Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Harworth Colliery U19 4 v Matlock Town U19 0 - NMU19L Div 2

Wednesday 20th February 2013
at the Recreation Ground, Scrooby Road, Bircotes
Harworth Colliery U19  (2) 4
Connor Gresham 17
Danny Siddall 27
Enzo Guarini 46
Ben Thompson 69
Matlock Town U19  (0) 0
Admission £2, Programme £1, Attendance 37
Football is a beautiful game, but the behind the scenes politics at clubs ... all clubs from time to time, are as ugly as sin.
This week, it was the turn of the good ship Harworth Colliery FC to hit turbulent waters and regrettably, the Under 19's popular manager, Glenn McPherson, ended up being the man who took a tumble (or dignified jump) overboard.
Obviously, it's time to close ranks, keep schtum and to avoid hanging dirty laundry in public, because the show must go on.
But personally, I'm gutted that Glenn's gone.
We all are.
The work he's done since taking over at the helm of the team and the progress they've made in that time, should not be under estimated or go without some kind of grateful recognition from the club, that Glenn also used to play in goal for, with far more aplomb than his hero Artur Borac ever did, for that horrible Glaswegian football club he supports.
It's not my place to comment on events, because that wouldn't help anything.
Hopefully at some point, in the (very) near future, things can be resolved, but in the mean time, those of us who are still on board, will just have to roll our sleeves up and try to keep Harworth Colliery Under 19's momentum going for the remainder of the season.
Tonight, short handed in staff numbers and under a cloud of despondency and uncertainty, the players responded brilliantly ... and Glenn's sidekick and friend, Hasan Hussein, who has stepped up from the role of assistant to oversee the team for the foreseeable future, did a great job on several levels, in so much as: his tactics and team selection worked perfectly, his homework on Matlock was detailed to the nth degree and he kept the players focussed on the job in hand, by playing down a week of internal turmoil at the club.
Hassy deserves a big pat on the back, for keeping his own feelings on recent events to himself and for keeping the team's ambitions for the remainder of season on course.
"Are you lonesome tonight!?"
Tonight was a great all round team performance by Harworth Colliery Under 19s and the 4-0 win was thoroughly deserved.
They are, once again, top of Division 2 of the NMU19L, on goal difference ... for the time being at least and though actually winning Division 2 looks slightly out of their reach now, they must keep on keeping on and leave the other clubs at the business end of the table to worry about winning their games in hand, while they strive to finish as high in the table as possible.
My phone battery took a bit of a hammering over the course of the night, because *somebody* wanted keeping up to date with the action every few minutes. It's much better actually being there in the flesh to see how well the team you helped to build are performing with your own eyes G**** McP****** ;-) But, joking aside, it meant a lot that you still care as much as you do.
Inside the first two minutes, Enzo Guarini put Connor Gresham through on goal but the Matlock defence scrambled the ball away to safety. It was a good indicator of how the game was about to go.
Connor Gresham again, swung a dangerous looking free kick towards the visitors goal a few minutes later and a Matlock defender had to head the ball over his own bar to avert a goal.
On 17 minutes Connor finally got the goal his efforts deserved, to open the scoring for Harworth, when the ball came to him on the corner of the six yard box, after the Matlock keeper Harry Westnedge had tipped away a right wing cross cum shot from Enzo Guarini. Gresham steadied himself and drilled the ball home right footed (or right footbed according to another match report I've seen published on the interweb).
Jordan Hardman knocked a great through ball into the path of Gresham, who was running his marker ragged and making himself available all across the Matlock back line ... this time it took a combination of two defenders and the keeper to thwart him, in a three onto one smothering exercise.
Matlock team sheet, very neatly presented.
Connor Gresham was involved again in the build up to Harworth's second goal, when he battled for the ball out on the left wing and got his cross in at the third attempt to Daine McGrain, who controlled the ball and struck an overhead kick towards Matlock's goal, quick as a flash Danny Siddall spotted that it was going to fall a foot or so short of it's intended target and with Harry Westnedge shaping up to to dive onto the ball, he nipped in to knock the ball home just inside the left hand post.
Danny showed good strikers instincts and it's great to see him getting stuck in, in such a fearless way now that he's fully recovered from his pre season injury.
The game was almost as good as over on 35 minutes, when Siddall and Gresham combined well through the left channel and Connor let fly with a shot from ten yards out, but Westnedge, who was having a busy night, got down to keep the ball out by the left hand post.
I remember in pre season, telling somebody who watches a lot of Under 19s football to watch Connor Gresham closely because he's going to come good this year.
Ta Connor, it's not very often that I'm proven right.
Inside the final five minutes of the first half, Ben Harrison warmed Tom Hogg's hands with a shot from just outside the box, that the Harworth keeper palmed away for a corner.
The final action of the first half saw Daine McGrain shooting over the Matlock goal from 25 yards out.
HT - Team Hussein 2 v Matlock Town 0
Harworth team sheet, scruffy handwriting, must try harder.
The second half was less than two minutes old when good work by Danny Siddall sent Enzo Guarini tearing off towards the right hand side of Matlock's area, with their defence trying to force Enzo wide, he whipped across one his trademark cross cum shot specialities, that dipped under the crossbar and caught everybody out as he put Harworth three goals in front.
On 56 minutes, Ben Thompson came on in place of Connor Gresham, he'd done his fair share of damage already tonight and then some.
I'm reliably informed that Ben Thompson scored Harworth's fourth on 69 minutes, when he was set up by another of the Colliery's subs on the night, Lewis Francis. Alas I didn't see it ... occasionally your humble Matchday Secretary will miss a few moments of the game, while he nips off to the dressing room, or pavilion, or Asda, to sort other apparently pressing matters out.
I shall say this only once ... It was the first Harworth goal I've missed at any game I've been too all season and I would like to make it known, categorically, that however urgent or important *anybody else* might think *anything else* might be, away from the field of play, there is *nothing whatsover* that can't wait until after the final whistle has sounded to be dealt with, for the remainder of the season.
Got that everybody!?
Lewis Francis had a goal chalked off for straying offside and for upsetting the linesman, by forgetting to bring any sweets this week (it is worth remembering that he's the replacement referee next Wednesday Lewis) ... and he was unlucky not to score when he went through one on one with Harry Westnedge too.
Westnedge kept the score down to a respectable looking total, with a string of saves tonight, including a double stop from Enzo and a well held take from a Ben Thompson free kick inside the last couple of minutes.
At the end of the game, I had a quick chat with Hasan about who the man of the match was.
If Connor had been on the pitch for a whole 90 minutes, he would've got it, but instead the honour goes to Chris Higgins, who took care of business at the back and through the spine of the team, with a tireless performance all night.
Well done Chris, even though you possibly got the nod by default after Connor went off :-P
That said, it's not just the eye catching front players who win games, the whole team worked their backsides off tonight, including those who didn't actually got a mention.
FT - 'Our' team 4 v Matlock Town 0
Next Wednesday, Harworth Under 19s entertain West Bridgford Colts (who held Dunkirk to a draw this week) at Scrooby Road. Kick off is at 7.45pm and entertainment and goals are guaranteed, for a token admission cost of just £2.
I won't be there because of a court date in Nottingham, but rest assured, I'll be back for the remainder of the season.
If you're going to be there G**** McP******, could you please keep me up to date with the score? Cheers mate.

Next up: Saturday 23rd February - FA Trophy Semi Final 2nd Leg - Gainsborough Trinity v Wrexham