Saturday, 24 April 2010

Worksop Town v Kendal Town - UniBond League Premier Division

A time for reflection - August '09 to April '10, just what went on out there?

Saturday 24th April 2010. UniBond League Premier Division.
at the New Manor Ground, Ilkeston.

Worksop Town (0) 0
Kendal Town (0) 1 (Darren Green 88)

Admission season ticket. Programme £2. Attendance 125.
Left click photographs to super-size images
While the rest of us were watching the match, there was a
strange man outside happily playing with his balls.

So, just what more could Worksop do to win this match?
Apart from scoring more goals than Kendal, obviously.
Chance after chance went begging, right from the very first minute onwards ... and they were floored by a sucker punch (again) with just three minutes of the game remaining.
Even then, there was still time for two more opportunities for Ben Tomlinson to salvage a point (at the very least) from this game, after Kendal had launched their late, late smash and grab raid.
But one was saved well by Tom Newton and the other ... well, to be frank, Ben must've been putting in a late entry for miss of the season as he miscued the ball over the crossbar from all of six feet out with the goal at his mercy.
Kendal Town had already qualified for the play off's ... and having avoided the drop, Worksop Town had nothing of any significance left to play for, save for a bit of pride, in their final game of a turbulent season.
The visitors put out what can only be described as a weakened side.
They were there for the taking.
Lee Whittington missed an absolute sitter inside the first minute and shortly afterwards repeated the trick, finding the net via the wrong side of the post.
I know a real football supporter would never criticise one of his own team during a game, it is counter productive and plays into the hands of the opposition.
Such actions can destroy confidence in players, when they are trying their hardest, but just aren't getting the rub of the green.
So maybe the supporter who was stood just feet away from the second miss, who leant towards Whittington and shouted "FFS! How the ****ing hell did you miss that Whitto!?", should have been a bit more patient and offered encouragement along the lines of "Keep going Lee, it'll come" instead.
But I wasn't feeling particularly charitable at that moment in time and a whole season's worth of frustration of watching gilt edged chances go begging came to the fore.
And Lee Whittington copped for most of it.
Even though he hadn't actually been around for much of the season.
So, it was probably uncalled for that he was the target of my angry rebuke.
I decided to move out of earshot of the players for the rest of the first half, the sun on my head was obviously effecting my usually placid, polite and charming demeanour.
I'm not singling Whittington out for criticism ... after all, who am I to stand in judgement of what makes a good footballer.
I've seen it so often over the years, where a striker joins a new club and just can't get off the mark, then all of a sudden it all falls into place and they can't stop scoring. So fingers crossed then, eh!?
Luke Shiels signed from Hucknall Town recently, around the same time that Whittington did and he's taken to his new surroundings like a duck to water.
I think it would be fair to say Lee is taking a bit longer to adapt.
Keep going Lee, it'll come!
Inside the first twenty minutes besides Whittington's 'bad luck', Matty Thorpe fired wide, Luke Shiels headed over (he would, wouldn't he? After what I've just said in the previous paragraph) and Jamie Jackson cut in from the right wing and shot over the bar from the edge of the box.
It was all highly entertaining stuff, but bloody frustrating never the less!
Kendal retaliated with a few half hearted attempts that Jon Kennedy in the Tigers goal dealt with easily enough.
With all the whirling dervish like activity around the visitors penalty area, the first half flew by and we could all take a break, smile and breathe a big sigh of relief that the season (for Worksop Town at least) would be over in just over an hour.
Though a cynic could argue that it had actually been over for quite a while now already.
Alas, Lee Whittington's capers in the first few minutes had set the template for the remainder of the game.
In the second half:
Scott Lowe scored moments after the restart but was ruled offside.
Ryan Mallon shot just high and wide.
Kev Sanasy headed just wide.
Jamie Jackson headed just wide when it seemed impossible to miss ... and it became apparent, that in spite their best efforts. And they really, really tried; the Tigers could keep this up until midnight and wouldn't get the goal their dominance merited.
Gary Townsend thundered an header over the crossbar after Jackson had teed him up with a pinpoint cross and Kendal must've been wondering how and why they were still in this game.
Of course, the 'sting in the tale' script writer was on hand, as per usual, to provide the inevitable end to the game ...
With three minutes remaining, Ryan Mallon's goal-bound effort was cleared for a corner.
Kendal cleared their lines from the flag kick and went on the counter attack. Darren Green charged forward and with everybody chasing in his wake, hit a precision shot past Jon Kennedy.
As I said above already, Worksop still had the chances to save and even win this one sided match.
But today's game represented a microcosm of the whole season. A combination of bad luck, a load of wasted chances, conceding far too many late goals and a whole lot of frustration and heartache for all concerned on and off the pitch.
Results elsewhere meant that Guiseley have won the UniBond Premier title today, good for them.
The Tigers won at Guiseley earlier in the season, it seems a long, long time ago now.

Coming Soon (maybe)
Worksop Town FC - 2009/10 highlights video.
In the meanwhile here is a trailer to whet your appetite: