Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Shirebrook Town 2 v Gresley FC 3 AET - FA Cup Preliminary Round Replay

My original destination for tonight, was a run down to Pinxton to see Harworth Colliery Under 19's in action, but a phone call while I was at Arnold Town on Monday, about running the rule over a couple of Frickley Athletic Under 19's players in their game at Rossington Main, meant a change of plan.
Alas 40 minutes before the scheduled kick off, when I arrived at Oxford Street, it was apparent that something had gone awry.
Their were loads of Rossington U19 and U17 players about but nobody from Frickley.
The goal posts were leaning up against the fences at either end of the pitch while a groundsman was tending the pitch.
He looked a bit confused to see the Donny Rovers scout and myself trying the tea hut door and came over to tell us the news ... 'Game off!'
The Rossington lads were just here tonight for training.
Hmm, not an earthly chance of getting to Pinxton now either.
I didn't wait for an explanation as to why the game wasn't going ahead ... I had noticed Shirebrook had a mouthwatering FA Cup replay tonight against Gresley FC and figured 25 miles in 35 minutes on fairly decent A roads wasn't out of the question.
I passed Worksop Town's rented home just off Sandy Lane at just before 7.30 and saw that the floodlights were on, so they must've had a game too, but I was unmoved in my quest to reach Langwith Road via the A60 and Cuckney and rolled into a prime parking spot on the grass right outside the turnstiles at Shirebrook with three minutes to spare.
That nice Aimee Radford, the STFC Secretary, was near the entrance when I got in, writing the finishing touches to the team line ups in her spiral bound note book ...
... it's good to know, in the chaotic and male dominated world of local football, somebody at least was making an effort to be organised.
Ta very much young lady.
As the game kicked off, I checked my phone for messages, I always turn it off when I'm driving, being all law abiding n' that.
18:32 'Waitey, don't go to Rozzo, the game with Frickley is off, we're at Yorkshire Main, your attendance would be appreciated'.
19:20 'U got off to a flyer m8, I'm stuck at Rossington Xing, you'll be there ages b4 me'.
Hmm, I could tell people how to get out of Rossington without having the inevitable wait at the East Coast Main Line crossing barriers, but I don't want everybody using my short-cut through the housing estate that brings you out near Harworth, because I need the roads to be clear when I need a quick escape in future too.
So I won't!
Wednesday 7th September 2011, at Langwith Road
Shirebrook Town (1) 2 - 2
Pete Stubley 34, Danny Naylor (or Lee Barrow OG) 74
Gresley FC (0) 2 - 3
Royce Turville 79 pen, 89 pen, Jermaine Gordon 110
Score after 90 mins 2-2, Gresley FC won after extra time
Admission £4, Programme £1, Attendance 166

