Thursday, 18 October 2018

Retford United 2 v Swallownest 1 - NMU19L

Thursday 18th October 2018
North Midland Under 19 League
at Cannon Park
Retford United (2) 2
Peter Voase 2, George White 26
Swallownest (0) 1
George West 59
Swallownest began the night with a team that had to be rapidly assembled, due to late arrival of several players who didn't get the chance of a warm up before the game... and consequently five of them had never even played together before. It would be fair to say that they were slow out of the blocks, in fact that would be something of an understatement, because the game was only two minutes old when United took the lead, by which time the 'Swall' keeper, Ben Williams, had already denied Ollie Ashwell twice, before the live-wire attacker threaded his next touch into the path of Peter Voase, who planted his shot into the bottom right hand corner of Williams' net.
The visitors began to rally, with Jacob Reynolds playing well as a link man in attack, always making himself available and laying a few good balls off, including one to Sam Fletcher, who was making an overlapping run on the right, from which he forced the Badgers into forcing a corner.
Marcus Ford-Whitham's flag kick from the right picked out George West, whose header was tipped away over the bar by George Atkinson. Ford-Whitham once again found West with his next delivery from the opposite flank, but the visitors number eight headed over the bar without any assistance from Atkinson this time.
As so often happens when you've just enjoyed a good spell, but haven't converted possession into goals, Swallownest were left cursing their luck, when Retford broke forward and George White caught Williams out with a thumping shot from outside the area, to double the hosts lead.
Liam Bennett was looking strong in midfield  for the Badgers, and it was his precision ball forward to Voase that led to United's next chance, as their number nine rolled the ball sideways to Alex Bennett, who hooked a shot just past the post from twenty yards out.
White almost gave the home side a three goal advantage from a twenty yard free kick that skimmed past the upright, after 'Swall' had worked out how render (L) Bennett ineffective, i.e. chop him down!
Matt Cassidy was causing the visitors problems down the right, so they moved Travis Otter across to stifle his movement and intercept passes played out his way and all but suffocated that particular outlet for United, who still however saw the remainder of the first half out comfortably.
While Swallownest for their part, were knocking the ball around well, sans very much penetration in the final third after their earlier flurry around Atkinson's area.
HT: Badgers U19 2 v Swall U19 0
But, the visitors were a different prospect in the second half, possibly even doing enough to at least overturn Retford's two goal cushion and claim a draw.
James White forced Atkinson into a save with a long range shot inside the opening minute of the second half... and though Retford responded with shot's from both (A) & (L) Bennett, that Williams did well to deal with, it was the away side who were now growing in stature.
Brad Davidson on the right hand side of defence for Swallownest, was running off knock after knock and pretending not to be hurt because he didn't want substituting... and I'll take an on the spot fine (or two) to resorting to using cliches on this here blog, to say: he's the sort of player who'd run through a brick wall for you and the kind of battler that you'd want beside you 'in the trenches' if the going ever got tough.
Besides marshalling one side of his own half of the pitch, Davidson looked up, saw West motoring forward and played a great knock forward into his path through the right channel, that West took in his stride and buried just inside the left hand upright, with an angled shot across Atkinson's goal.
Ashwell went close to restoring Retford's two goal advantage from (A) Bennett's left wing cross into the 'Swall' area, but you could see the self belief coursing through the visitors veins now as they took the game to their hosts.
Jack Wood forced Atkinson into pulling off two 'worldly' stops, as United's rearguard began to creak under a succession of corners by Swallownest, and as Retford put players behind the ball, West opted to test Atkinson from long range, with a teasing effort that moved about in the air, but the United keeper claimed it.
Despite the visitor's strategy of 'all out attack' as the second half wore on, United dug in deep and held onto their lead, to take their first three points of the season.
FT: Retford United 2 v Swallownest 1
The two sides face one another again in two week's time, at Swallownest's Rotherham Road (Swall-Siro) ground... so I'll see you all there then!?

