Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Worksop Town 3 v Bridlington Town 2 - NCEL Prem

Wednesday 16th August 2017

Toolstation NCEL Premier Division
at the Windsor Foodservice Stadium
Worksop Town (1) 3
Mark Simpson 28 Pen
Jake Currie 75, 87
Bridlington Town (2) 2
Fraser Papprill 16
Brett Agnew 40
Admission £5. Programme £1.50. Attendance 390
Wednesday night is 'Currie Night' on Babbage way... and some like it hot!
A draw would've been a fair result on the balance of the whole ninety minutes of play, but neither of these sides had any intention of settling for a point and Jake Currie's thunderbolt of a strike in the 87th minute was worthy of deciding any game.
I could go into superlative meltdown, describing just what a great advertisement tonight'a feast of football was for the NCEL, but I am sure that everyone present would agree that the quality of this fixture between two of the fancied clubs in this division spoke for itself.
Curtis Woodhouse conducts his pre-match team talk
Mitch Husbands went close, as early as the second minute, when he crashed a shot wide from the edge of the 'Brid' area. And moments later Michael Trench tested James Hitchcock with a low angled shot.
Having put on an entertaining sideshow with his 90 minute scrap against Maltby's  Lee Hill on Saturday, it was obvious that Steve Wankiewicz was going to right in the thick of it again (and he wouldn't have it any other way), when Brett Agnew clattered into him, to lay down his gauntlet for the the night. A challenge that the solid centre half was only too happy to accept.
Fraser Papprill opened the scoring and drew first blood  for the visitors, when he squeezed Joel Sutton's header past Jon Kennedy, via a slight deflection in the sixteenth minute.
A respectful minutes silence in memory of Brian Hardy
Jake Day went close to doubling the Seasiders lead shortly afterwards, but Wankiewicz had tracked his run and cleared his lines with a no nonsense interception, while shooting the 'Brid' number ten a look that suggested he shouldn't try that sort of thing on in his vicinity.
A Tigers attack broke down and Hitchcock collected the ball, but the linesam had spotted an off the ball infringement and beckoned to the referee, who after consulting with his assistant, awarded a penalty and cautioned Jack Walters for pushing Jake Currie in the chest.
Mark Simpson kept up his goal per game ratio for the Tigers, with an emphatically struck spot kick.
"Didn't he use this photo on Saturday too!?"
Sutton lobbed the ball over the Worksop defence for Agnew to run onto, but he drilled his shot straight at Kennedy. But the same two players struck again five minutes before the break, when Sutton played Agnew in on goal with a defence splitting diagonal pass on the prolific striker shot across Kennedy and his low, precise strike,nestled just inside the right hand post. Sutton almost claimed a goal for himself when his long range free kick whizzed just past the top left stancheon of the Tigers goal and right on the stroke of half time, Jack Walters long free kick caught Kennedy off his line and he had to back pedal at speed to tip the ball away.
HT: Tigers 1 v Seasiders 2
Worksop came out for the second half looking as if they had all had a couple of cans of Lucozade Sport and three Shredded Wheat apiece as they raised the tempo and took the game to their visitors.
Agnew showed that he is just as adept at defending as he is terrorising opposition defences, when he headed Steve Woolley's right wing corner away, with the Tigers big guns moving in.
Wankiewicz found the back of the net from Woolley's right wing free kick, but the whistle had already sounded for a foul before 'Vank' had even reached the ball.
Kennedy did well to turn the ball away out of the top corner of his net from Agnew's header, while Day fired over on the half volley from Sutton's right wing delivery.
Trench took a return ball from Simpson and unleashed a twenty five yard shot towards the 'Brid' goal, but Tim Taylor put himself in the way and the visitors cleared.
Simpson made a mazy run into the Seasiders area, seeing off two challenges in his wake, but his shot was deflected past the right hand post.
But Simpson was on hand to set up the opportunity for Jake Currie to equalise from twelve yards, after the Tigers had broke forward swiftly from end to end to even the game up.
Wankiewicz headed narrowly wide from Jack Barnett's cross and it looked to all intents and purposes as if this lively and entertaining game was going to finish two apiece.
