Sheffield County Senior League Division 2
at the Gosforth Fields, Dronfield Woodhouse
AFC Dronfield (2) 3
Jordan Price x 2
United Worksop (1) 2
Patryk Zukowski x 2 inc. 1 pen
Subsequently the three sports clubs accepted the proposals and collectively took over the day to day responsibilities for the site, under the collective group name of the 'Gosforth Fields Sports Association', and between have done a great job of bringing the Fields and 'Clubhouse' up to their current standard, which include an impressive building housing a host of changing rooms,
|Photo credit: www,gosforthfields.org|
The last time that I saw United Worksop in action, they won 1-6 at the 'Thurcroft Hub' the home of Thurcroft Miners Institute, a tidy enclosure that is tucked away in the epicentre of the village, located in the hinterland between the M18 motorway and everyone's favourite NCEL Premier Division club: Maltby Main FC... and just across the road from the local Spar shop.
The first person I saw upon my arrival was Adrian Blachewicz, the United Worksop chairman, who along with Adrian Szewczyk, does a great job of promoting United Worksop on social media and building bridges and friendships with people across the local football community.
For the record, Adrian B probably speaks clearer and more understandable English than I ever will and is a genuine and really friendly guy. He contacted me at 11AM this morning to let me know that following a pitch inspection, this game was going ahead, even though he must've had a whole lot of other stuff to be getting on with. Along with Adrian S who must be even busier, given that he became a father just yesterday afternoon, when the love of his life: Sandra Rydzewska, gave birth to a baby daughter called Natasha... but that didn't stop him turning out in the number 6 shirt for his side today.
The camaraderie between those connected with United Worksop was clear to see, by the way that they celebrated their opening goal and dedicated it in honour of the new born child. Congratulations to the happy couple :-D and welcome to this crazy world Natasha.
So how did the Worksop side come to be taking a free kick only a matter of feet away from the Dronfield goal? You might be asking.
Well, as I peered through my rain soaked spectacles (which I'm still getting used to, as I've never worn glasses in my life until a few weeks ago), from behind the sparse shelter I'd found in a corner, away from a torrential downpour of icy rain, hailstones and lord knows what else was bucketing down (until the wind changed direction and there was nowhere to hide anymore); it appeared that Jake Woodward, the hosts goalkeeper, got his hand to what was deemed to be a back-pass (even though it would've gone in for an own goal if he hadn't touched it) and and indirect free kick had was awarded as a consequence, which, as you can see from the above video, was nudged sideways by the visitors captain: Grzegorz Koprowski, to Patryk Zukowski, who smashed the ball emphatically through the narrowest of gaps, to put 'United' ahead after just four minutes.
Despite going behind to an early goal, it soon became evident that Dronfield were mastering the conditions better than their visitors, with Matt Sherburn proving to be a constant menace out on the right flank, working in tandem with Danny Glossop-Hamilton on the overlap. Sherburn went close a couple of times, as did Jordan Price, before Woodward did well to gather the ball right under his crossbar from Aleksander Rutkowski's long free kick from out on the right, which almost found its wind assisted way into the roof of his goal. Rutkowski and Zukowsk broke clear, but the pass between them held up in the ever increasing wind, which afforded Woodward the time to intercept the ball.
Price went to ground under the close attention of David Grudowski, in the twenty second minute... and the referee, Stuart Hague, had no hesitation in blowing up and pointing to the spot.
It was Price himself who got up and took the penalty, to level the score.
George Talbot, Ross Bateman and the live-wire Price, all went close to giving the hosts the lead, before they had a lucky escape, when Jon Gilberthorpe inadvertently headed Grudkowski's dipping free kick into the area, against his own upright, but recovered quickly enough to block Zukowski's effort off the line from the rebound.
Shortly before half time, Dronfield took the lead, when Price got the final touch to a low cross from Sherburn, that Piotr Strycharz had difficulty holding onto, which was understandable given how the paving back towards the changing rooms at half time, now resembled a skating rink... and when I saw my reflection in the clubhouse while I was getting thawed out, I saw that I had a liberal sprinkling of icy sleet on the hood and shoulders of my massive puffer jacket, that was proving to be worth every single penny that I spent on it, just before the winter set in, much to the consternation of my finance manager/spouse.
I dumped my camera that was becoming waterlogged, in my car, along with my notebook which was by now resembling a lump of paper mache... and pondered over whether I should watch the second half from inside the warmth of my car, with the windscreen wipers on, but figured that would be cheating... if the players and referee were going back out into that 'mucky' weather, then so should I, all for one and one for all!
So I kidded myself that it would be character building and headed back up the slippery bank to carry on watching the game until the bitter end. And stayed there, even when the other four spectators buggered off in doors ten minutes into the second half, because they are infinitely more sensible than me.
Apologies in advance, if any of the names, faces, places, sequence of events and all of that sort of stuff are incorrect today; most of this overview was written from recollection alone, on a day when I suspect that my brain-freeze and rapidly deteriorating memory may prove to have been a lethal combination.
Dronfield had the better of the second half, by quite some way... and even the United Worksop Twitter feed alluded to the fact that the best team had won the day.
As the weather conditions worsened and darkness descended, the home side missed a rack of chances to put the game out of sight, as the ball moved about haphazardly in the wind.
|Dronfield Town Reserves in action on the adjacent 3G pitch|
But eventually, as the visitors failed to clear Lewis Meakin's left wing corner, George Talbot smashed the loose ball into the corner of the visitors net to make it 3-1.
There was almost a prevalent air of 'game-over' inevitably about the outcome of this game by now; but Worksop's half time substitute: Leroy Jay Campion, had other ideas and he made a surging run forward late in the game, before being upended by the hosts keepers outstretched leg, giving Zukowski the chance to reduce the deficit with a penalty kick, which he duly did, albeit via Woodward's right foot, as the Dronfield goalie almost kept the ball out.
Price had three chances to claim his hat-trick, but the left hand post and swirling wind put paid to his ambitions, before the referee blew for full time.
FT: AFC Dronfield 3 v United Worksop 2
I will definitely have got a few things wrong in this résumé of the afternoon's events... but so be it, As a rough appropriation and approximation of what actually happened, at least the gist of the content will be almost accurate.
In a perverse sort of way, it was an enjoyable trip across to Dronfield Woodhouse.. and I'm sure that the colour will return to my bodily extremities, once I've had a long soak in a warm bath for the next hour or so.
AFC Dronfield Reserves are at home again next Saturday, against Ardsley Athletico; while United Worksop don't play again until they face Dodworth Miners Welfare at their home ground on Retford Road, in Manton, Worksop, on Saturday 12th January 2019.
Happy Xmas one and all, I'll see you again in New Year, or sometime soon.