Wednesday, 17 October 2018


Forthcoming games:
Thu 18 Oct - Retford United v Swallownest - WVH NMU19L - 7.45PM
Sat 20 Oct - Thurcroft Miners Institute v United Worksop - Sheff County Senior Div 2  - 2PM
Tue 23 Oct - Gainsborough Trinity v Scarborough Athletic - EvoStik NPL Prem - 7.45PM
Wed 24 Oct - Retford FC v Sandiacre Town - NMU21L Cross Divisional Game - 7.45PM
Thu 25 Oct - Worksop Town v Sheffield - NMU19L - 7.45PM
Sat 27 Oct - Birmingham City v Sheffield Wednesday - EFL Championship - 3PM
Sun 28 Oct - Nottingham Forest Ladies v Jamaica Ladies (national side) - Friendly - 3PM inc. half time and post match entertainment by Reggae legend Freddie McGregor.
Tue 30 Oct - Frickley Athletic v Farsley Celtic - NPL Integro LC R2 - 7.45PM
Wed 31 Oct - Maltby Main v Thackley - NCEL League Cup R3 -7.45PM
Thu 1 Nov - Swallownest v Retford United - NMU19L - 7.45PM
Sat 3 Nov - Derby County v Birmingham City - EFL Championship - 3PM
Tue 6 Nov - Mansfield Town v Grimsby Town - EFL League 2 -7.45PM
Thu 8 Nov - Worksop Town v Hallam - NMU19L  7.45PM
Sat 10 Nov - Birmingham City v Hull City - EFL Championship - 3PM
Fri 16 Nov - Retford United v Retford FC - CMFL North - 7.45PM
Sat 17 Nov - Newark Flowserve v Barrow Town - EMCL - 3PM
Thu 22 Nov - Retford United v Worksop Town - NMU19L - 7,45PM
Sat 24 Nov - AFC Mansfield v Marske United - Evostik NPL East - 3PM
Sun 25 Nov - Aston Villa v Birmingham City - EFL Championship - Noon
Tue 27 Nov - Mansfield town v Crawley Town - EFL League 2 - 7.45PM
Sat 1 Dec - Birmingham City v Preston north End - EFL Championship - 3PM
Wed 5 Dec - Retford United v Renishaw Rangers  CMFL North - 7.45PM
Sat 8 Dec - Birmingham City v Bristol City - EFL Championship - 3PM
Sat 15 Dec - Stapenhill v Rocester - Midland League Div 1 - 3PM
Sat 22 Dec - Wombwell Town v AFC Dronfield (Res) - Sheff County Senior Div 2 - 2PM
More games will be added, to fill all of the gaps in, on this incomplete schedule, in due course.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

AFC Mansfield 2 v Soham Town Rangers 1 - FA Trophy Preliminary Round Replay

Tuesday 16th October 2018
BuildBase FA Trophy Preliminary Qualifying Round Replay
at the Forest Town Arena
AFC Mansfield (2) 2
Keiran Wells 23
Cameron Dear 45 Pen
Soham Town Rangers (0) 1
Ally Conway 59
Admission £7. Programme £2.
Attendance 103
Since Saturday's goalless stalemate between these two sides at Julius Martin Lane, the draw for the next round of the FA Trophy has taken place, meaning that along with the £3,000 prize money on offer for winning tonight's replay, AFC Mansfield will also now face Hednesford United at home in the First Qualifying Round, on Saturday 27th October 2018 (3PM).
Though I'm dead chuffed for the many good friends that I've got in and around the Forest Town based host club, that they are over the first hurdle and have a plum home draw to look forward to (even though it clashes, date wise, with Mansfield Town's home game against promotion chasing MK Dons), one can't help but feel a great big slab sized portion of sympathy towards tonight's visitors, whose efforts, especially during the second half warranted, at the very least, a crack at settling this tie in extra time, after they threw everything they had, into searching for an elusive equaliser as the big hand on the clock ticked round towards full time.