Bridlington closed their ranks and snubbed out a late Worksop attack, but the loose ball fell to Currie just outside the area and... CRASH! By heck lad, he banjoed that ****er and no mistake. The Tigers number nine had won the game with one hell of a strike. You don't stop them!
FT: Worksop Town 3 v Bridlington Town 2
A spider colony in the roof of the stand.Well, we found them interesting.
Both sides were roundly applauded off the pitch for the part they had played in a great game of football. 'Brid' will be disappointed not to have taken at least a point tonight, but Worksop's second half comeback and Currie's sublime winning goal was deserving of the result... albeit a very close run thing. 
I enjoyed that.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Frickley Athletic 1 v Cleethorpes Town 2 - NPL Div 1 South

Tuesday 15th August 2017
EvoStik Northern Premier League Division 1 South
at Westfield Lane, South Elmsall
Frickley Athletic (0) 1
Steve Hopewell 47
Cleethorpes Town (0) 2
Danny North 71 Pen
Laurence McKay 81
Admission £10. Programme£2. Attendance 255
A game in which Spencer Fearn's Frickley side ran operations from inside the final third for long spells, without creating enough of a cutting edge in front of the Owls goal, or converting the few gilt edged chances that fell their way when they did manage to penetrate the visitors defence.
And ultimately they lost, because 'Clee' toughed it out until the final whistle and having got back into the game through Danny North's penalty, raised their game and almost inevitably stole the points through sheer persistence inside the last ten minutes, long after the Blues really ought to have put the game to bed.
One could say that Marcus Newell's side possibly staged a bit of a smash and grab raid tonight, with what I believe is called a 'typical away performance'.
But you can trace the visitors approach to the game back to two seasons ago, when their cavalier and gung-ho style won them many admirers and friends along the way, but ultimately didn't deliver the promotion to the Evo-Stik League that this ambitious club were aiming for, whereas a teak to the system and adopting a more measured approach last term, built on the foundations of a solid defence, saw them sweep all comers out of the way, en route to a 108 point haul, with goal difference of 99+, which proved that all out attack isn't always the best policy, but maximising application at key times and putting opponents to the sword in concerted short spells, obviously is. 
The stats don't lie.
Long term; hit and hope football will never overcome teams who use their nous as regards when and how to turn the screw and embrace a more considered, methodical and patient game plan.
Though I must stress, that analogy is my take on Cleethorpe's 2016-17 campaign, not tonight's finely balanced encounter.
The sides emerged from Frickley's new changing room facilities, which are in the far corner of the ground from their imposing main stand and don't yet have a the cage fitted that the old entrance to the pitch had, to protect the cheerfully disposed and enthusiastic locals, from the danger posed by unruly, misbehaving, voluble, loquacious hot headed Northern Premier League footballers. 
Or something like that.
The last time that I had watched Cleethorpes in action was at Wembley Stadium, so they'll be getting used to visiting some of the more glamorous arenas by now, after their visit to Westfield Lane tonight.
Steve Hopewell, who the Blues acquired from Maltby Main in the summer, put in the effort of two men up front for the home side tonight, who were without striker Gav Allott, after he'd picked up a knock at the weekend, in their opening game at Newcastle Town, where the prolific hit man scored the only goal of the game, on an afternoon when the Owls announced their arrival in the Northern Premier League (Division 1 South), with an eye catching 4-1 home win against Gresley.
It was Hopewell who almost opened the scoring inside the opening five minutes, when he latched onto a clearance on the edge of the visitors area and flicked the ball into the air with his first touch and hit it on the volley with his second as it dropped, but his effort cleared Liam Higton's crossbar, as the Owls keeper struggled to get a clear sight of things, with a cluster of players in front of him and the sun shining directly in his eyes as it went down for the night somewhere beyond Hemsworth.
'Clee' had there first attempt on goal when Jonathan Oglesby, one of their mainstays during last season's promotion campaign, connected with Laurence McKay's right wing corner, but was thwarted by Sebastian Malkowski who got down to smother the ball at the foot of his left hand post.
'The Pole in goal' had received a presentation prior to kick off to mark him having made 100 first team appearances for the Blues first team.
