Saturday, 30 July 2011

Staveley Miners Welfare 2 v. Worksop Town 2 - Friendly

Saturday 30th July 2011, at Inkersall Road

Staveley Miners Welfare (1) 2
Martin Foster 30, Simon Baraclough 75
Worksop Town (1) 2
Ben Turner 20, Mark Roberts 63

Admission £2, Attendance 175
No programme or team sheet etc.
Thanks for line ups to Chris (home) and Arm Wrestling Tom (away)
Tom Jones (left) I used to sponsor his kit when he was at Worksop Town

The Notts/Derbyshire border, 11 speed camera pocked miles and two divisions of the non league pyramid separate these two clubs.
On today's showing, any neutral observer might have thought that it was the home side who played at the higher level though.
For it was Staveley who got the ball down and tried to play a passing game, whilst it would be fair to say, their Evo-Stik Premier opponents from up the A619, simply are nowhere near firing on all cylinders yet.
And believe me that latter observation is borne out of generosity on my part.
Staveley dusted themselves down after their 4-0 gubbing 48 hours earlier at Frickley, tightened down the hatches, hauled up the main sail and took on board a few things they will have learnt from that game.
Worksop - and it does pain me to criticise the Tigers - were a bit lacklustre and bereft of ideas in the first half and outplayed by a very impressive passing side in the second.
It was Worksop who scored first on 20 minutes, when Ben Turner hit home a 30 yard free kick from out on the right, it took a bit of a deflection on the way in, but Ben won't mind too much because that meant that the rule about indirect free kicks having to touch another player en route to a legitimate goal had been observed.
With players like Jackson and now Garner in the Tigers team, both who can wreak havoc in the opposition ranks with the ball at their feet, one needs to question why Worksop Town seemed to be so content, so often, to stroke the ball across the back four and then resort to launching the long ball into the general, vague direction of the opposition box ... where their former captain Tom Jones was relishing having to deal with such a 'threat'.
The obvious route to goal would have been passing the ball along the ground to the players who have the nous and ability to unlock defences with their obvious skill and trickery.
In Jamie Jackson, Worksop have one of the most naturally gifted players in their league, who is playing the best football of his career at present ... but he's going to be out of the side at this rate, suffering from a stiff neck, bought on by watching the ball sailing over his head time after time.
Adam Muller has failed to impress me at all either time that I've seen him on his return to Worksop Town, but he isn't the sort of player to thrive on a service of big boot, over the top balls either.
Not that I'm entirely sure what kind of service he actually thrives on!
Staveley equalised on 30 minutes, the Tigers players, one in particular, messed about clearing their lines and Martin Foster gratefully took possession of the ball from them and buried it beyond Jon Worsnop, who must've been wondering why his defence hadn't just done the simple thing with the ball in the danger zone, i.e. get rid of it, instead of fannying around and inviting the opposition to have a go.
Staveley don't need to be asked twice, they're an attack minded footballing side, those ethics run right through the club, from Under 19's level, through the reserves and into the first team.
And it's only £60 to buy a season ticket to watch them in action all year long too!
As the teams returned to the centre circle, one Worksop 'wit' shouted out "If my dad becomes the assistant manager can I get a game too?"
I think he was hinting that nepotism in football isn't always all that healthy. As I said in my post about the Sheffield v Worksop game, the player in question, Mark Thompson, put in some great performances towards the end of last season, but as of yet, he hasn't looked all that good this pre season.
It would be wrong for me to judge him on the strength of the two Worksop games I've seen thus far, but the unkind observations about him, both verbal and on the Tigers Fan Forum, are all being made by people who watch the team far more regularly than I do.
Terry Barwick came on around the hour mark, one of five Worksop substitutes today and immediately went about attempting to get into the Guinness Book of Records, by fouling an opponent within 5 seconds of coming onto the pitch.
On 63 minutes, Mark Roberts put the Tigers back in front when he headed home from a corner. A second goal from a dead ball, but they all count.
He found space and took the effort well.
Roberts performance was one of the positives for Worksop today, likewise Turner and Garner. And young Danny Lindley, a diminutive winger cum right midfielder from Dinnington Town, looked very useful when he came on (I'm not sure whether he's signed for Worksop or was just having a trial).
But these were all individual performances, as opposed to the home side who played as a team, which in a nutshell is what football is all about ... and for the remainder of the game it was Staveley who took over and dictated the pace, passing the ball around and looking by far the fitter of the two sides.
Danny Davidson, a tall striker who can probably trap a ball further than I can actually kick one, came on in the second half for the Tigers in the place of Adam Muller, at the same time that Lindley replaced Garner.
Whereas one was impressive and showed a good touch and pace, the other one was Danny Davidson .... and he struggled to get into the game.
Really struggled!
Sometimes strikers have a lean time of things when they're getting use to their new team mates, ask Chelsea FC about that.
But Davidson, well, he's a target man who needs a smaller nippy striker playing off him. He is most definitely not an out and out striker.
His footwork left a hell of a lot to be desired when he gave the ball away deep into the Staveley half, allowing the Derbyshire side hit Worksop on the counter attack ... and within seconds they had switched play from one end to the other and Simon Baraclough had scored the equaliser.
Staveley used the ball well when they had it, whereas Worksop yet again had squandered possession cheaply and been made to pay the price.
Bambi & Thumper

The difference today was that one side wanted to play the ball around, while the other resorted to direct tactics and lost the ball far too often.
The NCEL website said Staveley had won the game 2-1, they hadn't, but it would've been a fair result.
That website's been amended now and they have also credited Turner's goal to 'Unknown OG' ... I'm sticking to giving Ben the goal, whilst conceding it needed a touch on the way in.
Staveley's league season starts next Saturday when they visit Brighouse Town (via a midweek friendly at AFC Emley), Worksop Town's manager Martin McIntosh will be glad the Evo-Stik season starts a week later, giving him a bit more time to fine tune a few things, starting on Tuesday night at Shirebrook Town.