The game was a tetchy affair in places and simmered close towards a tipping point several times, while both teams had a few walking wounded by the end of  the night, carrying a collection of bumps, grazes and bruises as souvenirs of their endeavours, hard graft and unquestionable commitment to their chosen cause.
If tonight's visitors show anywhere near as much fighting spirit as they have done over the past one hundred and eighty (plus) minutes, in their forthcoming league games, then they won't be stuck at the bottom of the table for very long. Their luck deserted them in the final third tonight, but the Bulls defended ruggedly... and of course, Jason White is in the form of his life in goal at the moment.
The Soham team, officials and travelling supporters are steeped in much of what is good about the non league game and made a lasting impression on me. Instinctively, when you've been around the block a few times, you can tell when people are genuine good guys (and gals) and proper football people, who are doing what they do for all of the right reasons. I sincerely hope that they can turn their season around soon... starting with a home game against Grays Athletic this coming weekend.
It'll probably be of little consolation to them as their coach meanders back towards Cambridgeshire tonight, but at least now that they are no longer involved in the Trophy, they can concentrate on making a fist of their league campaign,
Mansfield made all of the early running and were unlucky not to be ahead inside the opening ten minutes, when Charlie Dawes raced forward into the left hand side of the Soham area and rolled the ball inside to Brad Wells, who scythed his shot past the right hand post. Dawes and Cameron Dear both tried their luck with long distance shots, but the former effort bounced away across the Arena's cycle track, while Josh Pope held onto the latter.
In the twenty third minute, Kieran Wells netted the 'Bulls' first ever goal in the FA Trophy, when Dear battled for the ball by Soham's left hand post and rolled the ball into the path (K) Wells... and even he couldn't miss from there.
There was a lengthy stoppage after Lewis Endacott clattered into Dawes with a heavy challenge... and a sickening clash of heads, meant that neither player would be taking any further part in tonight's action.
A bit of pushing, pointing and shouting ensued, but pretty soon a game of football broke out again, with the hosts looking good as they strove to increase their advantage, going close when (K) Wells shot on the turn was saved by Pope and Jordan Annable's flicked header from Jimmy Ghaichem's knock forward, nestled on the roof of the goal.
But though Mansfield were looking confident of taking hold of the game by the scruff of the neck, Ryan Auger reminded them not to underestimate the 'Greens', with a dipping shot from outside the area that crashed off of the top of White's crossbar.
Dear closed down a clearance and quickly released (B) Wells towards the Soham goal, but Rob Mason managed to put a last ditch block in to deflect the ball wide of it's target.
But when (B) Wells attacked again moments later, his persistence.keeping the ball close by in the Soham area, saw Callum Russell clumsily challenge the 'Bulls'striker and concede a penalty kick, from which Dear put the ball one way as Pope dived the other in stoppage time... of which there was quite a lot.
HT: Bulls 2 v Greens 0
(K) Wells had two chances to all but wrap the game up early in the second half, but his first shot cannoned wide off of Erkan Okay (who combines playing with being a part of the visitors management team) and his next effort, from a difficult angle, bulged the outside of side netting.
It was 'game on' in the fifty ninth minute, when Joe Carden broke forward on the left and crossed to Auger, whose shot was charged down and rebounded into the path of Ally Conway, who took aim and buried a crashing shot into the back of the 'Bulls' net.
Note: Cameron Dear number 7 and Charlie Dawes number 11
Boosted by their goal, Soham grew stronger during the second half and Auger shot wide from twenty yards, while White went down bravely at the feet of Sam Mulready to smother the ball.
Liam Marsden played the ball into Ellis Wall, who still got his shot away despite having his back to goal, but Pope was equal to it.
From Mansfield's next break, Wall dashed forward and stabbed the ball past Pope, but he was denied the goal that would've settled the 'Bulls' nerves by a raised flag. "Try keeping up with play liner!" called out a frustrated home supporter.
Wall, (K) Wells and Jack Broadhead, all made timely interceptions, heading the ball away from a string of corners from Auger, out on the right.
