Saturday, 19 May 2018

Radcliffe Olympic 3 v Borrowash Victoria 1 - EMCL

Saturday 19th May 2018
East Midlands Counties League
At the Wharf Lane Recreation Ground
Radcliffe Olympic (0) 3
Craig Owen 63,74
Julian Joachim 88
Borrowash Victoria (0) 1
Callum Boddy 68 pen
Admission £5. Programme £1. Attendance 62
THE66POW... point and hope photo gallery: Click HERE
Radcliffe Olympic:
Nick Eatough, Ben Maule, Sam Daws, Julian Joachim, Alex Purkis, Freddie Daws, Neil Grennan, Cole Maule, Rares Demeter, Craig Owen, Pierce Hallam
Subs - Jake Tavers, Josh Royce
Borrowash Victoria:
Louis Danvers, Callum Boddy, Kallum Greaves, Lee Welton, Sam Bagley, Adam Spencer, Josh Onions, Joe Turner, Mason Heys, Mark Raisin, Matt Lander
Sub - Gerry Moran
With Blaby & Whetstone Athletic FC having resigned from the EMCL back in March, the league structure currently consists of twenty one teams (but watch this space, because 'the times they are a changin') and following this result Radcliffe Olympic have ended their campaign in twenty first place, on fourteen points, while Borrowash Victoria finished twenty points, but only two places, above this afternoon's hosts.
Yet given their second half performance, on a red hot day in Radcliffe-on-Trent, I'm sure that most of the five dozen or so intrepid non league followers who turned out to watch this game, would've been surprised to read some of the above statistics, if they weren't already aware of Radcliffe's current predicament.
The first half had it's moments, but by and large, as a spectacle, it probably deserved to finish goalless.
But I would suspect the motivation factor for any of these players to run themselves to standstill, in a game with nothing resting on the outcome, in temperatures of up to 26°C (if the temperature gauge in my car was anything to go by), wouldn't have been particularly high.
But, when things did start to pick up, it was the home side who created the few chances that punctuated several lengthy lulls in the action; in the first instance when Rares Demeter was denied by a good block by the Vics keeper Louis Danvers and when Pierce Hallam got to the rebound first he stabbed the ball past the post.
Cole Maule made a forty yard run towards the Borrowash area, but Danvers reached the ball first on the edge of his area as the ball ran away from the Radcliffe number eight at the last moment.
(C) Maule was also involved in the next Radcliffe attack, knocking the ball over the visitors defence for Craig Owen to run onto, but he had strayed slightly offside and was flagged before he managed to strike the ball inside the six yard box (above).
Owen ventured forward on the right flank and almost put Neil Grennan, in on goal, but Kallum Greaves made a last ditch block and cleared the ball away at the expense of a corner.
Sam Daws took the flag kick and picked out Hallam, whose header fizzed past the upright, while (S) Daws went even closer when his long range shot skimmed the outside of the right hand post, moments before the whistle sounded for the interval.
HT: 0-0
Thankfully the second half was far better than the first.
Owen attempted to chip Danvers from five yards outside the Borrowash area... but lets put it down to the heat and rarefied air, that the ball arced away into the distance and only came to rest at the tea hut doors.
Ben Maule's long distance delivery was scrambled clear, as were balls into the Vics area from (C) Maule and a guy going by the name of Julian Joachim... and it wasn't just any old Julian Joachim, but the original old Julian Joachim, still donning his boots and plying his trade at forty four years of age.
Victoria were making their mark more after the break and threatened to take the lead, but Greaves curling free kick was, err... 'ever so slightly' off target. Right, lets have a water break while somebody runs off into the distance and recovers the ball.
Jake Tavers combined with Owen through the right channel towards the visitors goalmouth but Adam Spencer intercepted with a well time, firm but fair, tackle.
When you're doing a Ronseal advert at two,
but you're running the line at three.
Joachim added a touch of his esteemed pedigree to the proceedings, with a great diagonal pass to Owen, who avoided wandering offside before turning  sharply on the edge of the area, moved forward and belted the ball past Danvers to open the scoring on sixty four minutes.
Danvers and Joachim battled for a loose ball, that fell to Tavers, but Sam Bagley was covering his keeper and put his foot through the ball to get it out of the danger zone.