'Seb' took a knock while he was kicking the ball to safety around the fifteen minute mark and one of the sports science staff that the new Frickley manager champions so much, attended to the former Polish international's ailment, advising him to: "Get up! Man up and shut up! Or you'll get some fist from me!" And he didn't even get a plaster to show for his troubles or 'owt.
Tis indeed a man's game in this Northern Premier League.
Note, at this juncture, my lip reading skills aren't always 100% reliable from a distance.
I took a call asking me if the two lads Frickley Athletic have on work experience from Mansfield Town looked okay in their new surrounds and replied in the affirmative, because Kane Baldwin and Teddy Bloor looked very comfortable indeed alongside their new teammates... and those cushions in the home dug out appear to have been a sound investment to that end.
L to R - Kane Baldwin and Teddy Bloor
Hopewell and Tom Dugdale were both causing problems for the Owls, especially from Josh Nodder's supply of crosses from out on the right, as well as competing, along with Jacob Hazel, for the probing balls and long throw ins that were aimed into the Cleethorpes area by Nicholas Darker.
The visitors, while still looking dangerous on the counter attack, were seemingly happy to let Frickley come at them and wait for gaps to appear. Obviously they knew that throwing caution to the wind was a non-starter after what had happened the last time they had come up against a side managed by Spencer Fearn in March of last season, when Maltby Main had overcome the Owls by three goals to nil, at the aesthetically appealing and almost sexy football arena that is Muglet Lane.
You should pay a visit there soon, you won't be disappointed.
When he wasn't adding his clout to the Blues attack, Hopewell was laying deep and distributing a useful range of passes to bring Hazel and Ben Wiles into the game, which allowed Nodder and Dugdale the freedom to get forward out wide.
Hopewell chased a long knock from Nodder through the left channel and played the ball across the face of the visitors goal, but Wiles nodded it just wide at the back stick.
And from their next attack, Frickley were unlucky when Hazel shot over from Jason Yates sideways pass.
But while the home side were just missing that clinical touch that they needed to put away the array of chances they were fashioning at one end, Oglesby was a matter of inches away from giving the Owls the lead, when his shot from an improbable angle to the right hand side of the Blues area, fizzed (just) past the left hand post.
Hazel managed to flick the ball on, in spite of the close marking of Matt Coleman, that must have virtually bordered on sexual assault and it dropped over the shoulder of Hopewell who struck a thumping shot over the bar.
Somebody having a moan at half time; told me in no uncertain terms that Frickley hadn't created any chances in the opening forty five minutes. 
Aye pal! And the moon is made of cream cheese, Pierce Brosnam was the best ever James Bond, Rod Hull and Emu were funny... and up until now, I've been making everything that I've written on this match overview up. 
Shurrup... you vapid, miserable, whinging arsed and blinkered pillock!
Cleethorpes finished the first half with a flourish, Danny North and the impressive Oglesby were linking up to good effect and between them set up Jack Richardson who forced a save out of Malkowski. 
But right on the stroke of half time, Dugdale's short left wing corner to Wiles, led to a scrummage in the Owls goalmouth when the Blues number eleven rifled an angled shot from the return ball, that Higton just about managed to gather at the second, or possibly third attempt.
HT: Blues 0 v Owls 0
Going on the evidence displayed before me thus far, if I was a betting man and I had to pick out a goal scorer and a player most likely to weigh in with an assist, to break tonight's deadlock, I reckon the odds on a Hopewell goal from a Dugdale delivery would've been a fairly short odds bet and two minutes after the restart that is precisely what happened, when Hopewell met Dugdale's left wing corner with a textbook header. 
It had been coming.
Yates threaded a pass through the left channel to Hazel whose first time shot was turned round the post by Higton. Dugdale's corner was cleared back towards him and without hesitation he dropped a cross towards the back post, with Hazel threatening and Yates getting the final touch, Higton did well to get down and claim the ball, gathering it to his chest. At two-nil the game would've been slipping away from 'Clee', but their keeper, who had been outstanding at Wembley the last time we'd watched him in action too, had kept his side in the game.
