Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Harworth Colliery Institute U19 2 v West Bridgford Colts U19 2 - Baris North Midlands U19 League

Wednesday 5th October 2011, at Scrooby Road
North Midlands U19 League Division 2
Harworth CI U19 (1) 2
(Lewis Francis 42, 73)
West Bridgford Colts U19 (2) 2
(Atticus Osborn 15, Dom Stables or OG 44)
Admission £2, Programme £1, Attendance 39
Okay I give in, where is that elusive win for Harworth Under 19's hiding?
Five games in and they have a return of one defeat and four draws.
Tonight, when the visitors took the lead, I thought I might be watching the game through slightly biased eyes, that are too busy looking for the positives in Harworth's performance to see how well the opposition were performing, but when Atticus Osborn's determined run into the box saw him put away a very well taken goal on fifteen minutes, my mate from Mansfield who was at the game with me said "He took that well, but Harworth could've been three up by now"
He was right ...
Lewis Francis should've opened the scoring early on after a good pass from Liam Ainger had put him through, but his close range shot was saved and the keeper held on to Ryan Foster's effort from the rebound too.
Another well measured through ball from Ainger put Connor Gresham in on goal, he took the ball around the keeper and knocked it towards the open target, but a last ditch clearance from an alert Colts defender who had sprinted back saw the ball knocked away to safety.
West Bridgford look a much better team than they were last season and once they had weathered the early pressure, looked quite capable of knocking the ball around well and playing some decent passing football.
Harworth disappeared into their shell for a short while but came good again towards the end of the first half.
Connor Gresham had a shot well saved and Liam Ainger blasted a shot narrowly wide.
Atti Osborn, the visiting managers son, looks like a good prospect, but his shot on 39 minutes was well saved by Tom Hogg.
With half time approaching fast, Lewis Francis, fresh from his goal for the first team last night, equalised for Harworth, Christian Lukey and Connor Gresham combined to create the chance and Francis chipped the ball neatly just inside the post.
However from Lukey at one end, the game went to flukey at the other, when in the last minute of the half Colts Dom Stables completely miss hit his shot, but it ricocheted off a Harworth defender and wrong footed Tom Hogg ... and West Bridgford were ahead again.

West Bridgford tightened up their defence in the second half and were proving to be a tough nut to crack for Harworth, as they came out looking to salvage something from a game they should've been winning, but for some wayward finishing touches in and around the visitors goal mouth.
Ten minutes into the second half, Ryan Foster pulled the ball wide of the target with just the keeper to beat.
He was making the right runs and finding the space to create opportunities, but it just wasn't going to be his night.
Harworth were now playing with the wind behind them, but rather than using it to their benefit, more often than not found the 'advantage' of having the weather on their side put too much speed and purchase on the ball and made it difficult to control.
Harworth CI U19 Programme 2011-12, back cover.

Harworth reshuffled their pack and threw on two more attackers in a bid to get back into the game.
One of them Tom Sowden, set up Lewis Francis for his equalising goal, from a quality and powerful strike from 25 yards out on 73 minutes.
Maybe that is the solution to Harworth's quest for a victory ... instruct the team to only go for spectacular strikes on goal, because they're having bugger all luck with all the close range sitters they've been creating.
Tom Hogg pulled off another great stop from the ever lively Atticus Osborn, I think it would be fair to say Tom is cementing himself in that position for the remainder of the season. He played for Paul Phillip's Worksop Town Under 18's team last season, but he has settled in well at Scrooby Road now and established his place in the team.
There are players I haven't mentioned who worked hard and played well tonight, but all round it was a good team performance from Harworth, who bounced back well from last weeks heavy reversal ... a bit more concentration in front of the oppositions goal tonight and the Colliery side would've shot up the table to second position, until tomorrow at least.
West Bridgford Colts are much improved from last season and they try to play the game the right way.
I reckon a few teams in this division might be in for a surprise when they come up against the Colts 2011-12 crop of players.

Next up: Worksop Town U19 v Retford United U19 at Shirebrook Town tomorrow.