Borrowash moved quickly down to the far end of the pitch, turning defence into attack in a matter of moments, and as Radcliffe vaingloriously battled to clear their lines, the referee, Jordon Bancroft, spotted an infringement and awarded the away team a penalty, which Callum Boddy, knocked into the right hand side of the goal, while Nick Eatough went the other way.
Owen, who in the opinion of our gathering of sunburnt old gits was probably the man of the match, ran clear of his marker on the right flank and crossed towards Joachim, but Bagley slid to get in between them and managed to block the cross with his outstretched leg.
From the resulting corner, Owen made his move perfectly to make himself the time and space to meet (S) Daws delivery with a powerful downward header to put Radcliffe back in front.
Joachim almost netted a third for the home side, but he glanced his header wide from another great delivery by (S) Daws.
The live-wire Owen did really well to keep the ball in play in play on the byline and laid it back towards Tavers who opted to shoot instead of crossing, but probably wishes that he hadn't done.
Right at the death Joachim gambled and chased the ball as Lee Welton struggled to clear his lines, which gave the veteran striker an opportunity to pounce, take the ball towards Danvers and pick his spot, with an unstoppable finish.
I hope I'm still that nimble when I reach his age ;-)
It was too late for the Vics to get back into the game now... and too bloody hot for anybody to beg for the ref to add on any stoppage time. 
Well done to all concerned for the huge effort that they made to put on what eventually turned out to be a half decent game, on a day when teams elsewhere failed to even make up the numbers to fulfil fixture obligations, and the 'scorchio' weather painfully reminded everybody why football is a Winter game... and talk of playing in the Summer is, quite frankly, bloody stupid.
FT: Radcliffe Borough 3 v Borrowash Victoria 1
There are still five EMCL league/cup games left to play this season, click the link HERE for details and get out of the house and enjoy the weather while it lasts.

Friday, 18 May 2018


THE66POW: FINALE 2017-18
All subject to change, due to work commitments, additional play off and cup final/semi final games, rearranged fixtures and the unreliable, cantankerous nature of the person who is slinging this: long winded, self indulgent, bullshit blog, with added football content, haphazardly together.
Sat 19 May - Radcliffe Olympic 3 v Borrowash Victoria 1 - EMCL -
Sun 20 May - Stockton Town 0 v Thatcham Town 1 - FA Vase Final - at Wembley Stadium
Sun 20 May - Brackley Town 1 v Bromley FC 1 (AET) Brackley won on penalties - FA Trophy Final - at Wembley Stadium
Tue 22 May - Penistone Church v Shaw Lane AFC - Sheff & Hallamshire Senior Cup Final - 7.45PM at Sheffield United FC
Thu 24 May - Ashby Ivanoe v Clifton All Whites - EMCL - 7.45PM
Sat 26 May - Oxenhope Recreation v Featherstone Colliery - West Yorkshire League - 2.30PM

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Retford United 6 v Worksop Town 3 - WVH NMU19L

Thursday 17th May 2018
North Midlands Under 19 League (North)
at Cannon Park
Retford United (2) 6
Zach Casburn 13, 31, 86
Dec Heath 66
Alex Wonham 90+3, 90+5
Worksop Town (2) 3
Harry Dunbar 10, 21,
Christian Beaumont 79
Admission £3 inc. programme.
Attendance 81
Badgers U19
It quickly became apparent, that this local derby contest was going to be a lively contest, between two teams who were committed to playing all out attacking football, as both sides squandered a string of early chances at either end of the pitch.
In the opening exchanges Josh Carpenter muscled his way into the Retford area, before laying the ball off to Jack Crook, who drilled a shot wide of the post. And the Badgers went straight on the attack from the goal kick and moved the ball forward quickly to Alex Wonham, who also nudged a great opportunity just past the wrong side of the right hand upright.
Carpenter missed a sitter of a chance at one end and Zach Casburn maintained the games symmetrical flow by repeating the trick at the other end.
Tigers U19
Harry Dunbar broke the deadlock in the tenth minute, running on to Nial Blakemore's forward knock, following some good footwork by Crook in the middle of the park, before calmly planting the ball past George Atkinson to give the Tigers a lead, that lasted for just three minutes, when Casburn netted from close range when Callum Amendola pulled the ball back across the face of the Worksop goal from the dead ball line, after Heath had released him with a defence splitting pass on the right hand side of the visitors area.
