Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Sutton Town AFC 0 v Basford United 1 - CMFL Floodlit Cup (South)

Wednesday 28th March 2012, at the Fieldings
Central Midlands League, Phoenix Trophies, Floodlit Cup (South)
Sutton Town AFC (0) 0
Basford United (0) 1 - Darren Garmston 79
Admission £3, Programme £1 , Attendance 38 or so
Sutton Town AFC
1. Jordan Riley 2. James Whitehead 3. Nathan Hollingworth
4. Gavin Short 5. Craig Charlesworth 6. Joe Atkinson
7. Danny Tighe 8. Chris Rhodes 9. Dale Gilliatt 10. Craig Mitchell 11. Richard Giles
Subs - 12. Dom Whitton 14. Ian Streather 15. Dean Mitchell
Basford United
1. Curtis MacDonald 2. Richard Harrison 3. Ben Moore
4. Ashleigh Dyce 5. Martin holt 6. Wayne Jones
7. Darren Garmston 8. Tian Walton 9. Aaron Hooton
10. Cashell Walters 11. Courtney Hastings
Subs - 12. Jarred Westcarr 14. Carl Westcarr 15. John Manders
Fortunately, my serendipitous geographical instincts, led us straight to The Fieldings, via a route that skirted around the perimeter of Mansfield, instead of funnelling us right through the centre of town, where we would have had to contend with the 347 traffic lights (approximate headcount) on the A38, that the road planners cursed this municipal borough with, as a punishment for having been really naughty in a previous life.
Even more fortuitously, I arrived in the nick of time to claim the last available space in the car park, a good 30 seconds before Richard Lane, the delegation from Newark Town FC, got there and had to turn around and find somewhere else to abandon his motor conveyance instead.
On the strength of tonight's victory, Basford United will now face Newark Town in the CMFL South floodlit final.
Whoever wins that game, plays Ollerton Town, who have already won the final of the CMFL North competition, in the overall final.
For the benefit of those of you who are unfamiliar with CMFL politics:
The North/South divide came about this season, mainly for the benefit of the clubs in the CMFL South, who wanted an excuse to wimp out of games against some of the better teams in the CMFL North. Fact!
However, for the record, league newcomers Basford United and their opponents in the CMFL South final, Newark Town, are amongst the better sides in their division.
The first half was a lively enough affair, if bereft of many clear cut chances, but it was end to end and non stop never the less.
Basford just about shaded the opening 45 minutes, using the natural gradient of the pitch to their advantage, with Cashell Walters coming closest to breaking the deadlock for the visitors.
The pace was hectic as the game ebbed and flowed one way then the other at regular intervals, or to put it into plain English: it was a bit kick and rush.
Basford substitute Jarred Westcarr was a live-wire after entering the fray and ten minutes into the second half it looked as if he'd put United in front.
But while several of his team mates prematurely yelled "GOOOOAL!!!" in unison, the ball came back into play off the inside of the upright with Sutton's keeper Jordan Riley well beaten.
Just after the hour, Westcarr (J), once again, came close, when a right wing corner into a packed goalmouth was cleared to the edge of the box and he unleashed a shot from the edge of the box, but his effort flew narrowly wide (and high).
Sutton's Richard Giles and Basford's Jarred Westcarr went head to head after what appeared to be a heavy and clumsy challenge by the former.
This was the cue for several players from both teams to indulge in some unsightly handbags at ten paces posturing and bickering.
In the aftermath both Giles and Westcarr were yellow carded.
Having seen a hand raised during the incident, possibly 'somebody' was fortunate not to see a red. But if the referee didn't spot it, I'm not grassing the guilty party up.
Darren Garmston's stunning goal on 79 minutes, was worthy of winning any game, even a scrappy and occasionally volatile one like this.
He struck the ball home with such ferocity from 18 yards out, that two goalkeepers wouldn't have been able to stop it.
The niggling and histrionics seemed to have abated, but with a few minutes remaining, Basford's Martin Holt ran 10 yards to 'confront' the referee over a free kick that had been awarded against him.
The decision to blow up for a foul was 100% correct, but possibly only booking Holt for squaring up to and unloading a barrage of foul language at the referee wasn't.
The referee had made a few honest mistakes and curious decisions over the course of the game, but he was dead right to blow his whistle this time.
"Don't let him talk to you like that Ref!"
A pot, kettle, black moment.
The referee called for Basford's goalkeeper and captain, to come 40 yards from his area, to help defuse the situation and calm his centre half down.
Holt's protestations that it was his 'first tackle' - What!? By a centre half with 86 minutes of the game already gone? And that he'd only wanted to talk to the referee - after charging up to him and behaving aggressively, right in Mr Abbott's face - were picked up on by the local supporters stood nearby.
Some hooted with incredulous laughs of derision, others, one in particular, were 'ever so slightly' more forthright, but the swearword filter on my blog settings forbids me from repeating any of the wholly justified home truths that were growled towards both the Basford number 5 and the match official.
It's a real shame he acted like that in the heat of the moment, because hitherto, Holt had been one of the better players over the 90 minutes, as the visitors held a tight back line across the pitch.
Basford United, obviously have strength in depth, with some real quality coming off the bench tonight too.
But even though the match officials didn't really help matters at times, the visitors need to take a couple of chill pills and concentrate on doing what they're good at ... because frankly, they're rubbish when it comes to gamesmanship and dishing it out.
Hopefully they'll stick to playing football the next time I see them in action, because for spells, there were genuine signs that they can play that really well.
So Basford United march on to the area final, in a steady if unspectacular fashion.
The date and venue are both still TBC.