Dugdale is excelling in his role at Frickley this season and he was soon in the thick of it again, getting yet another cross in that Darker turned over the bar. 
What was he doing that far forward!?
From the goal kick, the visitors looked to release Marc Cooper with a long ball forward, but Darker had returned from his stroll to the oppositions area and was well placed to head clear.
Liam Davis cut in from the right and aimed a cross towards Cooper, who was being closely watched tonight and this time it was Yates who intercepted.
Hazel forced his way into the 'Clee' area but was penalised for shoving McKay out of the way. For his part, McKay had been a stand out player for the visitors all night, popping up here, there and everywhere on the pitch, moving around off the ball undetected, in thye manner of an amphetamine fuelled mole. It speaks volumes that he is keeping Peter Winn out of the Owls side.
While all of this was going on, one piece at a time, Marcus Newell was rearranging his game plan and making changes from the bench.
Having been the provider of several decent goal scoring opportunities, when the time finally came for Dugdale to take centre stage, he didn't get a decent contact on Hazel's sideways knock and 'spooned' the ball into the nearby allotments from on the edge of the area.
The visitors were forcing their way more into the game now and Davis was unlucky to see his shot from twenty five yards go wide.
Davis was right in the thick  of it again in the seventy first minute, when he was tripped in the Blues area by who looked like Jameel Ible from up on my lofty perch, in t'back of the stand.
Danny North made no mistake from the spot kick and it was game on.
Ible turned the ball against the upright (and a defenders outstretched boot) from another of Darker's long throw ins and Wiles couldn't keep his shot on target after Dugdale and Hazel had linked up to unlock the Cleethorpes defence.
Davis, who played a big part in the Owls first goal, was even more involved for their second, when he spotted the run of McKay and fed the ball into him from out on the right and the visitors left back/all over the place utility player struck a well placed effort, low into the bottom right hand corner of the net, to put his side in front for the first time with nine minutes remaining.
In the dying moments, even Malkowski went up to battle for Dugdale's long free kick into the heart of the Cleethorpes defence, but the visitors closed ranks and held onto the three points, much to the delight of their supporters who had made the trip across from the east coast.
FT: Frickley Athletic 1 v Cleethorpes Town 2
Tactically, the visitors got it spot on and peaked at the right time, but Frickley will be gutted that they hadn't taken advantage when it was raining balls in the Cleethorpes goalmouth.
In closing, ta very much to Spencer Fearn for kindnesses received by the Blonde Beelzebub and myself, thanks to the ever lovely Penny for the team details, a big up to Maltby Main chairman Wilf Race who was also at the game for his generosity of spirit and continued honesty and support... and GOOD LUCK in abundance, to both of these always (and all ways) friendly clubs in their respective FA Cup games on Saturday.
And last but my no means least... get yersen' over to the @HipHoppingYorks Twitter feed to check out some great visuals and 'live' action that was very cleverly transposed into tonight's match programme.
See you all again soon hopefully!

Monday, 14 August 2017

Forthcoming Fixtures 2017/18

Forthcoming Fixtures 2017/18
Tue 15 Aug: Frickley Athletic v Cleethorpes Town  - EvoStik NPL Div1 South - 7.45pm
Wed 16 Aug: TBC -7.45pm
Sat 19 Aug: Dunbar United v Dalkeith Thistle - East of Scotland Premier League
Tue 22 Aug: Sheffield United v Leicester City - Carabao EFL Cup Round Two - 7.45pm
Wed 23 Aug: TBC - 7.45pm
Sat 26 Aug: Birmingham City v Reading - EFL Championship - 3.00pm
Tue 29 Aug - Retford United v Nostell Miners Welfare - NCEL Div 1 - 7.45pm
Wed 30 Aug - Parkgate v Maltby Main - NCEL Prem - 7.45pm
Sat 2 Sep - Swallownest v Knaresborough Town - NCEL Div 1 - 3pm
Mon 4 Sep - England v Slovakia - World Cup Qualifier - 7.45pm
Sat 9 Sep - Mansfield town v Doncaster Rovers - EFLYA U18 - 11AM
Sat 9 Sep - Maltby Main v Cammell Laird 1907 - FA Vase 1QR - 3pm
Sun 10 Sep - Hallam v Abbey Hey - FA Vase 1QR - 3pm

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Worksop Town 1 v Maltby Main 0 - NCEL Prem

Saturday 12th August 2017
Toolstation NCEL Premier Division
at the Windsor Foodservice Stadium
Worksop Town (1) 1
Mark Simpson 22
Maltby Main (0) 0
Attendance 375
Click HERE for Flickr photo gallery... if you dare!