Will Sutton tested Atkinson with two decent strikes, but the home keeper showed good reflexes to turn them both away, but there was little that he could do about Dunbar's close range poachers goal, as the Tigers number eight pounced to score from close range from Carpenter's cross/shot across the Badgers six  yard box.
Worksop pushed forward again, but when Luke Smith's delivery found Igor Mylnarski ten yards out from United's goal, Dan King did well to make a last ditch blocking tackle.
The home side were on level terms again around the half hour mark, when Amendola's corner kick glanced off of Blakemore and fell invitingly for Casburn at the back stick, who nudged home the equaliser.
Casburn beat Jake Woodward all ends up shortly before the interval, but his curling shot ricocheted back off the right hand upright and into the arms of the Tigers keeper.
In first half stoppage time, Dunbar unselfishly laid the ball off sideways to Sutton who planted the ball wide of the Retford goal.
HT: Badgers 2 v Tigers 2
During half time, I retired to the clubhouse to watch the climax of the England U17 v Netherlands U17 semi final on the TV, which had just gone to a penalties.
The young lions preserved a national tradition as they agonisingly, yet inevitably lost the shoot out 5-6 and to rub it in, they were having to play in that god forsaken crap hole of a town that is called Chesterfield.
So the second half got underway, in the same: crash, bang, wallop, you can't take your eyes off of this for a bleedin' second kind of way, and Retford went close to taking the lead (twice), as the Tigers defence blocked efforts from Heath and Casburn in quick succession, while Joe Alangel got forward to good effect on the right.
Meanwhile, back in the Badgers goalmouth, Dunbar's shot took a deflection into the path of Sutton, who diverted the ball into the advertising hoardings from eight yards out. And moments later Sutton returned the compliment, nudging the ball sideways to Dunbar, who won tonight's star prize of the 'Mister Sitter' t-shirt from four yards out.
With sixty six minutes gone, Woodward saved from Amendola, but couldn't prevent the loose ball from falling to the feet of Heath, whofired the home side ahead.
Blake Blythe moved quickly to deny Casburn a clear run in on goal from Alangel's through ball and the visitors countered at speed, with Mylnarski evading two challenges and hitting a diagonal cross towards Dunbar, who laid the ball off for Christian Beaumont to smash it past Atkinson.
Ten minutes to go, three goals apiece and the game still balanced on a knife edge.
Four minutes of the scheduled ninety left to go and Retford scored a fourth, when the Tigers struggled to clear Amendola's delivery into six yard box and the ball deflected into the path of Casburn, who claimed his hat trick with an emphatic knock.
Worksop looked to be taking a standing count as Wonham stroked a pass out wide to Alangel, who broke forward quickly, cut in from the right and launched a dipping angled shot just over the Tigers crossbar.
Worksop made a mess of executing a corner routine as the game went into stoppage time... and with the majority of their players committed to pushing for another equaliser, could only look on in horror as Wonham motored forward, kept his nerve and finished with aplomb, planting the ball past the completely unprotected and exposed Woodward.
Five minutes into added time, the Tigers capitulated completely, as the hosts attacked in a pack and Heath rolled the ball into the path of Wonham, who stroked the ball past Woodward, to net the Badgers sixth goal of the night.
FT: Retford United U19 6 v Worksop Town U19 3
Luke Pickering posing.
Russell Dodd caught unaware.
The Tigers youngsters have now finished their U19 league campaign and will take either third or fourth spot in the table, depending on how Alfreton Town fare in their remaining games.
Retford United still have a fixture left to complete, next Tuesday, when they visit Dronfield Town again; the original game was abandoned after seventy three minutes.
To see Devon Cash's blog view of this game: Click HERE

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Nettleham 4 v Queen Athletic 2 - Jock Mitchell Memorial Trophy Final

Tuesday 15th May 2018
Jock Mitchell Memorial Trophy
Lincoln & District Sunday Football League Cup Final
at Lincoln Moorlands Railway Athletic FC
NettlehamFC (1) 4
John Marklew OG 45
Bryan Skayman 48
Chris O'Mahoney 76
Joe Simpson 78
Queen Athletic (0) 2
Joel Sturgess 49
John Marklew 52
Admission £5, Programme 50p
This cup final was originally going to be played at Sincil Bank, the home of Lincoln City FC, but was switched to the Moorlands ground, a couple of weeks ago. However, I can't imagine that the Imps pitch would've been in any better condition than the one that tonight's game took place on... but I hasten to add, that isn't a slight on the surface at the League 2 play off hopeful's stadium, but a compliment to the ground-staff at the Newark Road venue.
