Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Rossington Main 2 v. Albion Sports 3 - Baris NCEL Wilkinson Sword Trophy, 1st Round

Tuesday August 9th 2011, at Oxford Street
Baris NCEL Wilkinson Sword Trophy, 1st Round
Rossington Main (0) 2
Liam Charlton 62, Tom Jepsom 74
Albion Sports (0) 3
Alex Cusack 48, Jamie Bairstow 61, Joe Brown 68
Admission £4, Programme £1.50, Attendance 80
August and already a contender for programme of the season, what a great effort.
Peter Murden, programme editor and website geezer, I salute you.
Weighing in at 68 pages, I thought I must have picked two up (at least) by mistake, when I entered the ground.
On Saturday, the opening day of the NCEL Division 1 campaign, both of these sides had been involved in high scoring games.
Rossington Main won 5-0 at Teversal ... and Albion Sports came back form 3-0 down to draw 3-3 at Grimsby Borough.
So we weren't expecting a defensive stalemate at Oxford Street tonight.
In the event, we got to see an enthralling cup tie, with two sides on the attack throughout, chances galore at either end and both teams taking it in turns to put the opposition on the back foot for sustained spells.
Other members of my travelling 'circus' opted to go to Hull City v Macclesfield Town tonight and on "A Night of Carling Cup Upsets" saw the Silkmen come away from the KC Stadium with a 2-0 victory, but I'm glad we opted for Rossington instead.
There was an Under 8's game on the pitch at half time, hence Rossington had a whole army of little mascots for the game, all decked out in the club's new kit, that also features the new club crest design; a tasteful design that features the flag of England, the white Yorkshire Rose and a picture of Rossington Colliery.
Rossington should have been ahead inside the first ten minutes, when Lewis Hilton tore into the Albion box and knocked a cross over for Liam Charlton who headed wide.
But a quick turn around in play saw Lee Appleby, the Blues keeper, in action twice in quick succession.
Jordan Missin found himself in space with just Appleby to beat and hit his effort low and hard, but Appleby managed to get his foot to it and put the ball wide.
The 'Rosso' keeper then saved well from a Danny Brown header following the the flag kick.
Back down the other end, again, Aaron Brian in the Albion goal held Hilton's effort well after the hard working Main left back Ben Hunter had got a good cross in.
Minutes later Jordan Hatton was unlucky not to open the scoring for the home side when he lashed a thundering shot from the edge of the box.
Danny Brown at the back for Albion Sports looked very comfortable on the ball, but both defences were getting plenty of opportunities to shine tonight, given the amount of attacking play they were up against.
Steven Pattison was guilty of a glaring miss on 35 minutes, when he beat Lee Appleby to a 50/50 ball on the edge of the box, lobbed him, ran on ... and crashed his final finish against the bar from less than two yards out, after he'd done all the hard work.
Albion Sports finished the half strong and Appleby had to tip an header over from Joe Brown, after a long throw from Danny Brown had cleared the entire defence.
I don't know if Danny and Joe Brown are related or not, maybe they're Bruvvers!? ... What A Crazy World We're Living In!
Alex Cusack finally opened the scoring early in the second half, when he smashed home a shot from just inside the box. Appleby got his fingertips to the stinging drive, but couldn't prevent the visitors going ahead.
The Blues keeper was in action again after 55 minutes, when he tipped over an effort from the Albion captain Jordan Missin.
But Rossington went straight back up towards the railway end of the ground (it's the East Coast Main Line for the benefit of all you trainspotters out there) and Hatton shot narrowly wide.
Just after the hour mark, Albion's Jamie Bairstow latched onto a loose ball in the middle of the park, he spotted Lee Appleby had come off his line and lobbed the Blues keeper from all of 40 yards to give his side a two goal advantage.
But within a minute Liam Charlton had halved the arrears and a quick passing move straight from the restart caught the Bradford based visitors flat footed.
This is the first time I've ever seen Albion Sports play, they are a new addition to the NCEL this season having made the step up from the West Riding County Amateur League.
Sports are ground sharing at the Horsfall Stadium in Bradfford and though I've already seen their landlords Bradford Park Avenue play there many times before, on this showing I'll endeavour to get up to West Yorkshire to see them play a 'home' game this season.
I was very impressed with their commitment to playing open, attacking football tonight.
Rossington too, were keen to take the game to their lively visitors and didn't let going two goals behind knock thwart their own ambitions of pushing for a place in the next round of this competition, which they reached the final of last season.
At 1-2 the game was finely poised and could still have gone either way.
Joe Brown went on a mazy run down the right channel and crossed to Alex Cusack who fired narrowly wide.
Shortly afterwards, Brown (J) sprinted into the box along with his captain Jordan Missin, who unselfishly laid the ball sideways to Brown instead of shooting ... Brown gratefully accepted the responsibility of putting Albion 3-1 ahead.
Missin then almost put the tie out of reach but thumped a 25 yard effort against the foot of the post.
But Rossington's never say die focus was still intact and Liam Charlton was unlucky to see an angled shot across the face of goal go marginally wide of the left hand post.
On 74 minutes it was game on again as Tom Jepson struck from just inside the left hand side of the visitors penalty area to make it 2-3.
Albion Sports pushed down the left through Alex Cusack a couple of times, as they tried to finish the game off, but it was Rossington who had the bulk of the play for the remainder of the game as they upped their efforts to force the tie into extra time.
Right at the death, Richard Spears, Main's right back, found Will McGhie with a long searching cross from the right that sat up nicely for the home captain to finish. McGhie hit an unstoppable shot that had Aaron Brian well beaten, but his last ditch effort flew inches over the crossbar. Those few vital inches were the difference between an extra half hour and possible penalties, or going out of the WST this season.
It was an agonising way for Rossington Main to finish what had been a cracking game, well played both sides.
Left click images to enlarge