Lock up yer daughters Worksop!
Worksop Town:
Jon Kennedy, Jordan Hodder, Steve Woolley (C), Matt Thompson, Michael Trench, Steve Wankiewicz, Liam Greenfield (Adam Scott), Mitch Husbands, Jake Currie (Kyle Jordan), Mark Simpson (Conor Chappell), Micah Bishop
Unused subs: Aaron Pickersgill, Michael Blythen
Maltby Main:
Paddy Kenny (Josh Lill 9), Liam Flint, Danny Swales, Danny Harrison (Callum Littlejohn 51), Joe Austin, Ollie Lawrence (Ryan Smyth 55), Danny Patterson (C), Sam Sweeney, Steve McDonnell, Sam Forster, Lee Hill
Unused subs - Josh Hemmingway, Ollie Perry, Jack Conley
Both clubs have gone through a vast number of personnel changes, both on and off the pitch, since they last met towards the back end of last season, when they played out an open and entertaining 3-3 draw.
Football, particularly non league football, and especially NCEL football, must have the biggest turnover of staff/players in any walk of life you care to mention.
I won't list the entire comings and goings that these two respective teams have made of late, mainly because the details will almost certainly have changed by the time that I get home from today's game and type these notes and observations up, given the speed that things have been happening over the last two weeks.
Last Saturday, Worksop and Maltby both fell at the first hurdle in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round, with the Tigers going down 2-1 at home against Hinckley, while a 'work in progress' Miners side lost 4-1 at Cammell Laird 1907.
Today's hosts didn't have a midweek game, but Maltby started their NCEL campaign with a very respectable draw at home against the highly fancied Pickering Town at Muglet Lane on Wednesday night, but it wouldn't be right of me to comment on that game, seeing as I wasn't even there. I had gone to watch the Ched Evans Story in Sheffield instead.
The signing of the former Premier League goalkeeper Paddy Kenny, has to be seen as a massive coup for Maltby Main, even taking into account the fact that they already have two perfectly capable goalkeepers in Jamie Bailey and Josh Lill.
Sadly for the Miners, Kenny tweaked his hamstring kicking the ball down the park and only lasted nine minutes before he was replaced by Lill.
Of course, it is worth remembering, that during his first stint at Worksop Town, their evergreen keeper Jon Kennedy was transferred to Sunderland AFC, who at the time, were also a Premier League club.
Given the telling contribution that 'Kendo' made late in the game, to preserve the Tigers narrow lead, it was a shame for all concerned with Worksop's South Yorkshire neighbours, that it wasn't the home keeper who had pinged himself.
For what it is worth, there is some really stiff competition out their for the accolade, but I reckon that Kennedy is still the best goalkeeper in this division. I was hoping he was going to have an off day, but just like orgasms for ladies of a certain vintage, Kennedy apparently just gets better with age.
Maltby's Ollie Lawrence has started this campaign with a confident spring in his step, having been given his chance to shine by the Miners new management team, after frequently playing a supporting role last term, when he was often on the bench, out of position or taken off to facilitate tactical changes.
But he has kept his head down, worked hard and forced his way into the reckoning and it is good to see him having such a big impact on games and already justifying his place in the starting line up this early in the new season.
It was Lawrence's persistence that created the first chance of the game, when Steve McDonnell forced Kennedy into making a save early doors and his cross for Sam Forster's knock back that saw Sam Sweeney go agonisingly close with his first touch of the ball.