By virtue of their win tonight, Nettleham completed the league and cup double, having already won Division 3 of the Lincoln & District Sunday League, by a five point margin over Birchwood United, while Queen Athletic finished in sixth place, some fifteen points behind tonight's opposition.
'Queen' made a lively start when Chris Moulds tried to lob Eddie Wilson from just inside the left hand edge his area, but although the ball comfortably cleared the reach of the Nettleham keeper, before dipping sharply, Moulds had got his angles all wrong and it landed harmlessly towards the far side of the six yard box. Nice idea though.
Jason Bristow's side tried to make in roads down the right flank, but found Matt Wilson, to be in a very determined mood, marshalling that particular route into his his team's area.
Many years I have travelled, over land and sea, in pursuit of the beautiful game, in all it's shapes, sizes, formats and a variety of differing standards, across a myriad spectrum of levels.
And the 'Nettles' left sided defender reminds me no end of a player that I have seen in action loads of times, in several corners of the globe, namely: the former England youth, under 21 and full international left back Kenny Sansom, who won 86 caps for the national side's first team between 1979 and 1988.
(M) Wilson's touch, ability to read the game, willingness to get forward, distribution skills and instinctive know how of when to commit himself to making a tackle (and when not to), is almost identical to that of the ex Crystal Palace, Arsenal, Newcastle United, QPR, Coventry City, Everton, Watford and Brentford etc. etc. model of consistency. Mind you, Sansom is now 59 years of age and more often than not as drunk as a lord, but I couldn't tell you what Matt's excuse is.
Lucky mascot Joe Skako leads out the Nettleham team
As the first half moved on, Nettleham began to create the lions share of chances, but a combination of frantic defending, profligate finishing and a decent shift from Danny Mountcastle, in the Athletic goal, saw several promising openings come to nothing.
Bryan Skayman won a corner out on the right and took it himself, but Simon Gould headed just wide when he met the ball with a looping header. He didn't do much wrong all night other than that though, and was probably the Nettles engine room that held everything else they did together.
Nick Cooper threaded a long pass through the opposition defence for Tom Parker to run onto, but Mouncastle advanced from his line and saved bravely at the number eleven's feet.
(M) Wilson stroked a well weighted pass down the left wing, that sent Parker away on a run towards the corner flag, but when he delivered his cross into the path of James Kerrigan, the striker was thwarted by a gust of wind billowing in his massive ears, making them behave like brakes,which allowed Mountcastle to get to the ball first.
I'm reliably informed that Kerrigan doesn't mind the 'banter' about his big tab holes, because they distract people from noticing how crap his hairstyle is.
Who needs enemies, with mates like James has got, eh!?
Kerrigan set up the next chance for Nettleham, hooking the ball forward for Skayman to chase,but Mountcastle responded quickly again and dealt with the impending danger. 
Matthew Bone was working hard for the 'Queen' side, spreading himself right across the middle of the park, putting a foot in when required, clearing the ball out of arms way and linking up with with his front men well; midway through the first half he was already a candidate for any man of the match award that might be going tonight.
Parker's left wing corner was flicked on by Kerrigan, but Neil Hewlett was well placed to get his head to the ball and another Nettleham attack broke down.
The Queen Athletic defence were buckling without actually breaking, while 'Nettles' attack, who should have comfortably been ahead by now, just weren't finding that all important final touch in front of Mountcastle's goal... which was clearly demonstrated, when Parker slid in, just inside the 'Queen' six yard box, with the goal at his mercy from Skayman's delivery, but was inches away from connecting with the ball.
Skayman broke forward on the right and a change of pace saw him get past Adam Foxon, but that man Mountcastle saved the day again, smothering the ball on the edge of his area. And moments later the overworked keeper was in the line of fire again, plucking a long free kick from Parker out of the air under pressure from Kerrigan.
