Tuesday 31st January, at Scrooby Road, Bircotes
Windsor Foodservice Central Midlands Football League,
Baris League Challenge Cup, 2nd Round Replay
Harworth Colliery Institute (0) 1
Gareth Sides 80 pen
Belper United (0) 0
Admission £3 inc. programme
Harworth Colliery Institute
1. Mark Latham 2. David Cornthwaite 3. Michael Nugent 4. David Reeve 5. Stuart Needham 6. Bobby Johnson 7. Louis Reed 8. Simon Wars 9. Gareth Sides 10. Kev Shelley 11. Jordan Pickering
Subs - 12. Luke Edwards 14. Matt Bradley 15. James Stuart
1. Adam Jablonski 2. Oliver Kelly 3. Eddie Bridges 4. Adam Taylor 5. Dave Bacon 6. Scott Slater 7. Richard Searson 8. Tony Hemmings 9. Jamie Wilde 10. Richard Clarke 11. Kyle Wadsworth
Subs - 12. Karl Payne 14. Darren Mayes 15. Steve Watson
Belper United are CMFL newcomers this season, they play in the Southern division.
While Harworth CI ply their trade in the Northern section.
When the two sides met, for the first time ever, at Alton Manor back on January 7th, the game ended in a 2-2 draw, hence the need for a tonight's replay at Scrooby Road.
A Gareth Sides penalty, in the 80th minute, separated the sides at the end of this one.
But it beggars belief that neither team had managed to convert a number of great chances either side of that.
Kev Shelley hit the post inside the first 5 minutes, it set the tone for the rest of the first half.
Belper's Adam Taylor was the next player to be given the chance to break the deadlock, but in a one on one with Mark Latham, the Harworth keeper saved well to win that particular duel.
With 20 minutes gone, Jordan Pickering cleverly released Louis Reed inside the visitors box and it took a fine one handed save at full stretch from Adam Jablonski to turn the ball away to safety.
Belper attacked again, Tony Hemmings, who was central to most of their forward play tonight, released right back Oliver Kelly on the overlap, whose dipping shot skimmed the top of the cross bar.
The best chance of the first half fell to Gaz Sides, who sprang the offside trap and found himself clean through facing Adam Jablonski charging from his line.
The Harworth centre forward chose to hit the ball instead of placing it, or lobbing the keeper and miscued his effort straight into the Belper keeper's arms.
A few minutes later from a difficult angle, Sides fired just over the bar.
Belper finished the first half strong and Mark Latham had to be alert to keep the ball out during a goalmouth scramble.
Half time ... goalless.
With the temperature dropping rapidly, the second half was far more cagey from the outset.
But the incident counter soon picked up pace again, especially in the last twenty minutes.Bobby Johnson laid an inch perfect pass for Kev Shelley to run on to but the linesman's flag put paid to that effort as the Harworth striker lined up his shot.
At the other end, Belper's Richard Clarke air kicked with the goal at his mercy and Mark Latham gratefully gathered the ball.
Belper had a few good efforts during the next few minutes, Jamie Wilde saw his header from a right wing cross well saved and then Mark Latham held onto Richard Clarke's free kick from the edge of the box.
With 15 minutes remaining, you could hear the unmistakable sound of studs rattling on the hardening pitch, reminding us that the weather forecasters have been predicting the worse over the next few days.Louis Reed sprayed a pass out to Sides on the right wing, who's pinpoint cross found Kev Shelley, but his header was inches wide of the left hand upright.
We began to joke about how cold it was going to be when extra time arrived, while secretly wishing somebody, anybody! Would score a solitary goal to spare us the extra half an hour of seasonal January weather.
On 80 minutes, Reed ran into the goal area as Jablonski charged off his line, the Belper keeper's momentum skittled the Harworth captain and a penalty was awarded.
The visitors bench and their followers were incensed, but if the incident had happened at the other end, they would happily have accepted the decision with good grace.
Likewise, if the roles were reversed, Harworth would've felt it was a soft penalty and a harsh call too.
However, the keeper took the man, not the ball, end of.
It didn't help matters that the referee was having such a poor game tonight.
Either way, Sides despatched the spot kick.
With the clock ticking down, Jordan Pickering put a right wing corner into the path of Bobby Johnson, but the Belper defence charged down his shot.The visitors threw everybody forward looking for a late equaliser ... but Louis Reed cleared his lines, sent Bobby Johnson on an upfield run and with Jablonski well off his line, having gone upfield to help out with in attack, Bobby decided to aim for the open goal from 45 yards out.
His shot, agonisingly, hit the foot of the post and bounced back into play.
But all the drama was at the other end of the pitch.
Before Reed had cleared his lines the ball did appear to bounce up and hit him on the hand.
It didn't look like a deliberate offence, but it changed the momentum of the ball and made controlling the pass to Johnson a whole lot easier.
I think it was on the ref's blind side, which is the only reason I can think of why he didn't give United a last minute penalty.
For the record, I would've given one ... and I wanted Harworth to win.
A Belper fan stood near us, who had complained about absolutely everything from the word go, almost went into meltdown at this point.
Chill out pal, it's only a game ;-)
Amidst the ensuing shouting, finger-pointing and histrionics, hardly anybody noticed that Mark Latham saved a late effort from Karl Payne to preserve Harworth's lead and see them through to the next round, for the first time since the year dot.
Full time 1-0.
It's a shame that those of you who left early, missed all the drama at the end :-P
That's what you get for wearing a St. Mirren hat to games!
Referee mark out of 10 ... 4, he stepped in at short notice, credit to him for that ... and he was presentable. But apart from that, by and large he missed a few important things over the course of the game and didn't impress anybody tonight.
I realise it's a thankless task being a CMFL referee and I don't envy a single one of the officials in this league, but I'm just being honest and calling things as I saw them.
Please note, that the 4/10 is my own mark, I'm not officially involved with either team.