box, but the Stags right back drilled his shot into the side netting.
Adam Bishop's first touch came when he held onto a deep cross from Noel Burdett, that moved around in the strong gusts that were whipping across the Kirklington Road ground and justifying the decision to build a very productive wind farm in the area. Burdett for his part, was probably Scunthorpe's best player on the day, which illustrates what a good job the Mansfield defence were doing containing some of the most talented attacking players in this league.
Morgan Ratcliffe was unflappable in defence alongside Harrison who was excelling in the role of captain and effectively snuffing out the threat of the highly rated Jack Dyche. The full backs were both getting up in support of their attackers, with Charlie Shaw putting in what was possibly his best performance of the season, while Cameron Healey and Cain Smith, fought doggedly for control of the midfield, which freed up Blake and Gibson to join in with the attack, where a was a real pleasure to see the understanding that Hakeem and Johal are developing between them.
As the first half came to a close, Ratcliffe cut out a cross to the prolific Dyche from Noel Burdett, that typified Scunthorpe's attacking play thus far, inasmuch as, Bishop left the field of play at the interval with a clean sheet under his belt, but apart from dealing with a few awkward crosses, he hadn't had a single save to make.
HT: Mansfield Town 1 v Scunthorpe United 0
The second half started in pretty much the same vein as the first, with the Stags defence and midfield suffocating any attempt to get back into the game by the league leaders, while they attacked frequently at pace, with a quick passing and moving game that got in among the ever attentive Iron back four.
A sustained spell of attacking from the home side, put Scunthorpe under the cosh, but the much anticipated second goal evaded a very lively Stags side, until right at the death.
James Dean-Atkinson fouled Hakeem out on the left flank, but Bloor's free kick was scrambled away.
Hakeem forced a corner that Bloor took, picking out Healey, but his towering header was saved by Ledger.
Drew Gibson muscled through the defence with a powerful run and once again 'Scunny' had Ledger to thank for keeping them in the game as he saved bravely at Gibson's feet.
The visitors tried to switch things around by defending a line higher up the pitch, which allowed Johal to race forward unchallenged from Gibson's through ball and Ledger had to sprint twenty yards out of his area to launch the ball out of harm's way.
Dean-Atkinson tried to release Dyche with a forward pass, but Harrison thwarted the Iron striker and cleared the ball out of the area and when Scunthorpe regained possession of the ball, Sonny Shilling over-ran it to the byline and aimed a cross cum shot into the side netting from a near on impossible angle.
Gibson was playing like a man possessed today, he battled forward past two challenges and cued up a chance for Blake, who was unlucky to see his effort deflected over the bar.
Scunthorpe were trying to get back into the game, with Burdett in particular looking to be a threat, but the home side were flying and looking to finish this very entertaining game off.
Healey sent Blake away but the visitors keeper showed yet again why his side concede so few goals with another fine save.
Hakeem was tripped by Cleminshaw just outside the left hand side of the area.
Johal's free kick picked out Gibson, who headed wide of the post from a great position just a few feet away from the line.
Gibson brushed himself down and started the next Stags attack with a defence splitting pass to Johal, who forced a corner off of Harvey Ablett.
Bloor's flag kick was cleared as far as Johal, who was a whisker away from topping off an impressive shift, with an 18 yard shot that crashed off the crossbar.
The visitors went three at the back as they looked to get back into the game inside the last ten minutes.
Dyche broke into the box and homed menacingly towards Bishop's goal, but Ratcliffe had the situation covered and nicked the ball away with a timely block.
Leslie Sackey found himself one on one against Bishop but he sliced the ball well wide of the goal as the Stags keeper raced out to block him and forced a rushed shot from the Iron substitute.
There were just four minutes left on the clock, when Dyche exchanged passes with Hornshaw inside the Stags area and knocked in the equaliser. In spite of Harrison and Ratcliffe keeping the Scunthorpe striker under wraps, he'd had one clear cut chance all game and he'd taken it.
However, there were still four minutes on the clock, when Mansfield quickly restarted the game and broke forward at pace, Drew Gibson surged into the area and and thumped a low cross past Ledger.
The closing minutes became a bit frantic, with both sides gathering angrily around Teddy Bloor after he'd been scythed down, but when things settled down and one player from each side was shown a yellow card (Ratcliffe and Sackey), the Stags kept their composure, closed ranks and didn't give their visitors a sniff of an late goal.
A thoroughly deserved, high tempo win for the Stags, who really ought to have won by more goals.
There were some big performances all over the pitch today and every single one of them played their part.
This display was on a par with the impressive win at Bradford City earlier in the season and showed yet again, that John Dempster's side can rise to the occasion when they come up against top class opposition.