With the game galloping along at a rare old pace towards half time, Nettleham finally breached the 'Queen' defence, when Liam Hutchinson arrived at the perfect moment to meet Parker's right wing corner with a thumping header, that crashed off of the left hand upright. The ball was half cleared but Skayman latched onto it and cut in from the left side of the area, before testing Mountcastle with a crisply struck half volley, that the keeper did well to turn round his left hand post at full stretch.
Parker curled the resulting corner to the back stick, where John Marklew held off two opposition players as he climbed to reach the ball first and powered a header into the roof of the net... past his own keeper. Whoops!
HT: Nettles 1 v Queen 0
Three minutes after the restart, Nick Cooper headed a Joel Sturgess cross away and Nettleham quickly moved forward, turning defence into attack, Hutchinson knocked the ball forward to Skayman, who was already twenty yards inside the opposition half, when he turned and sprinted forward until he reached Mountcastle near the penalty spot, where he changed direction and speed and his his momentum took him past the stranded keeper, before rolling the ball into the empty net.
So the cup favourites were now two goals ahead, in the second half and looking the fresher of the two sides... surely Nettleham already had one hand on the trophy now, or did they? 
Football is indeed 'a funny old game' and you can never, ever underestimate anybody or take a damn thing for granted... less than a minute after conceding a second, Athletic claimed a goal back, with an emphatic finish from the edge of the area from Joel Sturgess, who found a gap through a crowd of bodies.
And from their next attack, Queen Athletic were level, when Marklew won a header just inside the 'Nettles' area, with his back to goal, and craftily flicked the ball backwards, where it dipped just under the crossbar via (E) Wilson's outstretched fingertips. "You've redeemed yourself John!" shouted out one of his coaches as the teams shaped up to restart the game, but I noticed when I got home, that Adam Foxon has been credited with the goal on the FA website. So apologies to him if he got the final touch and I'm talking rubbish here, but from my vantage point it looked like John Marklew's goal... and I thought it was even more impressive than the one he got at the same end just before half time too.
(E) Wilson stood his ground when Stuart Spring picked out James Parkinson with a right wing delivery and saved the resulting close range header, before 'suggesting' that his teammates got themselves switched back on after going AWOL for a few minutes, immediately after their second goal.
Mountcastle made good catches to from wide balls into his area from both Skayman and Parker, with Kerringan and Chris O'Mahoney homing in.
O'Mahoney stopped Monk launching a long pass forward from the centre circle, when the ball hit him directly in his private parts, with a sickening thud.
Every man in the ground winced in an all knowing response to that sound, but then burst into spontaneous laughter too, because when it boils down to it, underneath our calm and caring exterior appearances, we're all horrible and sadistic swines really.
After seventy minutes, Matthew 'Boner' Bone was substituted to a round of appreciative applause for all of the effort he'd put in, beyond the call of duty... it was well deserved too. George Gartland, Bone's sidekick covered a lot of ground and was an integral part of his team's engine room too and is well worth watching, if any local non league clubs are looking for players. Just saying.
Parkinson sprinted towards the Nettleham goal, but Joe Simpson made a timely last ditch interception to prevent him getting his shot away... and Cooper moved in sharply to win the ball from Liam Grainger after Moulds and Parkinson had linked up well to get the ball back into the 'Nettles' goal area.
Skayman collected the ball out on the right flank, took his time waiting for O'Mahoney to make himself some space and planted an inch perfect cross to the feet of Nettleham's number ten, who took the ball down with one foot and buried it into the back of the net with the other, to put his side back in front again, in the seventy sixth minute.
Two minutes later Nettleham added a fourth goal, when Parker's left wing corner towards Hutchinson was only half cleared as far as the edge of the area and Simpson spanked the ball past Mountcastle.
The likelihood of Darren Giovannetti's side squandering a two goal lead for a second time, looked increasingly unlikely now, as some very tired looking players, on both sides, dragged their weary torsos through the closing stages of the game.
Mountcastle did well to deny Ash Murphy with a stop down at his feet, after Kerrigan had opened up the 'Queen' defence with a through ball... and though the crestfallen keeper got into a tangle on the edge of his area, he managed to recover and retrieve the ball with Skayman and Kerrigan both jostling for possession.
Skayman's long range shot, kept the ball down the desired end of the pitch, if nothing else, as full time approached.