As the hosts absorbed a whole lot of pressure, Nick Guest countered and strode forward into the right hand side of the Soham area, before letting fly with a diagonal shot that bounced agonisingly past the far post.
The game continued at a breakneck pace as the home fans began to wolf-whistle the referee and enquire of him, if his "flipping watch had stopped!?", or words to that effect.
Two long throws from Callum Russell, were quite literally the visitors last couple of chucks of the dice, but White saved from Marcus Hall in the first instance and from Russell's next delivery, that even the 'Greens' goalkeeper was up in the home goalmouth challenging for, Mansfield managed to scramble the ball away to safety... and despite Soham's tenacity in the final thirty minutes, the 'Bulls' had dug in and toughed it out at the end.
FT: AFC Mansfield 2 v Soham Town Rangers 1
You never know, eh!?
Hopefully the players who got knocks tonight, including Sam Mulready who needed treatment (for what appeared to be a arm injury) late in the game, aren't too seriously hurt. Get well soon y'all!
'Twas definitely the sort of night that the song: "When the going gets tough, the tough get going" was written about.
Have a safe journey home Soham Town Rangers... what a smashing bunch of people and a pleasure to make the acquaintance of they all were.
As mentioned above, next up, the 'Greens' have a home league game against Grays Athletic on Saturday; while Brighouse Town visit the Forest Town Arena to take on AFC Mansfield. 
It would be nice to hear that they've both got three points apiece, when the results come through on Saturday tea-time.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Soham Town Rangers 0 v AFC Mansfield 0 - FA Trophy Preliminary Round

Saturday 13th October 2018
The BuildBase FA Trophy - Preliminary Qualifying Round
at Julius Martin Lane, Soham
Soham Town Rangers (0) 0
AFC Mansfield (0) 0
Admission £9. Programme £2. Attendance 139
Point and hope photo gallery link HERE
Soham Town Rangers:
Josh Pope, Lewis Endacott (Callum Russell 51), Will Gardner, Erkan Okay (Alfie Connor 76), Lee
Chaffey (C), Jack Mochalski, Jon Kaye, Ryan Auger, Michael Baulk, (Marcus Hall 72), Sam Mulready, Joe Carden
Unused subs - Ally Conway, Rob Mason
AFC Mansfield:
Jason White, Liam Marsden, Mark Dudley, Phil Buxton, Jack Broadhead, Jordan Annable, Cameron
Dear, Jimmy Ghaichem (C) Kieran Wells (Nick Guest 69), Brad Wells, Charlie Dawes (Anton
Daniels 82)
Unused subs  - Ellis Wall, Brad Peace-McDonald, Tyrone Burton
Soham Rangers began life in 1919, and Soham Town were formed a year later.
The current side came into being in 1947, when the two original clubs merged and opted to use Julius Martin Lane (which had been Town's ground since 1921), as their home; while Rangers former enclosure became farming land.
Today's Cambridgeshire based hosts, currently ply their trade in the Isthmian League North Division, which is one of three feeder leagues to the Isthmian League Premier Division, which in turn offers a promotion pathway to the National League (South).
Making their first ever journey to the Julius Martin Lane ground this afternoon, from Forest Town, a leafy suburb of Mansfield in Nottinghamshire, were: AFC Mansfield, who themselves were only founded as recently as 2012... and in a relatively short time have climbed up to the Northern Premier League (East), via the Central Midlands League and both divisions of the Northern Counties East League.
The 'Greens' currently occupy the bottom spot in the Bostik League (North), while the 'Bulls' are tootling along in fourteenth place,  in the EvoStik Northern Premier League (East Division), as they look to establish themselves at the highest level of the football pyramid that they have ever played at... for the time being at least.
Soham reached the second qualifying round of the FA Trophy, in back to back seasons, a few years ago, namely: 2012–13 and 2013–14; while today marked the first ever appearance in the competition by AFC Mansfield.