Shirebrook Town
1 Jason White, 2 Luke Thomas, 3 Lewis Jackson, 4 Michael Hewitt, 5 Jordan Johnson (17 Kyle Ludlow), 6 Brenden Sweeney (c), 7 Kristian Watson, 8 Sam Holmes, 9 Peter Stubley (14 Richard Lyall), 10 Carl Haslam, 11 Ben Bowring (12 Danny Naylor)
Subs not used - 15 Steve McGurk, 16 Gavin Jackson
Gresley FC
1 Gary Hateley, 2 Jamie Barrett, 3 Adam Betteridge, 4 Lee Barrow, 5 Barry Woolley (12 Jack Coulson) , 6 Carl Slater (c), 7 Aaron Dillon (15 Ashley Day), 8 Gareth Langford, 9 Royce Turville, 10 Richard Hanslow (14 Jermaine Gordon), 11 Marc Goodfellow
Subs not used - 16 Richard Butler, 17 Darren Keeling
I perused the Shirebrook line up ... with Holmes, Watson and Moriarty in their line up ... Whoops! I meant Holmes, Watson and Haslam, the team sheet looked pretty much like Shirebrook has become a retirement home for ex Kirkby Town players ... it was Kristian Watson who played tonight, not his brother Keiron (another ex Kirkby player who is also now at Shirebrook) but that's elementary.
Jason White kept goal for the home side, he was beaten three times over the course of 120 minutes, twice from penalties in the last ten minutes of normal time.
However he's become quite a competent and steady goalkeeper since I saw him looking slightly less convincing during his formative career as a youngster at Mansfield Town. Supporters of both teams spoke highly of him tonight.
The game itself was feisty, with far more guts and determination on display than skill and application.
But I really enjoyed it.
Pete Stubley netted the only goal of an incident packed first half after 34 minutes, knocking home a left wing cross just inside the near post and out the reach of Gresley's keeper Gary Hateley.
If Stubley had hit the ball cleanly instead of scuffing it, it possibly wouldn't have gone in, but we'll never know ... or care, because it did ... Goooooal!
One nil to Shirebrook, they all count.
And that's how it stayed until half time. I took advantage of the 15 minute break to get myself a cup of coffee, while Carl Haslam skipped the team talk and nipped over to the touchline for a cigarette with his pals ... no, seriously!
The maverick Haslam has his own fan club ... I investigated the squeals of delight emanating from the stand each and every time young Hazza got the ball, expecting to find a pre pubescent girl ... and I did ... but she's trapped in a bearded thirty something's chubby male body.
Here, for your reading pleasure, is a mighty fine article, put together by the Carl Haslam appreciation society ...
... good work that fella!
Early in the second half, the referee awarded Shirebrook a penalty.
Then after consultation with his lines-person, 'unawarded' it again.
Very curious ... a penalty should have been awarded when a Gresley player scooped the ball away from danger with his hand as Pete Stubley was bearing down on goal having been put through by a pass from Kristian Watson.
After the game, the referee Kevin Guise said his assistant Brittany Smith had flagged for offside in the build up to the foul, but then lowered her flag and called him over after the incident.
Hmm, well Stubley wasn't offside, his pace took him past a couple of defenders before the foul. The Shirebrook fans, management and committee were incandescent with rage ... their opposition obviously thought the officials got it right ... and me personally, hmm, me thinks that was a monumental cock up Mr Referee.
Gresley kept chipping away trying to get back into the game, "There'll only be one winner tonight now after that" shouted out the parent of a current Belper Town and Former Worksop Town player, obviously forgetting that this was an FA Cup Replay and basically his prediction was entire premise upon which this game was staged in the first place.
But Danny Naylor, on as a second half sub for the home side wasn't about to let Gresley back into the game ... his shot on 74 minutes hit Lee Barrow and took a wickedly deflected looping trajectory over Gary Hateley en route to the back of the net, to make it 2-0.
Interestingly, Gresley's website mentions Naylor as having been involved in the goal on 74 minutes, but in their match stats, they say he came on as a sub in the 89th minute.
He may have used ESP to influence the second goal from on the bench, but on the other hand, Gresley's webmaster might want to tweak the facts a bit instead ;-)
With ten minutes to go, Royce Turville was fouled as he ran into the Shirebrook box, there was certainly enough contact for a penalty to be awarded and though there were definitely valid claims that Shirebrook had been robbed by Kevin Guise's earlier mistake at the other end of the pitch, I reckon he called this one right.
Turville got to his feet, sent Jason White the wrong way ... and Gresley were back in the hunt.
The tackles started flying in, one in particular, from Gresley's Gareth Langford saw him booked for a nasty lunge from behind. A stronger referee might have shown a red card.
The foul sparked a flurry of pushing and shoving between the players and coaching staff from both sides ... unsightly maybe, but hardly a proper scrap and order (of a fashion) was restored fairly quickly.
In the final minute of normal time, Lee Barrow powered a header at the Shirebrook goal, Lewis Jackson saved it ... alas he wasn't the goalkeeper.
Some Shirebrook fans claimed ball to hand, saying Jackson couldn't get out of the way in time, some Gresley fans wanted Jackson dismissing for a handball that denied them a certain goal.
Mr Guise awarded the penalty (correctly IMHO) and then booked Lewis Jackson.
Either it was an infringement of the rules ... and an offence that warranted a red card, or it wasn't and a penalty kick shouldn't have been awarded.
A yellow card was neither here nor there ... who'd be a referee?
Hopefully not Kevin Guise at any match I'm present at any time soon!
Once more, Royce Turville made no mistake from the spot and the game was going into extra time.
Shirebrook, who had already given their all, started the first half of extra time with a sense of determination and Hateley in Gresley's goal had to be vigilant and agile three times in quick succession. One stop in particular, reminded me of a certain save I've seen replayed on TV many times before when it looked for all the world as if Carl Haslam had scored.

But then the visitors took their turn to try forcing the issue.
The Moatmen's captain, Carl Slater, had the ball in the net, but his effort was flagged for offside.
But on 110 minutes Jermaine Gordon forced the ball home, after Royce Turville's original effort had come back off the crossbar and caused a goalmouth scramble.
The Shirebrook website's match report said ... Gordon ,who despite being the biggest and heaviest player in both games, had fallen over more times than a drunk one legged man. His histrionics demeaned the performance of his team-mates ... so err, I don't think they were too happy with the goalscorers contribution to the game then :-O
To compound Shirebrook's misery, Lewis Jackson received his second yellow card and his marching orders and it was a bridge too far for them to find the goal that would take the game to penalties, with a man short.
Gordon's goal was the last of the night, the rest of the game was punctuated by Gresley players going down with alleged cramp/apparent injuries/time wasting intentions.
The magic of the FA Cup had done a vanishing trick for the Langwith Road side, for another season, but they could be proud of their efforts in this tie.
NEXT UP - Rise of the Planet of the Apes at Doncaster Vue.
After the shocker of a game at Wembley on Tuesday night, I had to get to another football match ASAP to reaffirm my belief in the game.
To that end, Shirebrook Town v Gresley FC was the perfect antidote to the Euro 2012 Qualifier.
Even worse than England's performance against the 117th best team in the world however, was the worse film of all time, Apollo 18, that I saw on Sunday ... so I'm heading back to the cinema with the Queen of Ceylon tomorrow night just to make sure all modern films aren't as bad as that.