Nettleham had been the best side on the night and were worthy winners, but on the strength of his input to this cup final, Mountcastle didn't deserve to be on the wrong end of a thrashing.
As the game ran over into stoppage time, Parker missed a sitter, but I reckon that he can be forgiven for that, in lieu of the massive part that he had played his team's victorious finale to their successful season.
So well played Queen Athletic who had bust a gut to stay in this game and deserve a share of the plaudits and congratulations to Nettleham on winning a league and cup double.
FT: Nettleham 4 v Queen Athletic 2
Apologies to anybody who didn't get a mention in tonight's report, but I am still at a very rudimentary stage, when it comes to recognising Lincoln area Sunday League players.
I was asked what I thought about the referee and match officials at this level... and it needs to be said that they must have had a good game, because I didn't really notice any of them as they kept this high tempo game flowing and well under control, sans any unnecessary stoppages. So let's all give praise where it is due to: Mike Redgrift, Danny Topliss and Flick Levett, along with their fourth official Steve Fisher.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Grimsby Borough 2 v Eccleshill United 3 (AET) - NCEL Div 1 Play Off Final

Saturday 12th May 2018
Toolstation NCEL Division One Play Off Final
at the Bradley Community Sports Ground
Grimsby Borough (1) 2 - ET HT (2) ET FT 2
Calum Lovett 34
Jack Debnam 59
Eccleshill United (1) 2  - ET HT (3) ET FT 3
Antony Brown 23
Andrew Cooper 90 pen
Luke Harrop 105
Admission £5. Programme £1. Attendance 190
For THE66POW Flickr match photos click HERE
Grimsby Borough:
Scott Drury, Adam Drury, Jack Steel, Callum Lovett, Brendan Smythe, Josh Sunter, Jack Debnam (C), Josh Venney, Danny Trott, Luke Mascall, Caine Winfarrah
Subs - Jack Bradbury, James Petronzio, Josh Morrall, Joe Lamplough, James Swann
Eccleshill United:
Dominic Smith, Matt Stor, Scott Manning, Andy Cooper, Sam Bradley (C), Matt Mathers, Luke Harrop,Charlie Flaherty, Antony Brown, Chris Lever, Tom Rose
Subs - Carlton Jerome, Ryan Canning, Zephaniah Thomas, Ethan Lebad, Levi Maturine
On Wednesday night, Grimsby Borough booked their place in this afternoon's play off final, with a 3-0 home win over Glasshoughton, while Eccleshill United needed extra time to overcome their semi final opponents Shirebrook Town 4 goals to 2 at their Plumpton Park ground in Wrose (Bradford).
Boro' and United had finished third and fourth in the table respectively, having gained 85 points apiece... but Grimsby had the better goal difference and thus gained home advantage for this winner takes all shoot out.
Back in August, Andy Liddle's side had won 3-4 on the road in West Yorkshire, while the Eagles had taken all three points at the Bradley three months ago, when they overcame Boro 2-3. As clues go, maybe this season's previous form was a bit of an omen and indication as to how this afternoon was destined to pan out, but though it was always likely to be a very close game, it is the unpredictable nature of football, especially on these one off occasions, that gives the game the edge over every other type of live sport, as a form of entertainment, that will ebb and flow one way and then the other and keep the crowd hooked... and this promotion decider certainly lived up to that kind of star billing, and more besides.
The two sides set off at a cracking pace, and it became evident early on that an 'attack is the best form of defence' policy had been adopted by both Boro' and Shaun Regan's visitors.
Caine Winfarrah delivered two right wing crosses into the Eagles area inside the first couple of minutes, that United were glad to get rid of before Danny Trott and Luke Mascall could take advantage, while at the other end Matt Mathers dinked the ball over Adam Drury and Josh Sunter to put Antony Brown through on goal, but Scott Drury sped from his line to narrow the angle and limit the Eccleshill strikers options and he curled his shot past the left hand upright and into the side netting.
Danny Trott was leading the line for Grimsby, in the sort of manner that you's associate with a good old fashioned and combative centre forward and target man; his physical style of play caused a few tuts of indignation and gripes among the Eagles faithful, who had made the 180 mile round trip to the East Coast this afternoon, but I couldn't imagine the former Boston Town and Cleethorpes Town striker playing any other way. 
