Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Sherwood Colliery 0 v Phoenix Sports & Social 2 - CMFL North

Tuesday 14th August 2012, at Debdale Park
Central Midlands League (North)
Sherwood Colliery (0) 0
Phoenix Sports & Social (1) 2
Simon Hickey, Simon Eggington
Admission £2, Programme £1
On arrival, I entered the cavernous and impressive clubhouse at Debdale Park, where they were playing an impressive array of early Ska and Rocksteady tunes over the PA ... as first impressions go, that's a massive thumbs up in my book.
This was 1st time visit to this ground for me, though I have seen a game on the adjacent pitch at the top of the slope, few years ago.
It's a pleasant enough tree lined setting, with a great view to be had from on top of a steep grass bank that runs along one touchline.
There's no shelter or cover for spectators, but that wasn't a problem on a mild Summers eve such as this.
50 shades of green

Tonight marked Sherwood Colliery's second ever game in the CMFL, a league that they gained entry to for the first time this season.
They lost their first ever game here 0-1 against Ollerton Town on Saturday, with former Mansfield Town youth player Hayden Zaccaria scoring the only goal of the game.
Hayden comes from the same Zaccaria family who used to own the original Retford Town FC, when they played at River Lane ... a cracking little ground, with a great clubhouse that was bulldozed to make way for Morrisions supermarket.
I could, at this juncture, comment upon the 'slightly' unhelpful input by the council and the NCEL, that led to Retford losing it's local, town centre football ground, but I've upset enough people with this blog already this season, so I'll leave that particular hot potato alone (for now), but rest assured, the truth will out!
I don't know if it was a case of stage fright in front of a decent sized crowd, but the home side seemed to freeze tonight and sadly their performance didn't match the expectations of those who were here for the first time to see what the CMFL (North) newcomers were all about.
I'm sure that Sherwood Colliery themselves will feel that they've got more to offer than they did against their visitors from Brinsworth and that they will be addressing the situation ASAP.
I'll reserve judgement, until I've seen them play a few times, once they've settled into their stride.
At the moment the Mansfield Woodhouse based club, will be finding the step up to a new league something of a steep learning curve, both on and off the pitch, but they seem prepared and well geared to deal with it, once they find their feet.
I bet it's fun climbing up here during the winter months

After 38 minutes of honest endeavour, but not a lot of craft and guile from either side, the visitors broke the deadlock, when Simon Hickey burst into the 'Colliery' box through the right channel and slipped the ball around the keepers left hand to give Phoenix the lead.
Neil Hirst should've doubled the South Yorkshire team's lead before the break before half time, but with the goal at his mercy he couldn't keep his shot down and fired over the crossbar.
The second half was virtually a carbon copy of the first. Though there was an element of comedy thrown in for good measure, when Mick Else in the the Phoenix goal sliced an attempt at clearing the ball away ... but when the ball fell to Aaron Darch by the right hand upright, the Sherwood number 8 could only slash the ball across the face of the goal and clear the far post instead of scoring.
I'm not sure if Mick Else is Phoenix's regular keeper or not, but he showed a deft array of footwork at times and seemed adept at heading the ball away too ... that's an observation by the way, not a criticism ... it doesn't say anywhere in the rules of the game that it is mandatory for a goalkeeper to use his hands whenever possible. Maybe multi tasking goal custodians is the way forward ... what would I know, eh!?
As per the first half, Phoenix score late in the second too, when substitute Simon Eggington made himself some space on the right edge of the penalty and smacked the ball in, via the outstretched left hand of Sherwood's keeper James Rice.
Retfordians in the area

Final score 0-2.
Next up, more CMFL (North) action at 'Broddy' Welfare tomorrow night, when Harworth Colliery make the short trip up the A1 to the Woodlands estate in Doncaster.