FT: Mansfield Town 2 v Scunthorpe United 1
The Stags U18 side are playing away at York City next Saturday, hopefully they can reproduce the sort of form that they showed today. I'm already looking forward to it.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Swallownest 0 v Handsworth Parramore 5 - HKL NMU19L

Thursday 28th January 2016
HKL North Midland U19 League
at 'Swall Siro', Rotherham Road, Swallownest
Swallownest (0) 0
Handsworth Parramore (1) 5
Matt Morton 14, 66, 73,
Lewis Elshaw 57,
Harry Groombridge 86
Admission £2. Programme £1
When these two sides played earlier in the season at Olivers Mount, see HERE, the Ambers won by four goals to two.
One of Swallownest's goals that night was scored by Mitchell Dunne, who has subsequently switched camps and moved the short distance up the road to link up with Handsworth.
Swallownest will be pleased that Dunne didn't score tonight, but he made a telling contribution to the game, before he came off in the 70th minute.
Tonight, the visitors maintained their 100% record by having won 10 games out of ten and subsequently they have won the HKL NMU19L championship.
Hats off and congratulations to Handsworth who just keep on coming up with the goods, year after year. Evidently the scene is already set for the next phase of the Ambers production line, as their coach Dean Bamforth revealed on his Twitter account tonight,that 11 of this championship winning squad were still only 16 years old.
Tonight the heavens opened as the teams were warming up and the wind and the rain took turns over the ensuing 90 minutes to make things as unpleasant as possible for both teams as they tried to get to grips with the conditions. Swallownest's groundsman will probably have a little cry to himself when he sees the pitch in the morning.
Match referee Josh Bramall and his assistants Mark Beard and Aden Tanriyar deserve a lot of credit for their handling of the game, on what must've been a trying night on a wet and windy hillside.
The champions elect opened the scoring on 14 minutes, when your defence half clears the ball from a goalmouth to the edge of the area, Matt Morton is probably the last person you'd want to see lurking there with intent... without any hesitation the prolific striker calmly dispatched a thumping shot past Jack Hood to set the visitors on their way to a championship clinching victory.
Swallownest almost delayed the title party when the visitors conceded a penalty. But Ewan Doman saved Callum Mounsey's spot kick and things went downhill from there for the hosts.
Dunne got his first sight of goal, but Steve Nettleship got a firm challenge in to thwart his former team mate.
Sadly, Nettleship was involved in a collision shortly afterwards and sustained a bang to the head. during a lengthy stoppage both team's medics went to his aid and though he was eventually able to walk back to the dressing room, albeit in a dazed condition, the home side's number 6 would take no further part in tonight's encounter.
Swallownest line up
Hopefully Steve Nettleship recovers fully ASAP and is back to doing what he does best in the very near future. Get well soon Steve.
When play got back underway, Billy Wright attacked down the right flank, but his low driven cross to Danny Bent was smothered by Hood by his left hand post.
Morton cut into the Swallownest area but was halted in his tracks by a firm tackle by Jacob Rickards, who had come on in place of the injured Nettleship.
Morton threatened again but Hood plucked the ball off of his head from Dunne's right wing corner.
Ollie Laurence tried his luck from 20 yards but Doman held on to the wet ball. as it moved about in the air.
Harry Bamforth exchanged passes with Morton on the edge of the area, but Kris Eggerston blocked his shot at the expense of a corner. Dunne whipped the ball in to Oliver Beaumont whose header was cleared off the line by Chris Hudson.
Danny Bent knocked a measured through ball into the path of Dunne, but Eggerston blocked his run with a timely interception.
The 'Swall' lads were evidently intent on not giving their ex striker an easy passage tonight, but I'm sure he was enjoying the challenge anyway.
HT: Swallownest 0 v Handsworth Parramore 1
And during the interval the rain came down even more heavily.
After the break, Parramore underlined why they are the champions of the HKL North Midland U19 League (North) this season and turned the screw on their hard working neighbours.
Bamforth fed the ball through for Dunne to flick on, but Eggerston thwarted him again.
Of course, the former Swallownest player was always going to find himself enough space to escape his markers attentions at some point, but when he clipped a firm strike at the hosts goal from 10 yards out, Hood twisted and tipped the ball over.
Hood had to be alert again from the resulting corner to keep out Elshaw's header, but Handsworth were turning up the heat now and almost doubled their lead when Morton took the ball round Hood but saw his angled shot deflected around the post. Having got the rehearsal set piece out of the way, Elshaw made scored from Dunne's flag kick and the silverware was now in sight
Swallownest, realising that it was now or never, pushed forward, but the Ambers captain Wright, hooked away Patrick Menye's cross into the visitors six yard box.