On the subject of firsts, this was also my own personal maiden voyage to Soham Town Rangers FC, which means that Julius Martin Lane is the eighteenth previously uncharted (by me) territory that I've ticked off so far this season, towards my intended target total, of forty 'new' grounds, before the end of the 2018-19 campaign. So I've still got quite a long way to go towards that work in progress, but I'm getting there, slowly but surely.
Entertainment on the way down was provided by a number of team members getting up and doing a solo turn on the microphone, as part as a team bonding and spirit raising exercise. Some were better singers than others, but at least some of them had the nerve to give it a go, Jason White's girlfriend was very polished and professional... and much to the amusement of everyone present (and a whole load of people on social media), Brad and Kieran Wells deconstruction of a Vanilla Ice number, proved that they have got what it takes, if they ever wanted to give up football and become full time entertainers, they have got the potential to make it all the way to the top. In fact they reminded me no end of an already proven and multi-talented singing duo: Zig and Zag. See video link HERE
The dark skies that we left behind as the coach pulled away from Forest Town, had been replaced by bright sunshine by the time we arrived in Soham, most likely because the gusts of wind that 'Hurricane Callum' was distributing evenly across this green and pleasant corner of England, had
probably blown all of the grey clouds away.
The weather, was the only winner out on the field of play today, on what must've been a challenging afternoon at times, given the lightweight construction of modern day footballs. But though both defences, and goalkeepers in particular, ruled the roost for the majority of the game, both sides had their moments and will probably feel equally frustrated that they didn't nick a result.
Apart from having studied each others results and a few match reports, since the preliminary round draw was made, these two sides would've known very little about each other prior to kick off, but will now at least have some prior knowledge and insight into each others strengths and weaknesses before they lock horns again in the replay at Forest Town Arena on Tuesday night.
Soham Town Rangers proved to be a very welcoming and friendly host club, they have got some smashing people in situ and a great set up at the club, I hope that they get home a bit quicker than we did this evening, when they head up to Mansfield on Tuesday night.
The first goal-scoring chance of the afternoon fell to Kieran Wells (sponsored by THE66POW), after Cameron Dear had won a corner out on the right, from which Charlie Dawes picked out the prolific striker on the edge of the six yard box, who got his shot away, despite the close attention of Jack Mochalski, but though the home sides keeper Josh Pope probably wouldn't have been able to  get to the ball, through a scrum of players, Michael Baulk was covering the post and  cleared the ball away from virtually off the line. Baulk, the 'Greens' number nine must've covered every blade of grass on the pitch this afternoon, popping up here, there and everywhere over the course of the game... in fact I actually checked at one point to see if Soham only had the one player with a 9 on the back of his shirt.
Liam Marsden was creating no end of problems for the hosts defence, with a succession of crosses, free kicks and long throw ins, that were causing havoc as they moved about in the stiff wind; but the weather dictated conditions, were also giving the visitors forwards a hard time, much as they battled on, with Brad Wells in particular chasing everything and running himself into the ground, while never giving up on the ball as a lost cause.
(K) Wells moved into a withdrawn position to lose the attentions of his marker and slipped a quality ball through into the path of Dawes, who was odds on to break the deadlock, until the impressive Mochalski moved swiftly to block the resulting effort and clear the ball away.
Another long throw from Marsden was met by Jack Broadhead,whose flick on across the face of Pope's goal dropped inches wide of the far post.
(B) Wells' persistence saw him win the ball just inside the Soham area and he rolled it back into the path of Phil Buxton, who drilled a snap shot over the bar.
However, it was the home side who had the best two chances to break the deadlock before half time, but the former Mansfield Town keeper Jason White pulled off a couple of great saves to repel: Joe Carden in the first instance, after Sam Mulready had put him through on goal, and then any even better block from close quarters, when Lewis Endacott had instigated a flowing forwards move via Baulk and Jon Kaye, before continuing his run to get on the end of Kaye's nudge into the area, before he was thwarted by the 'Bulls' keeper.
