Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Nantwich Town v Worksop Town - UniBond League Premier Division

A fine gentleman (I'd fine him!)

Tuesday 2nd March 2010. UniBond League Premier Division
at the Weaver Stadium, Nantwich

Nantwich Town (3) 3 Lennon 5, 16, 39
Worksop Town (2) 2 Bacon 13 Tomlinson 45

Admission £9, Programme £2, Attendance 270
WTFC's Georgio de la Matalan cheap jeans crew were out in force tonight
No I'm not in shot, my Empire Stores 2 for £15 specials were far too pricey ;-)

"Little do ye know your own blessedness; for to travel hopefully is a
better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labour."
Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginibus Puerisque, 1881:
At no time before, can I ever recall ... travelling back through the night amidst pain in the neck roadwork diversions, around the arse end of a gruesome array of crap places I wouldn't ever want to visit again (unless they were en route to some obscure football outpost), knowing that I wouldn't be home until well after midnight, having just witnessed an away defeat where my team's defence leaked a first half hat trick against a player I'd previously never heard of ... with so much hope and optimism in this old heart of mine.
I can easily summon up the memories of an whole host of times where I've angrily made up my mind (for the one hundredth and last time ever ... again) that 'Bollocks to 'em, I'm not going any more', but the nature of tonight's defeat wasn't like that, not by any stretch of the imagination.

Sure, Worksop still got nil points and another minus one on their goal difference, but on any other day, their second half display of complete dominance would, could and should have reaped a result that truly reflected the balance of play.
Let me say, with complete confidence that I'm not going to be made to eat these words at a later date, THE TIGERS ARE ROARING AGAIN and some time soon people are going to have to sit up and take notice that the corner is finally being turned as the results start to pick up.
I'd go so far as to say, judging by the shoots of recovery I witnessed at the Weaver Stadium tonight, combined with the work rate and effectiveness of the new signings who are gelling into the team immediately, somebody is going to get a proper thrashing from this side in the near future.
This weekend against fellow relegation 'chasers' Ossett Town would be as good a time as any.
The fight back starts here!
A blurred steward walks into shot in an attempt to look busy

The first half could've finished about 5 each, both forward lines went at it like men possessed and both defences also contributed, inadvertently, to the surplus of goal area action.
Michael Lennon's hat trick in the space of 34 minutes was a bit of a lesson for the Tigers defence on the importance of picking players up and not making elementary mistakes in important areas of the pitch, but take nothing away from Lennon, he was hungry and persistent and took his goals well, his first came when Jon Kennedy saved well from Danny Griggs but Lennon was on hand to fire home the rebound, a classic poachers goal some might say, an opportunist strike from a bloody spawny goal hanger might also apply.

Danny Bacon fired home the equaliser to Lennon's first goal and Ben Tomlinson scored on 45 minutes from a Jamie Jackson corner to keep the Dabbers half time advantage to a minimum.
Actually just after I'd texted a few friends who couldn't get to the game to say, 'Ben just scored scored half time 3-2', Nantwich nearly snatched a 4th goal which would've made my pre emptive communications look a bit silly.
Jamie Jackson shoots, but Ben Chapman saves well

After the break, Worksop laid siege to the Nantwich goal and proceeded to bombard the Dabbers keeper Ben Chapman from all directions.
Young Chapman signed for Nantwich from Hanley Town of the Staffordshire County League, a level 7 club and really looks far too scrawny and lightweight to be a goalkeeper in the rough and tumble of the UniBond League.
It really does look as if a good gust of wind would blow him off his feet.
Hmm, appearances can be deceptive then.
Excuse me if I don't take the time right now, to list here all of the chances Worksop had in the second half, I'd be here forever, but the two that they REALLY ought to have taken the points with, were the ones where Ben Tomlinson jinked his way through the area and tried rounding Chapman, only for the keeper to smother the ball and a Matt Austin effort late on that was bound for the top corner until the Nantwich stopper performed a miracle save to tip the ball over the bar. It was reminiscent of Jim Montgomery's famous stop in the 1973 FA Cup Final for Sunderland against Leeds United.
I reckon once he's filled out a bit, Ben Chapman is destined for greater things than the UniBond League. The Conference with Worksop Town in a few years would be a great career move for starters ;-)
I was chatting with some Nantwich fans after the game, they were full of praise for Chapman too and were amazed that Worksop hadn't had least had a share of the spoils after that second half.
"All we are saying ... is give us a goal!"

