Saturday, 16 February 2013

Goole AFC 2 v Ossett Town 0 - Evo-Stik NPL Div 1 North

Saturday 16th February 2013
at  the Victoria Pleasure Grounds, Goole
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, Division 1 North
Goole AFC (1) 2
Grant Allott 37, Bill Law 56.
Ossett Town (0) 0
Admission £7, Programme £1.50, Attendance 117
Left click images for enlarged version
A revisit, to the vibrant and photogenic, inland port town of Goole; to attend a fixture between the clubs who occupied 20th and 14th positions, in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, Division 1 North table, before this afternoon's game kicked off ... and after the final whistle had sounded too.
"Whatever possessed you to go there!?" asked my t'other half, after I got back to my swanky North Notts des res.
Well, I have to confess, I had an ulterior motive.
Hands up time, I admit it. ... I'm a glory hunter.
The overwhelming pull and appeal of this game, generated an urge inside of me, that was just too strong to resist.
And that was before I knew that Goole had just signed one of this humble scribes favourite players, Henry Sibenge.
Henry Sibenge, or Henrigue Seebong as I heard somebody called him, impressed everybody present on his debut for the Vikings and accompanied by a surprising outbreak of glorious weather, gave the Goole faithful something to smile about for a change, in a season, that thus far can only be described as grim, if I'm to avoid using profanities that are probably more apt.
No visit to the VPG is complete, without first calling into the nearby Victoria Club for a liquid lunch.
Alan, the landlord regularly sponsors a Mansfield Town player every season and Stags favours adorn the walls of his establishment, along with photographs of the pubs own team.
I wouldn't imagine that 'The Vic' ever needs to book any turns for Alan's clientèle, because his customers are entertaining enough already ... though I'm unsure as to whether that is intentional or not.
That isn't meant to be detrimental to them in any way whatsoever, in fact I'd much rather have an afternoon 'sesh' in a real pub like this, with salt of the earth characters, than spend my time in an atmosphere-less faux town centre, chain pub, quaffing trendy labelled drinks ... though I'm not entirely sure that Goole actually has any 'upmarket' public houses, or 'upmarket' public for that matter.
Ossett Town started the game on the front foot.
Keir Hannity narrowly failed to put the visitors in front from a Luke Sharry cross and shortly afterwards Grant Darley played Joe Thornton in on goal with a clever flick, but the former Staveley MW player hit the upright from close range.
Luke Sharry quick pass sent Liam Radford charging away away down the right wing, his pull back from the dead ball line found Hannity, who clipped the ball over Lee Appleby's cross bar and onto the running track that surrounds Goole's pitch.
Woo hoo! A passing train.
But, against the run of play, it was the home side who took the lead, when Grant Allott forced Chris Ovington's free kick over the line on 37 minutes.
The goal brought Goole to life and they began to find the cohesion that had been lacking for most of the first half. Sibenge's trademark flicks, tricks and running were causing Ossett all kinds of problems as he quickly build up an understanding with his team mates. He's going to be quite some player for Goole, as they strive to pick up enough points to pull away from the 'squeaky bum' end of the table ... I'm completed mystified as to why this players isn't strutting his stuff at a much higher level of football by now.
Dean Robson hooked the ball into the Ossett box and it was only half cleared to Chris Ovington who fired over the bar.
Sam Colbear nearly doubled the home side's lead with a brave header, but only got a few minutes on the touchline with Goole's sponge-man for his troubles.
On the stroke of half time the ball landed at my feet, I took a touch and flicked it deftly to Luke Sharry, who's quickly taken corner was headed narrowly over by Ryan Qualter.
Whoops! The locals stood nearby eye-balled me suspiciously in the queue at the tea hut and I counted my blessings that I hadn't just inadvertently had a hand in providing an equalising goal for the visitors.
HT - Goole AFC 1 v Ossett Town 0
Get him lads! The one with the camera. I think he's from Ossett.
