at Debdale Park, Mansfield Woodhouse
Central Midlands League (North)
SHERWOOD COLLIERY (1) 1
Scott Sipson 32
HARWORTH COLLIERY INSTITUTE (1) 2
David Reeve 24, Matt Smith 87
Admission £2, Programme £1
James Rice, Scott Sipson, Michael Smedley, Andy Paling, Rob Whitmore, Ben Burbanks, Eden Homer, Triston Burrell, James Whitmore, Joe Parker, Nathan Walters
Subs - Jack Wood, Grant THorpe, Danny Short, Singh Pavinder, Perry Cranston
Harworth Colliery Institute:
Mark Latham, Jordan Hardman, Simon Brewster, David Cornthwaite, David Reeve, Scott Hardman, Tom Padgett, Craig Anderson, Tom Walker, Gareth Sides, Chris Belshaw
Subs - Shay Dunning, Lee Edmondson, Matt Smith
Harworth ground out a win, in a hard fought and sometimes scrappy game, against a resilient and occasionally tetchy Sherwood side.
But the result was overshadowed by David Reeve's injury, which he picked up a couple of minutes after heading the opening goal for the visitors, when a Chris Belshaw cross took a slight deflection and gave the Harworth captain the opportunity to stoop forward and head home from close range.
Hopefully, David's injury won't be as long term, or serious, as it initially looked.
Keep your feet up and get well soon Reevie.
Reeve was hurt when he challenged for the ball at the same time as Sherwood's captain James Whitmore, but, for the record, the opposition number 9 played no part in what happened at all, no foul of any kind was committed. As the ball spun away, one player turned to see where it had gone, the other fell to the ground in a crumpled heap and in no small amount of distress.
It was just one of those very worrying and sickening, freak accidents that happen from time to time.
Six minutes elapsed, before it was ascertained that it was OK to move David Reeve from the pitch and play could resume again.
But when it did, a few of his Harworth team mates still looked visibly shaken, upset and knocked out of their stride and it took them a while to pick up the pace of the game and find any kind of cohesion again.
As Paul Latham had written on the Harworth Colliery website in his preview of today's game, see here: Preview to Sherwood Colliery game by Paul Latham , the 5-2 margin of victory that Harworth had enjoyed over Sherwood earlier in the season, was possibly slightly flattering and the Mansfield Woodhouse based side would probably be a tougher nut to crack this time around.
Well you called that one spot on Paul.
The home side were fired up for this one, make no mistake about that and sensing that a few Harworth heads had dropped after seeing their captain writhing in agony, the visitors were a bit vulnerable for a while.
Scott Sipson compounded Harworth's misery when he equalised on 32 minutes.
It wasn't entirely against the run of play in what had been an fairly evenly balanced game up to that point ... i.e. neither side had really imposed themselves on the game as of yet.
In first half stoppage time, Tom Walker's run into the Sherwood area was stopped abruptly, when James Rice pulled him down.
The referee showed Rice a yellow card and he promptly returned to his goal line and saved Walker's goal bound free kick with his legs.
Nobody wants to see red cards being brandished and to be fair to the ref, he had tried to treat the players like adults, by keeping his cards in his pocket and having a firm word with them, whenever any flashpoints or transgressions occurred.
Sadly his plan to keep the peace backfired later in the game, when several players, who should have been bought to book, took advantage of the precedent that had been set and a few unsavoury incidents flared up.Half time: Colliery 1 v Colliery 1
Harworth looked a bit livelier at the start of the second half and when a flick from Tom Walker put Chris Belshaw through on goal, James Rice needed two attempts to avert the danger.
Simon Brewster swung a dangerous cross over from the left, that the usually reliable and self proclaimed best looking lad at the club (does he have a seconder? Any takers lads? Anybody at all? Don't all shout up at once), narrowly failed to get onto the end of.