HT: Greens 0 v Bulls 0
If anything, there was less goal bound traffic after the game, but the visitors almost stole the lead, when Pope fumbled a long shot from Dawes that he looked to have covered ad let the ball slip from his grasp, but it rolled harmlessly past the upright.
Will Gardner motored forward for Soham and laid the ball out wide to Baulk, who had made a good position for himself out on the right, but Mark Dudley had read his intentions well and intercepted the return ball towards Gardner.
Ryan Auger linked up with Carden, whose cross was dealt with by Jordan Annable, who is showing maturity beyond his years, since being converted to central defence from  his preferred role of full back. You get the impression that he'd be happy to play in any position as long as he was regularly getting a game.
(B) Wells broke into the left hand side of Soham area and played the ball to his right where he found Buxton, whose dipping shot crashed into the stand behind Pope's goal. I'm sure, that one of these days, one of those Buxton shots is going to find the top corer of the net. But when Dawes created a similar chance for him a few minutes later, the wind helped the ball on it'sway over it's intended target.
Dawes saw his shot deflect past the post and when he took the corner himself, he picked out Ghaichem on the edge of the area, who steadied himself and launched a shot that flew inches wide of the right hand post.
Lee Chaffey went close for the home side, but his header from Callum Russell's throw in, ended up on the roof of the net.
Annable blocked Alfie Connor's shot then raced forward to join in with the 'Bulls' attack, as the play switched quickly from one end of the field to the other. The young defender challenged for the ball from Marsden's long throw from the left wing... and the Soham captain Cheffey must've been very relieved to hear the whistle blow for an apparent infringement in the area, as he got to ball a fraction before Annable and it skimmed off of his head, for what would've been an own goal.
I personally thought the match officials had a decent game in what must have been trying conditions.
Right at the death the referee, Jeff Aldous, blew for another foul in the Soham area and gave the hosts a free kick, but just for a moment I thought he might have been awarding a penalty in lieu of Mochalski performing the Heimlich manoeuvre on Anton Daniels, while he wrestled to break free on the goal line. 
And that was that, all round to the Forest Town Arena on Tuesday night for the replay.
FT: Soham Town Rangers 0 v AFC Mansfield 0
'In flight' entertainment on the way home, was provided by the dulcet tones of Laura, 'Ginger Man Karaoke' and a diminutive Romanian football manager singing about one Cornetto.
Replay details:
Tuesday 16th October 2010, 7.45PM kick off, at Forest Town Arena, Clipstone Road West, Mansfield, NG19 0EE.
Entrance to the car park at the groundis via Second Avenue, which can be found down the side of the Co-op store oppositee the Prince Charles public house.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

England U21 7 v Andorra U21 0 - U21 Euro 2019 Qualifier

The England U21 team arrive at a Nationwide League ground
U21 European Championship 2019  Qualifier - Group 4
at The Proact Stadium
England U21 (3) 7
Ademola Lookman 8, Ezri Konsa Ngoyo 27
Dominic Calvert-Lewin 45+1, 48
Dominic Solanke 81, Reiss Nelson 90+2
Christian Garcia Gonzale OG 90+4
Andorra U21 (0) 0
Admission £10. Programme £3.
Attendance 7,137
Andorra travelled to Derbyshire, on this mild and very un-October like evening, having picked up just two points from their previous eight qualifying games, while occupying bottom place in the group table. And without wanting to sound too disparaging, it was fairly obvious to everyone present, why they are in such a predicament.
When these two sides last met, back in November at the Estadi Comunal d'Andorra la Vella, the 'Three Lions' beat Andorra 1-0, courtesy of an Ainsley Maitland-Niles goal.
Even though England's final goal tally was boosted by a late flurry (and an own goal by Christian Garcia Gonzale), they still won this game comfortably, very handsomely and at a canter... while adhering to the old saying: "You can only beat what is in front of you". There were times when the highly rated Manchester United keeper, Dean Henderson, who is currently plying his trade on loan at Sheffield United, cut a very lonely figure, occupying a whole half of the pitch to himself for long spells.