His approach is effective and (just about) within the rules of association football (most of the time). Even though it was probably a good job that the match referee Gareth Thomas redefines the word vigilant whenever he takes charge of a game. But even he must've been looking elsewhere when Trott clattered Mathers across the face with his flailing arm.
At the back, Boro's Sunter was obviously aware of the threat of Brown and was sticking to him like a limpet to a bed of coastal rock, in fact his marking was so tight at times that Brown might to go the his doctors for a morning after pill tomorrow and pick up a pregnancy testing kit from Boots.
But moments after Dominic Smith in the visitors goal had done well to save a long range effort from Josh Venney, before releasing the ball quickly up the field with a long kick, that Brown, who had moved out to the right to lose his marker, took down and left two defenders in his wake with a burst of pace before drilling the ball past (S) Drury and right into the middle of the back of the net, to give Eccleshill a twenty third minute lead.
The home side tried to get back in the game with an immediate response, but when the Boro' captain Jack Debnam launched a right wing delivery towards Luke Mascall, Smith came off his line to claim the ball and the Grimsby number ten fell awkwardly, after a coming together with the United keeper and though he tried to play, on after receiving treatment, Mascall didn't last much longer and had to leave the field of play, still feeling the effects of the collision, and James Petronzio came on from the bench in his place.
Caine Winfarrah tried his luck from thirty yards out, Smith pushed the ball away at full stretch, and it landed beyond the reach of Trott and the away side cleared their lines, before he could snaffle the opportunity up.
Petrronzio was involved straight away, after entering the fray, winning the ball in midfield before spraying it out wide to Winfarrah, whose delivery into the Eccleshill six yard box deflected wide of the post. 
From the resulting corner, (A) Drury sent a lengthy cross beyond the reach of the scrum of players jockeying for position in the goalmouth, towards Debnam, who planted a dipping header just beneath the crossbar, that Smith managed to hold onto and prevent Boro' grabbing an equaliser.
The game was held up for around forty minutes, awaiting the arrival of an ambulance, for Scott Manning, who suffered a serious leg injury as he tried to cut the ball across the face of Grimbsy goal, at precisely the same moment as Trott attempted to clear the danger. The two of them went in determinedly and swung at the ball in unison... and sadly the consequence of their competitiveness, was a the sickening loud sound of boots crashing together and a bone breaking, resonating around the Bradley ground.
A stretcher was summoned immediately, but their wasn't one to be found, so somebody suggested using a table with wheels to transport the stricken player off of the pitch.
Upon seeing the table approaching, Manning declined the offer and politely said: "You can f*ck off, I'm not getting on that stupid thing!" 
And I don't blame him one bit either.
The rest of the players were taken back to their respective dressing rooms for the duration of the hold up, and only returned to the pitch for a quick warm up when it was confirmed that the arrival was imminent.
Before heading for Grimsby's bolt hole, Trott went across to offer his commiserations to Manning and check on how he was faring.
Hopefully it was a clean break and Scott Manning will be on the mend soon.
The game restarted, obviously under a sombre cloud, but the pace soon picked up again and the 'competitive edge' soon resumed again.
And I'm damn sure that Scott Manning wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
Ryan Canning broke through the Grimsby defence, but before he could shoot, (S) Drury claimed the ball bravely at his feet.
Trott picked the ball up thirty yards out and stroked a measured ball out to his right for (A) Drury, he in turn chipped a looping cross towards Callum Lovett, who directed the ball past Smith with a stooping header, eleven minutes before the rescheduled half time break... and if that Trott bloke would've stayed out of shot, I might have got a half decent picture of the goal on my phone too.
Petronzio did well to make himself some space out on the right and though his cross fell behind (A) Drury, he improvised and got an overhead kick on target, but Smith saved.
Lovett nudged a cheeky lob over the visitors defence for Trott to run onto, but Mathers was back quickly to retrieve the ball... and was fouled by the Boro' number nine for his troubles.
Hmm... that wasn't exactly out of character for the Grimsby striker, was it!?
Right on the stroke of half time, Thomas Rose presented Brown with a good chance to double his goal tally for the afternoon, but (S) Drury was alert to the danger and thwarted him with a clean catch.
HT: Boro 1 v Eagles 1
Petronzio showed some decent skills out on the right again and delivered the ball to Trott, whose first angled shot from six yards out was blocked while his second, on the rebound was saved by Smith.
