Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Worksop Town v Handsworth FC - North Midlands Under 19's League

Tuesday 4th May 2010
North Midlands Under 19's League Division 1
at The Recreation Ground, Scrooby Road, Bircotes
Home of Harworth Colliery Institute FC

Worksop Town (0) 1 (Matthew Thompson pen)
Handsworth FC (2) 3 (Luke Beatson 2, OG)

Admission £2. Programme 50p. Attendance 37
Did anybody bring a spirit level with them?

Harworth's ground is a bit like the village itself, rough and ready and in need of some TLC around the edges, but not without a certain charm and character.
Scrooby Road is only a ten minute journey from my current abode.
"Wait 'til my whistle lads"

The scene is set.
Handsworth are in second place a point behind Staveley MW.
Tonight, both of the top two sides are playing their respective final league games of the season simultaneously.
If Staveley beat Matlock Town, they'll be crowned champions, but if they lose or draw and Handsworth beat the mighty Tigers, then tonight's 'visitors' to Scrooby Road will win the Under 19's 1st Division instead.
Worksop pushed forward early on and nearly took the lead as the ball dipped agonisingly over the cross bar.
"Unlucky Harworth!" shouted out a teenage girl.
For the record, Harworth C.I. play in similar colours to Worksop Town.
But buoyed on by their possible slant at the league title, Handsworth soon got a grip of things and were two nil ahead by half time with a brace of goals from Luke Beatson.
During the interval Handsworth received a further boost as news filtered through that Matlock had gone ahead against Staveley.
Though to be honest, I think everybody expected the Inkersall Road side to overturn that deficit.
Matthew Thompson drills his spot kick low and hard
into the back of the wonky goal

Handsworth hit home a third early into the second half, the last player to touch it was OG of Worksop ... so to all intents and purposes, the Sheffield based club had done all they could to take the title now and were depending on Matlock to win an unlikely victory over in Derbyshire.
Despite having already been relegated and now going three goals down on the night, the Tigers kept plugging away. Though Handsworth were obviously quite a strong and capable side and there was only ever going to be one eventual winner.
It's looks now as if Worksop might be the only team relegated from Division 1 this season, as Dunkirk are talking about folding their Under 19's side, which would most likely give Teversal a reprieve.
Late in the game, the Handsworth keeper twice wrestled the same Worksop player to the ground within a matter of moments and a defender assisted with the second foul, so the referee had no alternative but to award a penalty.
The Handsworth players complained, but the ref responded with a sharp "The only thing that is in doubt is if I award it for the first, second or third foul."
It's a shame that he couldn't award a separate one for all three.
Of course I'd long since put my camera away by now, but did manage to capture the above blurred image of Matthew Thompson thumping home the spot kick on my mobile phone.
He merited a goal on tonight's 'home team' man of the match showing.
Moments after the final whistle I had to leg it sharply to my car to get to work in a mere 12 minutes time ... I made it with approx. 180 seconds to spare.
What a punctual, hard working and conscientious employee I am ;-)

'Gimme shelter'
I've heard a few odd stories and suggestions that Worksop Town could and should merge their Under 19's side with one club or another next season.
IMHO that is just silly talk and it is VERY important to keep the team going as a vital cog in the overall infrastructure of the club.
Mind you, I could write a book based on some of the half baked, inaccurate and bizarre stories I've heard surrounding Worksop Town this season, the majority of which are merely speculative nonsense, unfounded gossip and/or complete bullshit. Such is life!

Footnote - Matlock won at Staveley so Handsworth FC are the champions of the North Midlands Under 19's League Division 1.
Elsewhere - Edlington Town 3 v Retford Town 1, a result which puts Edlo in a very strong position in the race for the Doncaster Senior League title.