In spite of the result, everybody on our transport home was upbeat and optimistic about the performance and style of play Worksop had adopted tonight, particularly in the second half.
It bodes well for the future that things are finally starting to fall into place for the Tigers on the pitch.
I think it would be fair to say, one or two people on the same transport as me last night, have possibly not been amongst Peter Rinkcavage's biggest fans at times.
But we all pay our money to watch games and we're all entitled to an opinion, even me!
My two pennyworth worth, was that in certain games recently, one needs to look at the tactics employed, out of necessity, from the point of view that 'You can only piss with the cock you've got!'
For the record, I'm having a TEAM RINKY t-shirt printed and he has my complete backing and respect.
But it was unanimous, that the way Worksop are playing right now, re, the last couple of games, with the better quality of players Rinky has at his disposal, is more than acceptable even to his (previously) most ardent of detractors and it's now time to reserve judgement and give him a chance to show what he can really do, without the financial restraints he's been working under and without mercenary players jumping ship every few weeks and leaving the team short of adequate cover.
It was a good 'craic' on the Supporters Club charabanc last night and I'd recommend it to anyone who hasn't tried it.
The debate, from a number of different viewpoints was lively, but people were respectful of each others points of view and good humoured with it, which helped the time to fly by on the way home.
One thing that stood out, was that the people I travelled with all REALLY cared about WTFC, not that you'd expect anything else from people willing to make a 2 hour midweek trip on a cold and icy night to a game that only had a 50/50 chance of being played.
And £12 to Nantwich and back with the added bonus of not having the hassle of driving was a bargain.
It's a shame a few more people couldn't have travelled to support Worksop, but the bad weather this winter has caused a number of re-arranged games that people are going to find it difficult to fit into their busy schedules.
There was no raffle or scratch card on the bus, but Jeff Carter won the prize for guessing what time we'd arrive, to the exact minute, after our delayed departure because Nantwich and the referee weren't getting their act together over organising a pitch inspection that the home side had announced would be necessary earlier on.
It was ten to six before they made a decision, by which time we'd set off anyway with a view to turning back if needs be.
The team bus had to go earlier, the rules about handing team sheets in on time and so forth dictated they had to and nobody really wants players to have to change on the bus and play five minutes after arriving, do they?
You would have thought after the recent Saturday game between the two sides was called off 40 minutes before kick off, with the Worksop team and fans already at the ground, Nantwich could have handled this a lot better tonight.
Stand still you three, I'm trying to take a picture of the Dabbers terrace in full song

At one point on the way home, I became concerned that our mini bus may had been targeted for a mustard gas attack by Al-Qaeda and for a while it was impossible to speak, breathe or see anything because some vile toxic substance was making my eyes sting.
These suspected attacks were very frequent and seemed to occur each and every time we hit a bump or pothole in the road ... and there are an awful lot of bumps and potholes (and a lot of awful bumps and potholes) between Cheshire and North Notts.
It was even more worrying that besides having Osama bin Laden's mob to deal with, we had a Saddam Hussein lookalike tucked away on the back seat, hiding behind a flimsy disguise of spectacles and an old Worksop Town FC hat.
It transpired that Saddam was actually called Johnny and he was responsible for the atmospheric interference and stench. If a gynaecologist really can decorate a hallway through his letterbox then this is the guy to help him with the pebble dashing.
Personally I'd cable tie the foul arsed bugger to the roof rack if there are any repeats of this trump fest in future.
Anyway ... WORKSOP TOWN are back!
Any time now.