Saturday, 12 May 2012

Hatfield Main 5 v AFC Sportsman Rovers 1 - Doncaster Senior League

Saturday 12th May 2012, at Dunscroft Welfare
Doncaster & District Senior League, Premier Division
Hatfield Main (2) 5
C. Cork 5 pen,, L.Winterman 35, 49, K. Lynch 65, D.Wombell 87
AFC Sportsman Rovers (1) 1
P.Whitehead 81
Admission, 'nowt.
Programme, don't be daft!
Plan A, was a a trip to the Humber Riviera, to visit Spurn Head in the morning, take in Easington United v Glapwell in the afternoon and then imbibe in a few beers in the village of Easington itself afterwards.
However, other commitments, meant I had to be in Retford by 5pm tonight, so the logistics screwed that mouthwatering prospect up.
However, this being May, the Doncaster Senior League can always be relied on, to fill in the blanks, at the end of each and every season.
And today was no exception.
In fact, the referee even decided that as both teams were ready and waiting, it wouldn't hurt anything if this 2.30pm scheduled kick off, between fourth in the league Hatfield Main and sixth placed AFC Sportsman Rovers (from Mexborough) started a few minutes early, which gave me even more time to get to Retford after the game.
The ground at Dunscroft Welfare is kept neat, tidy and well maintained.
Obviously a higher standard of football than the 'Donny League' was played here for many years, but if the current Hatfield side ever wanted to progress up through the leagues, then ground grading issues wouldn't be a stumbling block.
With two covered standing areas ,that have an elevated viewing area running for 30 yards in between them, hard standing all round, and an all seated stand behind the goal at the end of the ground where the entrance is, the facilities here, put most grounds in the CMFL and even a good few in the NCEL to shame.
There is also a decent sized clubhouse, dressing rooms close enough to the pitch to satisfy NCEL criteria and the ground already has floodlights too.
The visitors kicked off and were soon on the attack, rattling the Hatfield crossbar inside the first couple of minutes.
But then they faded away for a while, well, for well over an hour if I'm being honest, while 'Main' took control of the game and gave Rovers a bit of a pasting.
After five minutes, Hatfield peppered the visitors goal with shots, that were repelled by last ditch clearances. Alas when the fourth attempt was finally blocked, it was Rovers defender, laying on the floor, who showed a good pair of hands and not their keeper.
Cork fired home the resultant spot kick - 1-0
Throughout the first half, the air was ripe with the resonance of 'pinging' sounds, as chance after chance came back off the metalwork of the Sportsman clubs goal.
By the way, because I know you're all desperate to know; The Sportsman is the name of the pub that stands adjacent to the visitors ground at Mexborough Sports Club.
The ground itself backs on to Hampden Road.
But not the same one that Hearts fans will be celebrating on after their team have trounced Hibs, in the Scottish Cup Final, next weekend.
The field at Mexborough is big, but it doesn't extend quite that far.
But, getting back on topic, the visiting goalkeepers mum should have told him to keep his legs shut when he's approached by any man making an advance on him in Doncaster (a useful survival tip in a certain market square pub), because on 35 minutes, he was nutmegged, as Winterman tapped the ball into the goal from all of four yards out.
Half time: Dunscroft team 2 v Mexborough team 0
The second half was only four minutes old, when Winterman struck again, from just inside the Rovers penalty area, just to the left of the D.
Shortly after the hour, Hatfield's left back Lynch, made it 4-0 from almost exactly the same spot.
Beat The First Man?

It was a fairly straight forward win for the home side, who were seldom troubled, until a quickly taken free kick by Whitehead, with just 9 minutes to go, caught the Hatfield keeper out, rested in the bottom corner of the net (above) and prompted a rallying cry of: "Come on, we're back in it and we can win this now!" from the goalscorer, who then, along with everybody else on the pitch, also joined in with the laughter.
But the visitors comeback, was as brief as it was tongue in cheek and unlikely.
And with just a few minutes remaining, Wombell thumped home a quality strike, to give Hatfield Main a resounding 5-1 victory.
Without double checking, I think this is only the second Doncaster & District Senior League fixture I've attended all season (the other being Bawtry Town v South Elmsall United Services at the athletics ground, next door to 'Donny Rovers').
Regrettably, I've been quite negligent towards a league that I've always enjoyed watching a few games per year in this time around, so I'll have to put in the effort to get to a few more next term.
Well played Hatfield Main and thanks for turning up and giving us something to smile about AFC Sportsman Rovers. I'll leave it at that, I don't want thumping the next time I'm out and about, drinking in Mexborough.
Next up:
I have tickets for tomorrow's BSBN Play Off Final between Gainsborough Trinity and Nuneaton Town, at the Northolme (all 2,5000 home tickets and over 950 away have been sold) and then Sheffield United v Stevenage, at Bramall Lane in the npower League 1 (AKA Division 3) Play Off Semi Final 2nd leg on Monday.
I'm quite resourceful when I need to be ;-)