at the Recreation Ground, Scrooby Road, Bircotes
North Midland Under 19 League Division 2
HARWORTH COLLIERY INSTITUTE U19 (2) 3
Daine McGrain 22, 40, Enzo Guarini 76
PARKGATE U19 (0) 0
Admission £2, Programme £1
Tom Hogg, Jordan Hardman, Luke Bailey, Chris Higgins, Gareth Bonner, Jordan Nortcliffe, Callum Tiffany (Tom Sowden 57), Mitchell Lax (Lewis Elwood 80), Daine McGrain, Enzo Guarini, Danny Siddall (Connor Gresham 65)
Unused subs - Reece Kemp, Ben Thompson
Danny Morton, Curtis Wilkinson, Joel Bennett, Lewis Fretwell, Liam Hagrington, Alex Burton (Dane Shaw 77), George Morley, Jamie Fawcett, Stefan Beckham, Liam Favell, Louis Millins
(Liam Hannah 77)
Both subs used
I didn't see Harworth U19's 4-2 reversal at Carlton Town last week, because I'd gone to Mansfield to watch England U18's play against Italy, with my Stags mates instead.
And I honestly thought that Glenn McPherson, Harworth U19's dynamic and dashing young manager was buggering me about and joking, when he sent me the final score, to teach me a lesson for not having gone to Stoke Lane. I was stunned when I got home to discover the result was for real.
Evidently, a few words have been said in the interim and ironically, that defeat might be the best thing that could've happened, to keep the Harworth lads feet on the ground and stop them from getting complacent ever again, like they possibly had, after the 9-0 thrashing of Maltby Main.
They'll know now though, keep themselves focussed and they're a match for any team in this division, but get carried away with thoughts of being invincible (no team in the history of the universe ever as been) and they'll come back down to earth with a bump.
Of course, it could be the case, that Harworth raise their game when they play against decent opposition, but allow themselves to get dragged down and let their standards drop, when they play against less proficient sides.
No disrespect intended to any opposition side, named or otherwise, of course.
One thing's for sure, they had been well briefed about Parkgate and would've already of had some idea of what they were up against, following a 2-0 defeat at the Roundwood Pavilion in pre season.
Early into tonight's game, Danny Morton made a great double save from an obviously eager to make an impression Daine McGrain, an incident that helped to set the tone for the rest of the game, as Harworth realised that if they upped the tempo and raised their game, to the level they are capable of, then the league leaders were going to have a game on their hands.
You could sense the optimism, confidence and desire to win early on.
Harworth were here tonight to make a bloody good go of overcoming their high flying visitors and Parkgate were going to know they had been in a game by the end of tonight.
This result was a massive step towards gaining a whole lot of credibility and respect, while getting a lot of people to sit up, take notice that it's time take Harworth CI U19's seriously.
The rain was absolutely hammering down and the conditions were making life difficult for both sides, which didn't help Enzo Guarini at all, when he rounded Danny Morton after quarter of an hour, but couldn't get the ball under control when he tried to shoot.
Danny Siddall's throw in, led to a one on one duel between Danny Morton and Daine McGrain.
The Parkgate keeper was always favourite to each the ball first which he did, but Daine had run him down, using his strikers instincts and was on hand to seize the ball when Morton made a mess of dealing with it and the Harworth striker rolled the ball into the now open goal.
1-0 and first blood to Harworth after 22 minutes, in a game where, if truth be told, most people with the best interests of Harworth Colliery U19's at heart, would happily have settled for a draw prior to kick off.
And, 'fessing up time, I include myself in that.
I really enjoyed being proved wrong tonight though.
Harworth were buzzing now and Parkgate seemed completely taken aback by the home sides 'up and at 'em' approach for a while.
The Harworth back four were working solidly as a unit and were putting in the best shift I've ever seen from them collectively, soaking up everything that an extremely competent Parkgate side could find in their arsenal.
Jordan Hardman and Luke Bailey monitored the flanks, while Chris Higgins and Gareth Bonner were immense in the centre of defence.
And with the wide midfield players tracking back and covering too, while Callum Tiffany, Jordan Nortcliffe and Mitchell Lax chiselled away at Parkgate's midfield back bone, the visitors soon realised that Harworth weren't just a threat in attack, they were all over them across the entire pitch, like a rash they couldn't shake off.
Enzo Guarini was causing Parkgate no end of problems with his mazy runs while Daine McGrain was visibly troubling the visitors rearguard whenever he got the ball.
