Monday 26th March 2012, at Inkersall Road
North Midlands Under 19 League, Division 1
Staveley Miners Welfare (0) 0
Handsworth (3) 4
Sam Smith 10, Jerome Grant 15 ,
Faffy Gwindi 23 , George Snelling 78
Admission £2, Programme 50p, Attendance 100+
Thank you to Ele Reaney for the team details :-)
Virtually (but not quite yet), a title deciding fixture, between the two heavyweights of local Under 19's football.
Staveley kicked off 3 points ahead of 2nd placed Handsworth in the table, but the visitors from Sheffield have a game in hand over their Derbyshire hosts.
Two sides are the only two teams in Division 1 who are still in with a shout of winning the title.
The remaining fixtures that will decide where the title finally goes are:
Wednesday 4th April, Sheffield v Handsworth
Tuesday 10th April, Arnold Town v Staveley MW
Wednesday 11th April, Teversal v Handsworth
THE66POW thrill seekers society, actually went to Arnold last Monday night to see Staveley U19's in action, but when we arrived, found that the pitch was waterlogged and the game was off.
The weather all over Nottinghamshire was fine so we hadn't even checked before setting off either.
*That* damn pitch at Eagle Valley has been nothing since trouble since they paid a whole load of money to have it laid.
It's time to rip it up and start again if you ask me.
Prior to kick off, a minutes silence was held in tribute to Roger Evans, the local referee, who sadly passed away after taking charge of the South Normanton v Borrowash Victoria reserves fixture on Saturday afternoon.
Condolences and commiserations to all of Roger's family and friends
It takes something special, performance wise, to turn this Staveley side over by four goals to nil in their own back yard.
But credit where it's due - Handsworth were outstanding.
And the result didn't flatter them at all.
They have been worthy champions of this league for the last few seasons and have now hoisted themselves into pole position to repeat that feat yet again.
Before tonight, Staveley (like Handsworth) were unbeaten in all of their previous league games.
But after 23 minutes, they were under the cosh and reeling from an unexpected invasion from Handsworth's shock troops. And already chasing a three goal deficit.
Sure, everybody was expecting the visitors to be good, but they were quite exceptional and after the lively opening exchanges, where both sides weighed each other up, they had the Blues on the back foot for the remainder of the first half and for long spells of the second one too.
The game was only a few minutes old when the visitors stated their intentions, with Pat Lindley sending Jerome Grant clear, but the Handsworth number 10 shot across the face of the goal and his effort spun went narrowly wide.
10 minutes in, Sam Smith headed them in front, at the back pos.t from Richard Tootle's left wing cross.
The diminutive Tootle's input throughout the game, both at set pieces and in supplying a steady stream of crosses was immense.
Goal number two wasn't long in coming ... Jerome Green got on the end of a neat pass from Danny Ingram, got the ball trapped between his legs, but still managed to get his shot on target.
In the 23rd minutes, Staveley were three goals behind, when Faffy Gwindi, directed the ball home amidst a six yard box scrummage following a corner from Tootle.
The last action of a fairly one sided first half saw Adam Ledger in the Blues goal, get down to comfortably hold onto a 20 yard free kick from Tootle.
Jerome Green nearly extended the visitors lead, but he shot straight at Adam Ledger when he was clean through with just the keeper to beat.
Ledger was soon in the thick of it again having to save well from Pat Lindley.
With 15 minutes remaining, Lee Anthony skinned Richard Tootle down the right wing, but any threat from his cross was soon snubbed out.
Brad Jones swung a free kick into the visitors box, Ross Goodwin headed the ball powerfully and on target, but Danny Williams in the Handsworth goal pulled of a great save at the expense of a corner.
The visitors cleared the corner, hit Staveley on the break and within seconds were in on goal at the other end as Jack Williams found George Snelling with a long, searching pass. 0-4 and game over!
It's not all over bar the shouting just yet, but you'd have to say the title is now Handsworth's to either clinch or throw away.
Staveley will give it all they've got at Arnold, while hoping Handsworth drop points at Sheffield and Teversal.
Handsworth were a class act tonight and they made a very good Staveley side look very ordinary at times.
Well played Handsworth, that was quality.
The Inkersall Road ground, has been completely revamped (yet again) this past week.
With four new terracing areas springing up, while enough tarmac to fill all the potholes in the nearby A619, has been laid on all four sides of the pitch, in readiness for the Evo-Stik League ground grading committee, should the club gain promotion at the end of the season.
And, of course, there is still a new stand earmarked to go up behind the dug outs in the near future.
It's boom time at Staveley Miners Welfare!!!
On Saturday, it is the biggest day in the club's history, when they host Dunston UTS in the 2nd leg of the FA Vase semi final.
Anybody who goes to the game who hasn't visited Staveley MW for a while, will be very impressed with all the recent ground improvements.
And by all accounts, Billy Fox's team are going to give it a real go, as they start the game 1-0 down from the first leg on Saturday.
With a place in the Wembley final at stake for the winners, it should be quite an occasion.