Shortly afterwards, the mercurial talent, that is the outstanding and utterly brilliant Tom Walker, broke into the Sherwood box and hit a stunning shot with such velocity, power and precision, that the keeper couldn't hold onto it. But the rebound was cleared off the line just as Scott Hardman was about to knock home his first ever first team goal.
Oh well, you'll just have to wait until next time Scott.
It needs to be said by the way, that Scott Hardman put in a steady shift for Harworth today and wasn't daunted at all by the step up to the Central Midlands side.
Incidentally, I'm much cheaper than most deal brokers and players agents, but this is going to cost you Mr Walker ;-)
Rob Whitmore was first to set the alarm bells ringing in the visitors defence, when he whacked the ball narrowly wide of the target from 12 yards out, after he'd come up to get involved in a set piece from a free kick.
It would be fair to say, that the home side got on top of the game for a while and Harworth had their keeper Mark Latham to thank for keeping them in the game.
Joe Parker got clear and through on goal, but Latham pulled off a great save.
And soon enough he was tested again and got down well to block a thumping shot from Eden Homer ... James Whitmore got to the loose ball first, but skied his effort over the bar. His miss was a real let off for Harworth.
Triston Burrell was the next Sherwood player to have a go at beating Mark Latham, but his well placed shot from ten yards out, was brilliantly tipped around the post as the Harworth keeper pulled yet another first class save out of the bag.
To the local octogenarian who'd asked me " 'int he a bit little to be playing in goals!?" I say, there's your answer old timer ;-)
Harworth came back at Sherwood, twice, down the right wing both times.
Gaz Sides through ball to Chris Belshaw set the visitors number 11 up with a great chance, but James Rice denied him with a last ditch save.
Scott Sipson must like scoring at the bottom end of the Debdale Park ground, because he bust a gut to get on the end of another Gaz Sides ball in from the right, but put the ball narrowly over his own cross bar. Unlucky Scott!
Matt Smith came on with fifteen minutes remaining to freshen up the attack.
As strategic tactical decisions go by mangers, this one proved to be a master-stroke.
Back at the other end of the pitch, Mark Latham, yet again, held onto the ball when Joe Parker looked odds on to score. Parker then followed through on Latham. A shout sounded out claiming "He was entitled to go for the loose ball".
OK I'll concede that, whoever you were, any striker of any substance will invariably follow the ball to pick up on any slip by the keeper, it's good instincts, but ... Mark Latham clearly had the ball in his grasp and that was a challenge made by a player who'd let his frustration's get the better of him, in the heat of the moment.
I've never seen him resort to that sort of stuff before though, so hopefully it was just a one off and out of character challenge.The game became increasingly untidy as a few players looked to settle scores, both through niggly fouls and off the ball shenanigans.
And Sherwood's mood wasn't helped any when Matt Smith nipped to in the knock the ball home from close range and gave the visitors a 2-1 advantage with just three minutes remaining.
The Sherwood keeper gave Matt a fair bit of stick for that one, as the Under 19's striker laid on the pitch with his head in his hands. But Matt had the last laugh a few seconds later, because the referee sounded the final whistle and Matt had only gone and scored the winning goal.
Final Score: Sherwood Colliery 1 v Harworth Colliery 2
No doubt, everybody will be expecting me to award this prestigious honour, to Harworth's very own 'white Pele' and resident sex symbol Tom Walker.
But, believe it or not, one player made an even more telling contribution to this afternoon's battling win for Harworth Colliery than Tom ... Mark Latham take a bow.
Harworth don't have a game next weekend, but after this workmanlike and no frills win, they go into their week off in second place, just four points behind AFC Mansfield.
Proof, if it was ever needed, that Brendan Wilson, the Chatty Man* and Ian Helliwell (plus supporting cast) are doing an absolutely excellent job this season.
Long may it continue!
GET WELL SOON DAVID REEVE.
* That's the last Alan Carr reference you'll ever hear from me Jony ;-)