Handsworth Parramore line up
Dunne fouled the lively Junior Gama out on the right flank and Josh Hill's wind assisted free kick into the box almost ended up in the goal, but the ball dropped narrowly wide of the back post.
It was a case of 'game over' when Morton scored Handsworth's third from a well taken free kick 20 yards after 66 minutes and inside ten minutes he struck again to claim his hat trick.
The prolific Ambers marksman almost got a fourth goal as he fizzed a free kick past the upright from out on the left hand side of the area.
On 86 minutes, in a moment that typified Swallownest's night, Gama delivered a corner from out on the right wing to Brandon Ashmore whose goalbound header hit one of his own team mates and bounced to safety. To rub salt into the wounds, Handsworth immediately turned defence into attack and Harry Groombridge bagged a goal for himself to complete the Ambers title clinching victory.
FT: Swallownest U19 0 v Handsworth Parramore U19 5

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Brigg Town 3 v Clipstone 2 - NCEL Prem

Toolstation Northern Counties East – Premier Division
Wednesday 27th January 2016
The Hawthorns, Brigg
Brigg Town (2) 3
Charles Fisher 15, Elliott Broughton 19, Luke Anderson 86
Clipstone (0) 2
Nicky Walker 50, Charles Fisher OG
Attendance 135
Brigg Town:
Barton, Gibson, Fisher, Farr (Kelly 87), Hellewell, Bowsley (C), Cotton, Bratton (Grimes 83), Anderson, Broughton, Brooks
Unused subs - Smith Dean, Parker
Frances, Royles, Salt, McGee (C), Randle, Walker, Nelthorpe, Holmes, Wall, Denton, Scully (Ryan 75)
Unused subs - Colliver, Ball (GK)
In a break from tradition, I have published both team's accounts of this game.
Brigg's version was cut and paste from their website and I wrote the other from a Clipstone perspective for them to use.
Both reports are slightly biased, but not too far apart in their overall content.
I've got some good friends at both clubs and try (but sometimes fail) to remain impartial at all times and by way of a coincidence, I actually work in the Brigg area quite often, though not if I can help it ;-)
For the record, both my 'other half' and myself gave the overall man of the match to Brigg's Danny Brooks, but we were split over who had the best game for Clipstone; she went for Liam Nelthorpe, while I thought it was a three way tie between Chris Salt, Nicky Walker and Liam Royles.
Clipstone's match report:
A game of two very different halves for the Cobras. The visitors were disjointed and off the pace for much of the opening 45 minutes, in which they gave themselves a mountain to climb; but they came back after the break looking fluent, assertive and were unlucky not to come away from the Hawthorns with at least a point after the break.
While not wanting to look for excuses, it would be fair to say that Clipstone didn't benefit at all on the night by getting the rub of the green as regards any of the 50/50 decisions and close calls that the referee Andy Dunn had to make, but lets not dwell on that.
With three of Jas Colliver's first picks: Steve Hernandez, James Ashmore and Jahmal Smith all unavailable for selection and only one outfield player on the bench (besides Colliver himself) the visitors manager had to reshuffle his pack against a Brigg side who were bolstered by three dual registered signings from Evo-Stik League side Lincoln United, namely: Danny Brooks, Matt Cotton and Jake Gibson.
In the event, Brooks was pivotal to most of the Zebras build up play and took responsibility for all of their dead balls, while Cotton proved to be a real handful down the left flank and was a real thorn in Clipstone's side all night.
The less said about the first half the better from a Clipstone perspective, as Brigg powered into a two goal lead, when they scored twice within four minutes, having already gone close inside the first quarter of a hour of the game.
Brooks picked out Chaz Fisher with a left wing corner and the Zebras right back opened the scoring with a free header... and the home side doubled their lead shortly afterwards when Elliott Broughton rode a challenge as he cut into the visitors area from the right flank and curled an unstoppable shot into the top left hand corner.
The Cobras, playing into the wind, did make a few tentative advances into the Brigg half without troubling the home side's 'keeper Jody Barford too much, but it was their hosts who looked more likely to score again and if truth be told, the remainder of the first half would have to go down as a 'damage limitation' exercise by Colliver's side,
In fact the nearest that Barford came to being beaten was when one of his own defenders headed the ball back to him a little too firmly from an Alex Denton cross.
The Clipstone manager would've been grateful to hear the half time whistle sound, so he could get his side back into the dressing room and refocus and reorganise them.