Henderson in the D
Aidy Boothroyd's team went into tonight's game, as group leaders, knowing that they only needed one point, to guarantee their qualification for next years European Championship tournament, which is being staged in Italy and San Marino.
Following this one-sided game, at the Proact Stadium, the home of nonleague Chesterfield FC, the U21 side now travel up to Gorgie, in Edinburgh, on Tuesday, to face Scotland at the Heart of Midlothian's Tynecastle Park; a game that will kick off at 5.30PM, if you' feel tempted to travel up.
Hearts, are one of the teams that Boothroyd played for, prior to his move to Mansfield Town in 1993.
With Gareth Southgate having promoted Mason Mount of Chelsea (on loan to Derby County) and James Maddison of Leicester City, to the senior side squad, Boothroyd moved quickly to add Manchester City's Phil Foden, Arsenal's Reiss Nelson (on loan at Hoffenheim), and Leicester City's Harvey Barnes (on loan at West Brom), to his bolster his ranks, as his unbeaten side prepared for their last two group fixtures. Two of them featured tonight, with Foden having a quite outstanding game, while Nelson weighed in with a goal (having already hit the post) after entering the fray as substitute with eighteen minutes of the game remaining, which probably means that Barnes will get a taste of the action on Tuesday night.
Three lions and a rodent, pestering kids.
England opened the scoring in the eighth minute, when Tom Davies released Jonjoe Kenny on the right wing, and the Everton defender picked out his club teammate: Ademole Lookman, just inside the area, who advanced past two half hearted Andorra challenges before planting the ball past the Andorra goalkeeper Francisco Pires.
Other than conceding Lookman's strike, Pires, for his part, was initially keeping England at bay, and was a bit unlucky to concede a second goal, after blocking a shot by Lewis Cook (of Bournemouth) only to see Brentford's Ezri Konsa Ngoyo reach the rebound first and score with an angled knock.
Foden was proving to be a real thorn in Andorra's (back)side and he went close right at the end of the first half , but Calvert-Lewin made it 3-0 in first minute of added time, when Pires advanced from his line to challenge Lookman, who steered the ball away from the keeper while 'megging' Aleix Viladot, giving Dominic Calvert-Lewin the simplest of chances to roll the ball into an unguarded net.
HT: England U21 3 v Andorra U21 0
Three minutes into the second half, Konsa Ngoyo was fouled in the Andorra area by Claudi Bove, right at the start of the second half and Dominic Calvert-Lewin smashed the resulting penalty kick into the roof of the visitors net.
It was safe tosay by now, that England could've played me in goal for the remainder of the game and still have qualified for the Euro 2019 tournament.
The host side played keep ball for a wile and patiently kept possession, using the whole width of the pitch, with Tottenham's Kyle Walker-Peters looking good out on the left, while Foden and Cook dominated the midfield.
In the eighty first minute, England eventually scored again, when Foden threaded a pass through to Dominic Solanke, and the Liverpool striker, took the ball round the advancing Pires and rolled the ball into the open goal.
Despite conceding seven goals, Pires did well at times over the course of the game, and I think that he had every right to ask his defenders, where the effing hell they had buggered off to, at times tonight.

In stoppage time, the eager to impress and hungry looking Nelson, made it 6-0 on his U21 debut, with an audacious flick over Pires, off of his heel.
England's seventh goal, was scored with the last touch of the game, by Andorra's Garcia Goncalves, who helped the ball on it's way into his own goal after Solanke had nudged it past Pires.
FT: England U21 7 v Andorra U21 0

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Gainsborough Trinity 3 v Basford United 2 - EvoStik League NPL Prem

Tuesday 9th October 2018
EvoStik Northern Premier League - Premier Division
at the Martin & Co.Arena/Northolme
Gainsborough Trinity (3) 3
Alex Byrne12
Ash Worsfold 24, 43
Basford United (0) 2
Matt Thornhill 51
Nat Watson 80
Admission £12. Programme £2.50
Attendance 378
Tonight's win moved Trinity up a place in the table to eighth, two points behind third placed Basford, having played four games less than their Nottingham based visitors.