The battling duel between Steve Wankiewicz and Lee Hill, was already turning into an intriguing sideshow all of it's own and in the tenth minute Hill got above Wankiewicz, no mean feat in itself, and flicked the ball on into the path of former Worksop player Steve McDonnell who went to ground in the home side's area after Steve Woolley had given him a crafty nudge in the back, but the referee, Stuart Richardson saw no wrong in the Tigers captain's challenge and waved play on.
To be fair to Mr Richardson, he was fully aware of what sort of game that would be forthcoming today and made allowances for the 'occasional' contact that would occur as players inevitably 'came together' from time to time and whatever those viewing the game from a position of bias towards either team might have thought, the officials actually did alright today.
Hill and Wankiewicz spent so much time clattering into each other all afternoon, there was a rumour sweeping the ground that they're entering Love Island together next year and are among the favourites to win.
And the ever popular with opposition supporters, Danny Patterson (the Worksop fans even dedicated a song to him), had obviously been warned about his conduct beforehand and told that he would be getting a good talking to after the sixth or possibly seventh time that he wrestled a Tigers player to the floor, twisted his victims arm up their back, and said: "Go on then, try to get out of that!"
Old Danny does enjoy a bit of rough and tumble, but he always plays  with a smile on his face. 
Other teams hate playing against him, while at Maltby, they worry intently about whether there are enough hair care products in their changing room cabinet to keep him happy.
The visitors had put down their marker, and had announced their arrival in pretty much the competitive and combative manner that Worksop had thoroughly expected, but it was the Tigers who scored what was to be the only goal of this physical game that saw both teams fighting fire with fire, when Michael Trench picked up the ball on the left hand side of his defence area and strode forward before playing the ball down the line to Mark Simpson, the former Garforth Town hit man, who was making his debut after arriving at Sandy Lane late in the week from Frickley Athletic. Simpson collected Trench's delivery in front of the visitors bench and cut inside, making a diagonal run towards the goal and having spotted that Maltby's defence were backing off and allowing him space to manoeuvre, unleashed a long range shot and put his new team ahead as the ball nestled into the bottom left hand corner of the goal.
Maltby regrouped and the frantic pace of the game slowed down towards half time, with Ryan Hindley's side knocking the ball around in the middle third, but finding that their visitors (having let their guard down momentarily) were now going toe to toe and squeezing the life out of any attacking notions that Worksop might be harbouring.
The Tigers almost doubled their lead, when Steve Woolley crashed the ball against the cross bar with a long range free kick and Lill did well to keep out Micah Bishops angled shot from the left hand side of the area just before the break.
While at the other end McDonnell's goal bound flick from Patterson's was plucked out of the air by Kennedy.
HT: Tigers 1 v Miners 0 
At Maltby we even duff our own players up to get a shot in
Patterson flattened Jake Currie when the Tigers striker crumbled under the full force of a hefty challenge near the halfway line, then accidentally stood on his opponent in his haste to make some room for the undertaker, whoops! I meant the Worksop physio to perform their task of patching Currie up.
Woolley fired a free kick straight into Maltby's defensive wall... maybe he was aiming his shot directly at Patterson, the big lad certainly seemed to be getting in the neck all round this afternoon.
I even heard a cruel spectator mocking him with a taunt of: "Oi Patto! Sideshow Bob wants his ****ing hair back!" 
I ask you people, was there really any need for that level of of personal abuse?
Worksop knew that this game was far from over and that the Miners weren't going to be even slightly shy about adopting a needs must aerial bombardment approach towards Kennedy's goal as the clock ticked down and they pushed forward looking to grasp a second goal that would give them a bit more of a safety margin, but Lill pulled off two great stops from Liam Greenfield and Currie to keep the Tigers at bay.
Jordan Hodder cleared a McDonnell effort off of the goal line and for the the closing twenty minutes or so, the home defence was put under the cosh as the Miners anticipated direct approach became fully operational and Maltby pummelled and threatened to put their hosts to the sword.
And they would have done had it not been for Jon Kennedy, who put in a match saving, nee match winning sublime display of top drawer goalkeeping.
Hodder and Trench pincered Ryan Smyth as he chased a long ball down the middle of the pitch and Kennedy kicked clear.
Hill, still having his one on one public display of male bonding (live and let live I say) with Wankiewicz, beat the towering centre half to the ball in the air, but his well directed header was blocked by Woolley.