HT: Brigg Town 2 v Clipstone 0
Whatever was said in the visitors dressing room seemed to do the trick and from the restart Clipstone looked unrecognisable from the side who had trudged off disconsolately from the pitch at half time.
Liam Royles picked out Josh Scully with a great knock, but Clipstone's recent new signing, who was showing some good touches in spite of a lack of match fitness at the moment, saw his cross headed away to safety.
Play switched quickly and Andy Frances saved well from Brooks to keep his side in the game.
But five minutes into the second half, it was game on, when a great passage of build up play including Royles, Scully and Sam Denton saw Nicky Walker pull a goal back for the visitors from ten yards out.
The referee missed a handball in the middle of the park as Brigg attacked, but Elliott Broughton fired over the bar, so in the event, the officials error wasn't a costly one for the visitors.
Ellis Wall almost drew his side level, but his dipping shot fizzed inches over the bar after Walker had unselfishly laid the ball off to him.
Liam Nelthorpe, playing his first game for a while, was getting to grips with his midfield role and combining well with Scully, the midfield live wire was only inches away from scoring, after Denton and Walker had created an opening in the Brigg defence.
It was Nelthorpe who started the move that led to Clipstone's equaliser, when he won the ball in midfield and slipped it to Scully, who in turn fed it forward to Walker whose cross from the byline across the face of goal only needed a touch, unfortunately for Brigg, it was Fisher who diverted it over his own goal line.
Luke Randle was getting forward down the left flank and causing the home side a few problems and with Magee and Salt shutting up shop at the back and Royles making a good fist of his ongoing battle with Cotton, it looked for all the world that if any team were going to win this game now, it would be Clipstone, especially since Oli Ryan had been sent on to freshen up the visitors attack in place of Scully who'd played well but had run himself to a standstill. He'll prove to be a good signing for the Cobras.
With four minutes remaining, Clipstone were dealt a cruel blow, when a Brooks free kick from out the left, created mayhem in the visitors six yard box and Luke Anderson got the touch that put the ball past Frances.
The Cobras pushed forward in an attempt to rescue a point.
Royle, Holmes, Wall and Walker exchanged a series of quick passes and when Brigg half cleared the ball as far as Ryan his shot deflected wide for a corner. Barford held onto the flag kick under pressure from Ryan.
In the dying moments, Salt nudged the ball forward to Ryan, who slipped it to Denton, but the angle wasn't good for Clipstone's top scorer and the ball got tangled up under Barford's legs, who saved the day for Brigg with an unconventional, but effective save.
FT: Brigg Town 3 v Clipstone 2
In the final analysis, Brigg had held on a bit towards the end and Clipstone were unlucky not to earn at least a point for their second half endeavours.
It could be said that a few pivotal decisions went against the Cobras, but those sort of things balance themselves out over a season. But the damage had already been done in the opening forty five minutes, when Brigg had dominated the game against their lacklustre visitors and it had left Clipstone with just that little bit too much to do.
Brigg Town's match report:
In front of a good crowd of 135 Brigg had 3 debutants in the team for the game against Clipstone all 3 on dual forms from Lincoln United. Jake Gibson filling in at left back for the absent Scott Matthews and a shuffle in formation with Danny Brooks starting in centre midfield and the lively Matt Cotton on the left wing. Brigg dominated early play and created a host of chances with the best chance falling to George Farr who beat a few men before placing the ball wide of the keepers post. 
Brigg took the lead on 15 minutes a lovely delivery from a corner by Brooks was met by Chaz Fisher who headed the ball powerfully past the Clipstone goalkeeper.
Brigg's second of the game came 3 minutes later with Elliot Broughton cutting on from the right and firing a great strike into the top far corner.
Brigg continued to dominate with the winds at there backs and were unlucky to not extend there lead before the break.
Clipstone came out the second half a changed team and put Brigg under pressure from the off although Brigg were still a danger on the counter attack. Clipstone got back into the game on 50 minutes when neat play by Alec Denton cut the ball back from out wide to find Nicky Walker who fired into the bottom corner of Jody Barford's net.
Graffiti en route around the back way into BTFC
Clipstone got back on level terms on 75 minutes when neat play down Clipstone's right wing resulted in the ball being driven across goal only to hit the unfortunate Chaz Fisher's leg and cross over the line.
Clipstone continued to press but it was Brigg who got the all important winner on 85 minutes, a free kick from the right wing by Danny Brooks caused mayhem in the Clipstone box only for the ball to land to Luke Anderson's feet and on the turn fired the ball into the back of the net. The goal being Luke's first for the club and nothing more than he deserved after running his socks off all game as the lone striker.
The win lifts Brigg out of the bottom 3 again and brings more teams into the relegation battle.