In fact, the 'Holy Blues' have games in hand over all seven of the teams above them, as they maintained a 100% home winning run of five games out of five, a record that is matched by only one club in the whole division, namely: fourth placed South Shields.
During an interview 0n his own club's website, in the build up to the game, the Basford manager: Martin Carruthers, had spoken highly of tonight's opposition, going as far as to say that he would have taken a point as being a good result.
And his side certainly came very close to leaving Lincolnshire with a draw under their belts, despite going in at the break three goals behind.
Although Gainsborough still had to find the wherewithal and acumen to convert the chances that came their way, and credit where it is due to the home side to that end,
the visitors were more than a little culpable of contributing to their own downfall in front of Kieran Preston's goal, as they displayed traits of defensive negligence and ineptitude that was the exact polar opposite of the way that they were performing elsewhere on the pitch.
Basford really should have dealt with Simmons cross from the right in the twelfth minute: but as Preston shook his hands at the ball, in a manner befitting Al Jolson acknowledging his 'Mammy', allowing the ball to reach the head of Joe Maguire, who flicked it across the six yard box, where Alex Byrne added the finishing touch.
The visitors were nearly on equal terms almost immediately, when Nat Watson drilled a shot on the turn narrowly past the upright from twelve yards out.
But although Basford were enjoying a lot of the ball and shifting it around at pace in an eye-catching fashion, on the lush carpet of a Northolme pitch, any kind of end result was evading them, with Nathan Stainfield in particular keeping them at bay... and they fell two goals behind, when Ash Worfold diverted a left wing delivery from Alex Simmons past Preston, from the edge of the six yard box, while the United defence all appeared to collectively abdicate responsibility for clearing the ball (and picking up the runs of Worsfold and Byrne) to each other.
With half time approaching, a teasing cross from Jack Thomas only needed a touch to give the visitors a lifeline to take into the second half, but it wasn't to be and instead of cemeenting the foundations for a comeback, Basford shot themselves in the foot at the other end, when a routine back-pass was criminally under-hit, allowing Worsfold to nip in and plant the ball past Preston.
If his own teammates can provide Worsfold with that kind of ammunition on a regular basis, he'll top the goal-scoring charts in this league by a mile.
HT: Trinity 3 v Basford 0
Inevitably, Basford were going to come out in the second half fighting to restore some pride... and six minutes after the restart, they pulled a goal back, when Matt Thornhill, one of several former Trinity players gracing the visitors line up tonight, found the net, just moments after Jon Stewart had pulled off a great save at full stretch.
Carruther's side were taking the game to their hosts, who were putting up a frantic rearguard action.
But as the visitors started to commit their resources into chasing the game, Gainsborough pushed forward trying to put the result out of reach... and Preston did well to save Joe McGuire's downward header from Byrne's right wing delivery, Liam King's dipping shot from just outside the area, narrowly cleared the bar and Stainfield headed wide from Simmons cross.
Finally, with ten minutes remaining, it really was 'game on' as Watson topped off a great night's work, with a well directed strike as the ball pinged around the 'Holy Blues' area.
But much as the visitors slogged on, looking for a third goal, with the clock ticking down, it was actually Trinity who almost scored again, when Preston pulled off a 'worldly' of a double save, denying Simmons and King in quick succession, before Simmons crashed the ball over the bar from ten yards out.
FT: Gainsborough Trinity 3 v Basford United 2
A local landmark in need of some TLC
Several people were heard, over the course of the night, to remark on the fact that £12 is a lot of money to watch EvoStik League football... and I was one of them. But even though it probably was a bit on the expensive side, as regards entertainment, people got more than their money's worth tonight.
In conclusion: that was a cracking game of football... and both teams more than played their part.