Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Newark Town 3 v Clifton FC 4 (AET) - Notts FA Senior Cup Semi Final

"Did I ever mention that I used to play for Grantham?"
Wednesday 4th April 2012,
at Station Road, Collingham
Nottinghamshire FA Senior Cup Semi Final
Newark Town 3
Sam Wilford 75, Joe Parlatt OG 90(+5), Ben Ginnelly 108
Clifton FC 4
Michael Evans 10, 44, 102, Michael Bannister 119
45 mins 0-2
90+5 mins 2-2
105 mins 2-3
120 mins 3-4
Admission £3 Programme £1,
Dunham Toll Bridge 36p (post Budget VAT increase)
Attendance 116
A sorcerer and his apprentice
I live with a White (goods) Witch.
Due to the static her constant state of inertia creates, she causes every electrical appliance in my house she ever touches, to blow up or malfunction.
Last night, it was my almost brand new, swanky ceramic hob cooker, that she almost managed to wipe out.
So, I was laid on my kitchen floor, contorted into a tight corner, in between the fitted units, up to my eyes in a rewiring job, when I should've been whizzing up the A1 to South Elmsall, for the Sheffield Senior Cup semi final between Frickley Athletic and Sheffield FC.
A tradesman's estimate for labour, parts and a call out charge came well over £200 (almost the price of a new cooker), but I successfully completed the repairs for a total outlay of £16.08.
I'm obviously in the wrong line of work.
By the time I'd messed about with all the fiddly little bits (there were only four, origin unknown, small screws left over when I'd finished), I couldn't even have got to the game at Westfield Lane in time on her broomstick, so I had a night in instead.
I'll never reach my current target of 150 games this season if this carries on!
Congratulations are due, to Peter Rinkcavage and his Frickley team, who will now play in the Final at Hillsborough, by virtue of Danny South's 89th minute goal in a tight 1-0 win over 'the oldest football club in the world'.
They will face the winners of the Penistone Church or Worksop Town semi, in the final.
Obviously, 'Team Rinky' must be odds on favourites to win that competition now.
Newark mascot Theo Stevens keeps a watchful eye on the pre kick off formalities

But enough preamble about my blissful domestic arrangements and games I haven't even seen :-( because of 'Sabrina's' accident proneness ... and on with tonight's main event:
Newark Town1 Garry Atwood, 2 George Pailing, 3 Mark Ellison, 4 Ryan Stafford, 5 Ricky Brewer, 6 Jamie Brooks, 7 Ian Hillier, 8 Tom Mallinson, 9 Callum Fraser, 10 Dominic Swingler, 11 Sam Wilford
Subs - 12 Craig Roche, 14 Ben Ginnelly, 15 JC McDonald, 16 Luke Parsons
Clifton FC
1 Joe Parlatt , 2 Michael Bannister, 3 Lee Torr, 4 Stuart Robinson, 5 Tony Murray, 6 Jake Richardson, 7 Ben Richardson, 8 Craig Anderson, 9 Alex Haughton, 10 Michael Evans, 11 Dorian Miller
Subs - 12 Ryan Stark, 14 Will Heath, 15 Michael Holtham, 16 Chris Atkins
Thanks once again to 'top bloke' David Hurstfield of Newark Town for the team line ups and to Richard Lane for 'undisclosed favours' ;-)
At Station Road tonight, I witnessed a whole load of intrigue, some late drama (twice), numerous sub plots and 120 incident packed, freezing bloody cold minutes, of non stop action. All overseen by the super fit, ever efficient match referee, Hristo Karaivanov, still looking very fresh after his game at Armthorpe Welfare last night.
It was a really enjoyable game, despite the horrendous wind chill factor.
Newark must've been gutted to have lost in the very last minute of extra time, after battling their way back into the game.
But if truth be told, Clifton had enough chances in the first 45 minutes to have wrapped the game up long before then.
Garry Attwood, in the Newark gaol, was called into action early on (and at frequent intervals throughout the first half), when Alex Haughton broke down the left flank and unleashed a low shot that the 'Blues' (in yellow and green, again) keeper did well to get down to and turn around the post.
On 10 minutes, Michael Evans charged into the box and Attwood dived at his feet to block the angle, but the ball spun off his hand as Evans continued his run and slotted the ball home from an angle.
I saw Newark lose a pre season friendly at Harworth CI a few months ago (always a difficult place for anybody to get a result), but this was the first time I've ever seen them concede a goal in a competitive league or cup fixture.
Every other time I've watched them previously, they've always kept a clean sheet and won.
I guess I'm not their lucky talisman any more after tonight.
Ian Hillier, at the heart of Newark's midfield, tried sending both Callum Fraser and Dom Swingler through on goal with searching forward passes, but Clifton's keeper Joe Parlatt was quickly off his line and combined well with his defence both times to clear the danger.
