Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Edlington Town v Sutton Rovers - Doncaster Senior League Premier Division

Tuesday 11th May 2010.
Doncaster Senior League Premier Division
at Edlington Recreation Ground

Edlington Town (2) 4 (Bradshaw pen, Hayes, Caudwell, Sticklen)
Sutton Rovers (1) 2 (Chambers, Wain)
Hmm, that slate grey sky looks full of it

Congratulations to Edlington Town, Doncaster Senior League champions with four games still to play.
'Edlo' tore into their visitors from the off, clearly demonstrating both their intent and the kind of form that has won them the title. They had a blatant shout for a penalty waved away but were obviously on top in this game and a breakthrough was going come soon anyway, it was more a question of when as opposed to if.
So the inevitable happened ... Sutton Rovers scored!
With their very first move forward the ball found itself nestled in the bottom of the net after a speculative shot from the edge of the area.
Undeterred, the home side kept pushing forward and had created enough chances to have already had this game wrapped up by the time they drew level from the penalty spot on 37 minutes (see below).
And before half time the breakthrough finally came when Lee Hayes scored directly from a corner after a team mate ducked under his in swinger from the left wing.
As this photograph of Hayes party piece in mid flight shows, the lad is never going to get a part as a body double in Peter Andre the Movie (I'm pencilled in for that one ;-) ) because Lee isn't exactly the most finely honed athlete you are ever likely to see thundering around a football pitch. But his touch on the ball, vision, arsenal of tricks and ability to boss the game was a joy to watch.
By the time he went off for a breather on 80 minutes - a greatly deserved one, Edlington Town seemed to play each and every move through Hayes - the game was already won and the corpulent number 8 had been the architect of this well earned victory.
I'm told Lee Hayes as a youngster was on the books of Doncaster Rovers and his progress was being monitored by a number of other league clubs but he had problems keeping the weight off, there but for the grace of God!
Donny Rovers loss is certainly Edlo Town's gain.
When Hayes came off he stood booming out help and encouragement to his team mates from the side of the pitch, a born leader.
I'm reliably informed that he's scored directly from a few of these in swinging corners this season ... DSL goalkeepers beware.
Yes, that really is a space ship parked on the far touch line.

The heavy rain that had been threatening to come all night arrived with a vengeance, but the light drizzle and 'fine stuff that wets you through' had seen to it that everyone present was soaked through to the skin already anyway.
Two minutes into the second half, Sutton Rovers forced a corner and Wain got on the end of it to equalise for the visitors.
Purveyors of football geography take note. This team hail from Sutton near Askern, up the A19 from Doncaster and not from the village 2 miles to the north of Retford, the Ashfield borough on the outskirts of Mansfield, or any of the other 40 plus towns and villages in England that have a variant of Sutton in their name. I didn't want you driving round in circles miles away from the ground with kick off looming the next time you fancy watching Rovers in action.
"Come on a pushbike! You must've come on a pushbike!"

Stunned into action by Sutton's second goal, Town now stepped up the tempo again and took the game to Rovers once more.
On 53 minutes Rovers goalkeeper spilled a catch into the path of Edlington's number 9 and he piled in to take advantage of the slip. 3-2.
With 15 minutes remaining Sutton conceded a free kick a few yards outside the box, it was a fairly reckless lunge and a stronger referee might have gone straight for his red card, but maybe the official gave the culprit the benefit of the doubt because the wet pitch had accelerated the impact of the foul ... I wouldn't have done though.
Perhaps the ref had thought, "We're all getting soaked so you're not getting out of it you dirty git" and that is why he kept the red in his pocket.
For the record, referee's at this level are paid £20 plus expenses per game, their assistants half that amount ... so they're not here to make a living out of it and without them there wouldn't be a game, there are bound to be a few genuine honest errors of judgement made.
Either way, Edlington Town's centre half got on the end of the free kick and headed home his teams fourth goal, so justice was done in the end.
In the end, the margin of victory definitely didn't flatter Edlington Town, far from it.
A great advert all round for the Doncaster Senior League, if not the South Yorkshire climate.