Saturday, 5 January 2013

Newark Town 1 v Harworth Colliery Institute 0 - CMFL League Cup

Saturday 5th January 2013, at Station Road, Collingham
Central Midlands League, League Challenge Cup, 2nd Round
Newark Town  (1) 1
Ian Hillier 64 seconds
Harworth Colliery Institute  (0) 0
Admission £3 inc. programme, Attendance 66
Did you hear the one about the (acting) match day secretary from a CMFL North club, who also happens to sponsor the kit of a player who turns out for a team in the CMFL South?
Well, the those clubs met today in the CMFL League Challenge Cup.
And the player in question repaid that act of generosity and kindness by scoring the (only and) winning goal, to put the sponsors team out of the competition.
Next season when it comes to selecting a player to sponsor from Newark Town, I'm going to ask if Gary Attwood is available, or Ricky North, possibly even Dom Swingler or one of the Ellison's. In fact any Newark Town player ... except for Ian bloody Hillier ;-)
Ah well, at least it gave certain people at NTFC something to chuckle about as I magnanimously shook their hands and smiled (while muttering obscenities under my breath) at full time.
Hillier did the damage, opening the scoring (just) inside the second minute.
Harworth failed to clear a corner and the ball fell kindly for THE66POW's adopted player, 10 yards out and he smashed home an unstoppable shot.
Any chance of a refund?
From then on in, the game ebbed and flowed one way and then the other, but both defences were coming out on top for the most part.
Neither Gary Attwood or Mark Latham, the respective goalkeepers, were really troubled very often save for a couple of rare 'close shave' moments, as several promising looking moves either broke down in the final third, or were dealt with by two very determined defences.
Harworth's Simon Brewster, switched to a central defensive role, did well today, staying tight and not allowing his man to move or turn, which denied Newark the opportunity to pick up any momentum going forward several times.
And the home side's solid rearguard were happy to head anything that came their way out of the danger zone all afternoon.
The 'Peaceful Warriors' are well organised and tightly knit at the back and you can see why they are so difficult to beat and currently sitting at the top of the CMFL South.
Harworth came close to getting a goal back on 11 minutes, when Luke Parsons hooked the ball away from danger in front of the goal, after Chris Belshaw had unlocked the Blues defence with a telling free kick.
At the other end, restricted to shooting from long range, Mark Ellison tried his luck from 25 yards out, but his speculative effort was aimed straight at Mark Latham, who caught the ball comfortably, having positioned himself well.
Chris Belshaw, who was the mainstay of Harworth's attempts to break down the Newark defence, broke free from their attentions on 25 minutes through the left channel, but his shot went wide of the right hand post.
Belshaw broke free again on the left, but his cross was caught by Gary Attwood before any Colliery player could get to it and shortly afterwards another ball into the box from Belshaw, was seized upon by the defence and scrambled away, to thwart Lee Edmondson from getting a touch.
Edmondson then forced a corner out of Newark's tight fisted defence, but they combined to clear their lines again when Belshaw tried to pick out Gaz Sides with the flag kick.
Realising that there was no other option against such a resilient defence, Tom Walker tried to catch Attwood off guard with an angled shot from outside the area, but is effort went just wide.
On the stroke of half time, Walker played the ball out wide to Sides, but Attwood cut out the return ball to shut up shop at the back for Newark again. 
HT - Newark 1 v Harworth 0
At the beginning of the second half, Mark Ellison shot wide at one end, while Craig Anderson shot over at the other.
But then the two stubborn defences got to grips with things again.
Chris Belshaw made a run into the Newark box and a pinpoint pass by Tom Walker put the lively Harworth number 6 within touching distance of a goal. But at the last moment, Newark's defence squeezed tightly closed again.
Likewise, after some assured footwork from the young Harworth right back Jordan Hardman, who if truth be told, is far too good to be playing in the league, made him the room to put a searching ball into the mix in the direction of Lee Edmondson, the Blues defence smothered their domain, blanket like again and suffocated any chance of an equaliser.
In a midfield tussle for the ball, Martin Wilson was penalised for fouling Tom Walker.
The referee then decided to book the Newark player, despite Walker's attempts to get him to change his mind.
The two of them had been having a personal duel all afternoon and were both giving as good as they got.
Having put in a great shift, Chris Belshaw was replaced by Matt Smith.
It was good to see Matt coming on, a young striker with a good eye for goal and a fresh pair of legs to hopefully find way to unlock the Newark rearguard.
It's a shame Belshaw had to make way though, because he'd been the architect of most of the visitors forward play up to that point.
In fact, I'd already pencilled him in as Harworth's man of the match.
The printer doesn't use spell checker ;-)
Gaz Sides slipped the ball to Tom Walker, who's burst of speed saw him with a clear run on goal in the area ... Gary Attwood came out to narrow the angle, Walker punted the ball over him, but with the Newark keeper finally beaten, the ball went agonisingly wide.
With Harworth committing men forwards to chase the game, Ricky North powered forward from the centre circle and took aim from 25 yards, but the only netting he found was that protecting the windows of the bungalows adjacent to the ground.
Newark pushed up, trying to put the game beyond Harworth's reach and Mark Latham had to go down bravely at Dom Swingler's feet to keep out what looked like being a certain second goal for the Blues.
Sam Gregory got a last ditch touch on the ball at the other end, to deflect Gaz Sides shot wide inside the last five minutes ... and that was Harworth's last real chance.
In the last few minutes of the game, Newark forced a corner, but when Sam Bagworth's in-swinging kick picked out Luke Parsons, the Blues centre half headed the ball over.
Shortly afterwards, Ian Hillier could've put the game to bed, but he blazed his shot wide of the target, forcing me to reconsider sponsoring him again next season after all. Thanks Ian ;-)
In stoppage time, the final action of the game, saw Ian Hillier and Gaz Sides tangling in an off the ball incident, that cost both of them a booking.
A few people stood to the left of me, were quite vocal towards Gaz Sides part for his part in it, because their attention had been elsewhere when things first flared up and they hadn't seen everything.
I'm keeping schtum though, because if the referee missed it, I'm not dropping anybody in it.
I have some good friends at both clubs ... and I'd like to keep it that way.
FT - Newark Town 1 v Harworth Colliery Institute 0
"Stockport boys we are here!"