Having absorbed a spell of pressure, Worksop countered and Lill slid to clear the ball at the feet of Kyle Jordan who was charging towards the goal at a fair old rate of knots and went to ground over the Miners keeper, but although the Tigers fans called for a penalty, the referee was unmoved. Phew!
Forster cut in from the left wing and spotted Hill making a run to the back stick, but so did Trench who did well to cut out the cross.
Ryan Smyth let fly with a stinging shot from twenty yards out that Kennedy held onto at full stretch.
The Tigers keeper then turned Flint's shot behind at the expense of a corner, from which Hill head McDonnell's delivery across the face of the goal, but Kennedy smothered the ball.
Hill stepped up a gear and powered past Trench, and Smyth was 'the width of a beer mat' away from converted a chance at the back post.
Forster advanced on the Tigers goal, seeing off two attempted challenges in his stride, but Hodder blocked his shot and when the ball fell to Callum Littlejohn he rattled a shot against the crossbar from twelve yards out.
The Tigers defence were being stretched to the limits, but still digging in the preserve their slender lead.
Josh Lill took a free kick from just inside the Maltby half, which dropped perfectly for Hill, who bounced off a challenge from Trench but still managed to get his shot away, despite landing on his arse, but Kennedy stretched and tipped the ball over from underneath his crossbar.
McDonnell took the resulting corner out on the right and Kennedy once again turned the ball over his bar from Hill's towering header.
Patterson took the flag kick from the opposite side and McDonnell almost put the ball into his former clubs net but couldn't quite keep his effort on target.
In stoppage time, the indefatigable Hill broke free down the right flank and as Kennedy approached him whipped the ball across the face of goal to Smyth, arriving on the scene at full tilt, who got a touch on the ball as it bounced up, but put it wide of the post.
And in spite of a mammoth effort from the visitors, that was that, Worksop had held on and Simpson's flash of improvisation mid way through the first half had proved to be the difference between the two sides. Well that and the agility of Jon Kennedy whose input during the closing stages of the game, bordered on showing off.
FT: Worksop Town 1 v Maltby Main 0
Both sides now face tricky games on Wednesday night, when Worksop entertain Bridlington Town at the Windsor Foodservice Stadium and Maltby make their way up to Farsley, where they take on Albion Sports.
Oh Danny boy!

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Sheffield United 3 v Walsall 2 - Carabao Football League Cup R1

Wednesday 8th August 2017
Carabao Football League Cup First Round
Sheffield United (0) 3
Liam Roberts 7 OG
Nathan Thomas 79
Dan Lafferty 82
Walsall (1) 2
Amadou Bakayoko 13
Admission £15. Programme £2.
Attendance 5,210 inc. 236 away fans
Sheffield United:
Eastwood, Lundstram, Thomas, Wright, Hanson (Evans 52), Duffy, Lavery (Fleck 86), Lafferty, Brayford, Bennett (Basham 58), Brooks.
Unused subs - Stevens, Clarke, Coutts, Blackman.
Walsall
Gillespie, Edwards, Leahy, Guthrie, Devlin, Chambers, Roberts, Oztumer, Morris, Kinsella (Kouhyar 83), Bakayoko (Jackson 74).
Unused subs - Flanagan, Sangha, Cockerill-Mollett, Candlin.
En route to their promotion from League 1 last season, United lost three times to Walsall, including a defeat in the League Cup.
I was here for one of those games, in November, when the Saddlers won by a solitary Amadou Bakayoko goal just before half time, on a night when Billy Sharp miscued a penalty kick and rolled the ball gently to the Neil Etheridge in the Saddlers goal.
You will have to excuse me for filling upso many column inches pontificating about a game that I have already covered, but the paucity of very much action of note in the first half tonight, left me with very little else to write about.
Manager, Chris Wilder, had made eleven changes from the opening game of the season, when Brentford were beaten 1-0 at Bramall Lane, with Billy Sharp hitting the target this time.
But the most significant change that the popular Blades boss made tonight, was the introduction of Ched Evans in the fifty second minute of the game, in what was his first appearance in the red and white of United since April 10th 2010.