Debnam cleared from Luke Harrop's long throw, while Sunter intercepted the same players cross from the left flank and play switched to the other end again... Lovett found Debnam inside the visitors area with a well measured knock forward and the Grimsby captain made no mistake of knocking it past Smith from close range, to give his side the lead for the first time in the game after almost a hour of play.
Trott went close to increasing the hosts lead, but put the ball wide, and moments later Smith had to have his wits about him, as Venney's long range shot bounced up awkwardly in front of him.
Winfarrah made a weaving run deep into Eccleshill territory, but pulled the ball narrowly wide of Smith's goal on the half volley, and Winfarrah used his pace and some neat footwork again soon afterwards, out on the left wing, but Debnam fired wide from the resulting cross.
Time was running out for the visitors and Boro' looked to be in the ascendancy now.
Once more, Winfarrah threatened the visitors goal and Smith was treated to another shot that skimmed along the ground changing directions, but he held onto it.
(A) Drury linked up with Winfarrah down the right, and the latter rolled the ball towards Debnam who hooked it into the air for Jack Bradbury, who headed over the bar.
Lovett belted Andy Cooper's delivery out of the Grimsby area, as Eccleshill re-enacted the 'Charge of the Light Brigade' towards the home sides goal and the clock nudged past the ninety minute mark.
The Eccleshill captain kept his nerve amidst all of the frantic action going on around him and drilled a precision through ball to Carlton Jerome, who managed to stay upright as Brandon Smythe lost his footing beside him, stumbled forward, but could only nudge the ball wide as (S) Drury slid into him and toppled the substitute front man a yard from the goal line. Mr Thomas had no hesitation in blowing up and pointing to the spot. And as calm as you like, Cooper stepped up and planted the spot kick into the bottom corner, to salvage what was beginning to look like a lost cause and force the game into extra time.
90 Minutes: Grimsby Borough 2 v Eccleshill United 2
Wow! What a great game this had turned out to be.
Luke Harrop charged forward, freed himself of any attention whatsoever from any Grimsby player, rounded (S) Drury at speed and stabbed a shot towards the invitingly unguarded Boro' net, but Sunter arrived, seemingly out of nowhere to turn the ball around the post with an outstretched leg.
(A) Drury sprinted down the right and swung the ball towards Debnam, whose header was too close to Smith and he saved it comfortably.
A minute before the half way stage of extra time, Levi Maturine spotted Harrop making a run forward, into a gap in the middle of the Grimsby defence and launched the ball towards him... it fell perfectly for Harrop to smash it past (S) Drury from a couple of yards out.
HT ET: Boro 2 v Eagles 3
Josh Venney took responsibility for a free kick, a few yards outside the visitors area, but the ball's trajectory defied gravity itself, curling up over the Eagles seven man wall, but not coming back down again... and the only netting it found was the green stuff around the top of the fences that are their to stop balls damaging the vehicles in the car park.
Eccleshill were back in numbers now, with just two men loitering near the centre circling hoping to pick up an clearances that came their way.
Harrop pushed forward again... though Christ only knows where he was finding the energy from still, almost three and a half hours after the game had originally kicked off, he shot and the ball rebounded into the path of Zephaniah Thomas, who skied his shot over (S) Drury's goal.
Listen Zeph, fifteen minutes ago, when your boss said: "If we're still in front with a couple of minutes to go and you can't run the clock down in the one of the corner's, launch it onto Cleethorpes effing beach", he didn't mean it literally.
And that was that... Eccleshill's extra reserves of fighting spirit had seen them over the line. And after creating so many chances, Boro' will have been gutted to have tasted defeat in consecutive play off finals, they fell at the final hurdle against Penistone Church last season.
ET FT: Grimsby Borough 2 v Eccleshill United 3
So congratulations to Eccleshill United, who refused to lay down and die and kept plugging away, and commiserations to Grimsby Borough, who must be wondering how on earth they have lost this game after such a massive effort. Good luck to the Eagles in the Premier Division of the NCEL next season... and I genuinely hope that Boro' clinched the promotion next term, that has evaded them at the last hurdle these past two years.
Unbelievable. During extra time this bloody
Jehovah's Witness rep tried selling me a Bible.
To see Devon Cash's blog view of this game: Click HERE