It was very pleasing to hear a Parkgate follower say "Kinnel, I didn't realise what a good side this lot were"
Stefan Beckham (no relation), had been earmarked as Parkgate's main threat, but on the one and only time that he got away from Gareth Bonner's attentions during the entire first half, he missed an absolute sitter.
Parkgate were, by now, trying to make a real fist of it, going forward in an attempt to pull things level before half time.
But as they committed more men forwards, Callum Tiffany intercepted a pass in the middle of the park and tore off down the pitch, before knocking a great weighted pass right into the path of Daine McGrain, who took the ball in his stride, picked his spot and drilled the ball past Danny Morgan.
40 minutes, 2-0.
Let's all laugh at those people who chose to stay in the bar watching a meaningless game on TV between Chelsea and Manchester United instead.
Right on the stroke of half time, Liam Favell let rip with a rasping shot, that Tom Hogg got across to save well, thus preserving Colliery's two goal cushion.
Half time - Harworth Colliery U19 2 v League Leaders Parkgate 0
Parkgate v Harworth in pre season, when my camera still worked
After the restart, the battle for midfield, that would eventually decide which way this game went, hotted up, with no quarter being given by either side.
Apart from an awesome all round team effort from Harworth, one aspect of tonight's game that pleased me, was seeing how well Danny Siddall was coping with his comeback.
Danny made a brief cameo appearance, from the bench, towards the end of the recent game at Basford United, but tonight was his first start since he picked up a horrible injury in a pre season 4-4 draw at Ollerton Town.
He managed over a hour in strength sapping conditions tonight, against very useful opposition and he'd weighed in with a goal assist too.
His performance, will go a long way towards rebuilding his confidence and helping him to lose any cautious edge that might have understandably have crept in to his psyche, after he got hurt.
Danny's going to offer Harworth a whole load of new options and no doubt, give Glenn a few selection headaches too.
His presence will be like making a new signing that gives the backbone of the team even more strength in depth.
And when Siddall went off, his marker now had Connor Gresham's pace and non stop running to contend with. Exactly what he wouldn't have wanted after an hour or so of slogging through that unrelenting downpour.
Tom Sowden in pre season action at Parkgate
Callum Tiffany also came off for a well earned rest after busting a gut and it speaks volumes for the quality of the squad that Glenn and Hasan have assembled this year, that they had such a great array of talent to choose from on the bench.
Tom Sowden was unlucky not to have started tonight, but what a great asset he is to be able to chuck on when it's time to really dig in, in the middle of the park.
Daine McGrain had tracked back to add some weight to the battle for midfield zone, when he picked up the ball and played it out to Enzo Guarini, who finished off a superb 40 yard solo run, with a cracking left foot finish.
76 minutes, 3-0 to Harworth.
Scrub all thoughts of being happy with a draw now.
But, this was now one of the pivotal moments of this contest.
Would Harworth carry on doing the things that had got them into this position, or would the C word, complacency, creep back in?
Well folks, I'm happy to report that the team learned a valuable lesson at Carlton last week and they kept up their dogged and determined resistance, right up until the final whistle.
But even at three goals down (that accounts for half of their goals against total this season), Parkgate weren't about to chuck the towel in any time now and they upped their work rate even higher in a bid to get back into the game in the last 15 minutes.
They're not top of the league for nothing.
Parkgate v Harworth, August 2012
Lewis Elwood came on for the last ten minutes, in place of Mitchell Lax who had bust a gut for the Harworth cause tonight.
On 81 minutes, with the game going into the final straight, Tom Hogg, once more, denied Stefan Beckham when he tipped the ball around the post at full stretch,
But Tom's heroics knew no bounds, when he was called upon to deal with a penalty with six minutes remaining.
A Jordan Hardman challenge in the Harworth area, was deemed to have been a foul and the ref awarded Parkgate a penalty.
I was too far away from the incident to get a clear view, but in light of the great part all three match officials played in helping this pulsating and absorbing game tick along, it's safe enough to assume that Mr Beresford knew what he was doing.
Parkgate's right back Chris Wilkinson struck the spot kick low and on target, but Tom Hogg got down to block it and then got straight back up to save Robinson's goal bound shot off the rebound too.
Great stuff Hoggy!
Parkgate knew they were beaten now, but it didn't stop Stefan Beckham powering a blistering shot at the Harworth goal in the dying seconds, but Tom Hogg, once again, saved it superbly.
You're just showing off now Hoggy!
Right then ... big drum roll, fireworks and a 21 gun salute for full effect.
Ladies and gentleman, I hereby present the full time score:
Harworth Colliery U19 3 v Parkgate U19 0
Both teams, the match officials and everyone involved with tonight's game give yourself a big pat on the back.
That was ****ing awesome!