Thursday, 18 March 2010

Worksop Town v Sheffield FC - North Midlands Under 19's League Division One

Thursday 18th March 2010
North Midlands Under 19's League Division One
At Blackwell Miners Welfare, Primrose Hill

Worksop Town (1) 1 (Fox)
Sheffield FC (2) 3 (Galloway 2 inc 1 pen, Askew)

Admission £2, Programme 50p, Attendance 17
A great start for the Tigers when Danny Fox rifled in a shot from the left hand side of the box to give Worksop the lead with barely sixty seconds on the clock.
On five minutes, Sheffield were awarded a penalty, the challenge didn't warrant a spot kick, but the ref had just let play go on when the visitors should have had one a few moments before, so I guess these things even themselves out ... more or less.
Callum Smith got down well to save the kick and preserve the single goal lead, for now.
At the other end Lewis Capewell rose to meet a corner and beat the Sheffield keeper all ends up, but his headed effort crashed against the bar.
Sheffield were awarded another penalty, the referee indicated it was for handball ... just as well he did, because nobody else seemed to know what he had given it for, including a good few of the Sheffield players.
'Club' (a nickname Sheffield FC call themselves) made no mistake this time and Nicky Galloway equalised from the resultant kick.
By now, the referee seemed to be stopping the game more and more frequently for a series of offences that mystified both sets of players.
I know there would be no game without the match officials, but this was rapidly becoming a 'non game' due to the curious antics of the referee.
You would've thought he'd have needed at least a rudimentary grasp of the rules to take charge of a game of football ... apparently not.
Sheffield, through the sheer persistence of Jon Askew, forced a second goal and took a 2-1 lead in with them at the break.
It had been a fairly well contested first half and Worksop's performance was about 200% better than the last time I saw them play.
They were working hard together as a team unit and obviously benefiting from playing regularly after the enforced break caused by the winter weather.
Alas, the second half was all about one man, Mr Thistlewood, the referee, who ruined a decent game of football with a display of cringe-worthy ineptitude.
I'm all for the RESPECT campaign whereby people are encouraged to treat match officials with the RESPECT their position merits, but how are these young players supposed to learn good manners towards the man in black when he gets everything (and I mean everything) wrong and treats the players so disrespectfully?
He seriously seemed to think the game was all about him and that we'd all come to watch his histrionics and centre stage performance.
Note the discreet blog advertisement on the front cover

I'm not just saying this because his shambolic handling of the game ultimately cost the Tigers the game, after all, following tonight's game Sheffield are joint top with Staveley MW and are a very capable team, who most likely would've won the game by virtue of their own efforts anyway.
But it was the ref who directly contributed to the third goal.
Sheffield pushed up on the right and one of their players belted a shot across the face of the goal. It missed and nobody connected with the ball as it went harmlessly wide for a goal kick. Amazingly, the referee pointed for a corner.
"How the bloody hell is that a corner referee!? It's their goal kick" called out a Sheffield supporter.
The referee consulted with his linesman, but he hadn't been keeping up with play and was unable to assist with the decision making process at this juncture.
In the goalmouth scrum that followed the flag kick, the referee suddenly blew his whistle and pointed to the centre circle, he had given a goal, yet no Sheffield player had claimed the ball had crossed the line or celebrated and they seemed bemused to have been awarded a very fortunate third.
Nicky Galloway was credited with the goal so I doubt if he'll be complaining.
The referee blows his whistle, AGAIN, while all the players look on puzzled,
waiting to see what imaginary infringement he's spotted this time.

From then on in, the ref's display just got worse and worse, with both sets of players, officials and fans completely baffled by his curious array of decisions.
If I was a referee's assessor, I would have marched onto the pitch and having relieved Mr Thistlewood of his whistle, cards and notebook ... banished him from the field of play before he could do any more damage. He was that bad.
I guess we're all entitled to have an off night and it's only human nature to make a few mistakes, but the referee killed this game off as a contest and a spectacle, long before he put us all out of our misery by bringing an evening of pure farce to an end with the only blast on his whistle any of us agreed with all night.
Thankfully, people from both clubs, were laughing at the officials ineptitude and cracking jokes with each other about him ... there was little point in getting angry about his ridiculous handling of the game. He was unlikely to suddenly become a competent referee any time soon.
Mr A Thistlewood, you turned what had been a very pleasurable evening into a bloody miserable night. At least I know if your name ever appears on the team sheet again that I can go home before kick off and spare myself from having to watch any more of your absurdity and nonsense.
Jeez and I thought UniBond League officials weren't up to scratch sometimes.
So you know. Bricks from the nearby Blackwell Colliery were used to build
some of the facilities at the Primrose Hill welfare ground. Fascinating eh!?

On Sunday, Sheffield FC are hosting a charity fund raising game:

Sunday 21st March 2010
The Coach & Horses Ground
Charity match in aid of the Northern General Hospital
Vascular Ward and Mobility Physio Department


Kick Off 3PM
Admission £3 - Concessions £2