Ossett had the first chance of the second half, when Joe Thornton ran onto Danny Patterson's pass over the Vikings defence and crossed for Keir Hannity, who on a different day, could've been on a hat trick by now, but he miss kicked the ball narrowly wide instead.
Back up the other end, 'Our Henry' played a well weighted lob into the path of Bill Law, who netted the home sides second goal from 10 yards out.
It was fitting, that on his debut, the obviously eager to impress Sibenge, had been involved in one of the goals that ended a win-less streak for his new side, that went back to Boxing Day.
Ossett nearly grabbed a fluky goal back, when Luke Sharry's over-hit cross came back off Goole's cross bar just after the hour mark.
But, realising that it would only take a single goal from the visitors to put them back in the running, Goole stepped their game and went looking for a third goal to kill the game off. It never came, but they gave it a damn good go.
Dean Robson put Henry Sibenge through on goal, but Matt Convey saved from close range.
Chris Ovington's volley was blocked but the ball fell to Sibenge who's overhead kick was narrowly off target.
Ovington twisted and turned on the edge of the box and fired just wide.
It would be fair to say, that this afternoon, Goole weren't playing like a team who are embroiled in a relegation fight.
Liam Radford latched onto a long ball up towards the Vikings goal, but instead of steadying himself, he rushed the opportunity and put the ball so high and wide it frightened a passing train driver (a slight exaggeration, but only a slight one).
Luke Sharry, possibly Ossett's best player today, took a corner out on the left wing, but with time running out for the visitors, who really needed a quality ball into the mix right now, he put it out for a goal kick approximately four feet away from where he took the flag kick. 
There's nowhere to hide in a sparsely populated Northern Premier League ground and Sharry's ears must've been burning at this point, from the ever so slightly unsympathetic barrage of cat calls that echoed around the stands.
The jeers turned to cheers however, when Henry Sibenge was substituted (having announced his arrival in Goole in some style), to generous and well deserved applause.
Liam Radford went in late, very late, on Sam Colbear towards the end the game, instigating an unsightly 'my dad is bigger than your dad', 'handbags at ten paces' undignified stand off in the middle of the park.
It had been a competitive game up to that point, but never dirty, so quite what riled Radford up so much that he clattered Colbear so heavily is anybody's guess.
"Your lot are right dirty buggers" said a very tall Goole fan, who I'd noticed pacing up and down muttering random comments to himself throughout the second half.
There was nobody else in the vicinity and I realised he was talking to me.
Ball levitation, a tricky skill to master that is.
 And my quest to completely ignore him failed vaingloriously.
"I'm not from Ossett pal" I chuckled.
"You must be, I saw you getting out of a car. You drove here!", he accusingly replied.
"Oh, I live in Retford, it's a dicey walk along the M62 to get to Goole from there".
"Ah yeah! Retford, you'll be a Garforth Town fan then. They're here in April, are you coming to that!?".
I suspect this harmless soul never got his O Level in Geography at school, because Garforth is a hour away from Retford, straight up the A1, with a clear run, it's near Leeds.
I figured that nobody from Goole actually owned a car or an atlas and politely humoured him.
With 90 minutes almost up, I walked round behind the goal to get a quick getaway spot, near the turnstiles.
My new friend followed, chuntering to me: "We lost to Midlesbrough in the FA Cup in 1915 y'know!?". "Yeah 9-3" I fibbed, "I was there!".
Though the score was accurate (I know this because I'm a bigger nutter than he'll ever be), I don't think he believed the spurious claim that I'm a time traveller, so he despairingly shook his head and walked away.
I never got around to saying: 'Though in the interests of accuracy, I feel compelled to say, that it was Goole Town FC who played on Teesside, not Goole AFC, who weren't actually formed until 1997.
On the final whistle, we left the ground at the same time and I looked up when I reached my car, just in time to see him jump into his Nissan Primera and drive off ... WTF!?
FT - Goole AFC 2 v Ossett Town 0