Hillier again, breached Clifton down the left wing and found Sam Wilford unmarked at the back stick, but the Newark winger couldn't get a good contact on it and the ball went harmlessly wide.
The rest of the first half action involved Clifton's forwards and Newark's goalkeeper.
The visitors got forward quickly after nullifying the few moments when Newark looked dangerous and passed the ball round neatly.
It only looked like a matter of time until they scored again, as Michael Evans (several times), Jake Richardson and Dorian Miller all went close, with Garry Attwood some how, just about, keeping them at bay.
But right on half time, Newark's rearguard was finally breached again, when Evans slipped past a challenge, cut inside the box and drilled the ball into the back of the net.
As the teams went in for half time, it was difficult to imagine there being any other outcome to this game than a straight forward away win.
And the way the 'All Whites' were playing at that point, it seemed as though all Newark had left to look forward too was a second half full of damage limitation.
But the home side changed things around at the break, regrouped, and came out fired up.
They went for a more direct approach to get back into the game, a crude back to basics running onto passes knocked over Clifton's back line from deep.
It was a horses for courses situation. Tactics borne out of necessity.
And although the visitors look capable of coming out on top in any game of football where passing and keeping the ball on the deck are order of the day, Newark's up and at 'em approach was effective and had the visitors on the back foot for long spells of the second half.
However, Evans continued to pose a threat at the other end as the goal hungry striker went in search of his hat trick, but Newark were really giving it a go now.
Hillier switched play from out on the left all the way across the pitch to George Pailing, making an overlapping run from his right back berth, Pailing's hanging cross was headed squarely on target by Callum Fraser, but rather unorthodoxly and fortunately, Joe Parlatt managed to bundle it away.
Newark's approach paid off on 75 minutes, when Swingler thumped a low hard cross from the left hand byline and Sam Wilford knocked it home from close range.Newark sub, Ben Ginnelly, then broke through on his own, but fired narrowly wide from the edge of the box.
Shaken but not stirred, Clifton stepped up their game again and went looking for another goal to kill the game off.
Ben Richardson's close range strike was parried by Attwood and the ball sat up invitingly for Dorian Miller, but he air-kicked with the goal at his mercy.
Will Heath and Jake Richardson combined well and put an inch perfect cross in for Evans, he beat the Newark keeper, but saw his effort cleared off the line.
It was all hands to the pumps in the Newark defence now and deep into injury time, so I got into my car which was parked behind the goal and edged towards the exit, waiting for Hristo's whistle to signal that I could head home and see what magic potions 'Grotbags' had cooked me up for my supper in that recently (expertly) repaired oven.
But as I dithered by the gate, enjoying the warmth, Newark lumped the ball forward one last time, there was a scramble in the Clifton box and with 95 minutes on the clock, Joe Parlatt, agonisingly put the ball into his own net.
Oh well, at least I was parked by the gate, in pole position, for when the half hour of extra time (and possibly penalties) finished now.
Both teams had put in a lot of effort and were visibly tired now.
Michael Evans (who else!?) scored inside the first period of extra time to complete his hat trick, it was a great shot from the right hand side of the area that curled into the bottom left hand corner, giving Joe Parlatt no chance.
I watched the extra 30 minutes from near the dug outs.
Jeez, these two managers and their assistants could shout, rant, swear and moan for England.
They made me blush!
Midway through the second period of extra time, Ben Ginnelly took possession of the ball just inside the Clifton box, took aim ... and it was all square again.
Those who had already left just before the 90 minutes (plus stoppages) were up, are going to be in for a shock when they see tonight's result.
With one minute to go, Newark's captain Ricky Brewer was sent off when he received a second yellow card for a heavy challenge.
Not entirely sure why I took this picture. Possibly a brain freeze moment!
The free kick, punted up the pitch, amounted to nothing, but the clearance went straight to Michael Bannister ... and with just seconds remaining he dipped his head and hoisted a long ball into the six yard box hoping a team mate could get on the end of it, but nobody got near it ... the ball ended up in the back of the net instead.
A couple of Newark players dropped to their knees stunned, knowing it was all over now.
And the Clifton players mobbed Bannister who looked even more stunned.
He might even claim he meant to do it.
And who am I to deny him his moment of glory by suggesting otherwise, eh!? ;-)
Newark had shown a lot of resilience, but over the 120 minutes, the visitors had created enough chances to have already won the game twice over.
Well played both sides.
And good luck to Clifton in the final against Eastwood Town, which I believe will now be played at Hucknall Town's ground, after Nottingham Forest wanted the CMFL to pay silly money to stage the game at the City Ground.
To think, some people stayed at home and watched Chelsea v Benfica on TV instead, because it was chilly outdoors.
That's their loss!