It was a moment that the hyphenated word: 'game-changer', had been invented for.
Evans is, of course, stigmatised by recent traumatic events in his life, but he seems to have put the fact that he associated with Chesterfield FC last season behind him fairly quickly and if tonight was anything to go by, he is on course to play a pivotal role in United's season.
236 away fans
Walsall took the lead in the thirteenth minute when Luke Leahy's forward pass found Erhun Oztumer out on the right wing, approximately five yards goal-side United's last defender, or blatantly offside as it is more commonly known; but the Saddlers number ten played to the whistle as the linesman sprinted down the touchline to catch up with play, and squared to ball to Amadou Bakayoko, who swept it past young Jake Eastwood in the Blades goal, who was one of four players, along with Jake Bennett (previously with Mickleover Sports), John Lundstram (who joined the Blades in the summer from Oxford United, where he was club captain) and Nathan Thomas (a twenty two year old from Hartlepool United, who Mansfield Town had released him to, for reasons that remain both inexplicable and unfathomable) who were making their first debuts tonight.
Apparently, the big badge isn't for sale 
Having taken the lead, the visitors then resorted to playing their four man midfield very deep, combining effectively with their three man defence, to form a stubborn and well drilled back seven, leaving one man Amadou Bakayoko up front (well, if the centre circle counts as 'up front'), while Adam Chambers and Kieron Morris put in a battling display in the middle of the park.
Wilder's side were using their width well, with John Brayford, whose name wasn't even listed on the back of the programme, bombing up and down the wing to good effect, from his starting position at right back, but the puzzle that the Blades had been given to solve, was how they were actually going to find any room to manoeuvre, in and around the Saddlers congested penalty area.
And as half time arrived they still hadn't found an answer to that particular conundrum.
HT: Blades 0 v Saddlers 1
Tactically, although it was akin to watching paint dry, Walsall's sponge tactics, soaking up United's every move, was working well.
So Wilder decided to tweak the Blades approach play, give the crowd a lift and add so impetus to his side, whose sheer frustration was beginning to show by now.
The lift that the introduction of Ched Evans gave to both his team and the crowd could not be under estimated.
One had to wonder if the hustling and bustling, strong as an ox front man, might have lost some of his influence, input and ability to hold off opposition defenders and keep the ball, while bringing his team mates into the action. But even though this was in essence just a League Cup game against a League 1 side, Evans went (quite) some way to showing that he hasn't lost his appetite for busting a gut for the Blades.
Once he got into  his stride, tonight's hitherto going through the motions snooze-fest of a drab game, burst into life in the shape of what had effectively become 'The Ched Evans Show', though David Brooks, Mark Duffy and Daniel Lafferty played very effective supporting roles too, as did John Brayford in my humble opinion, for what it's worth.
The Blades cult hero, (all but) netted the equalising goal on seventy four minutes, when Thomas picked him out with a pinpoint cross and the Welshman's sweetly struck half volley was parried against Liam Roberts by Mark Gillespie and the ball found it's way into the back of the Saddlers net.
Evans repaid the favour five minutes later, when Brayford did well to feed the ball forward to him from out on the right and he cut the ball back from the dead ball line to Thomas, who amid a crowd of players, the vital last touch and United were ahead for the first time in this game that had really sprung into life, since Wilder had made one particular substitution.
Evans was (sort of) involved in his sides third goal, when he won a free kick outside of the Walsall area. Duffy's delivery was only half cleared as far as Lafferty, who bought the ball under control with his first touch and spanked the ball past Gillespie, via a deflection, with his second.
As the board indicating that there would be four minutes of stoppage time went up, Walall were awarded a penalty, when Maz Kouhyar's thumping shot struck the arm of Chris Basham.
Oztumer wasn't in the least bit concerned about the ongoing debates about accidental handball, unintentional contact and the referee's interpretation of what 'ball to hand' constitutes as he calmly planted his penalty kick past Eastwood, but the visitors couldn't force the game into extra time and must rue the fact that they weren't slightly more cavalier and attack minded when they held the lead in the first half.
FT: Sheffield United 3 v Walsall 2