Thursday, 21 March 2013

Ollerton Town U19 3 v Harworth Colliery U19 3 - NMU19L Div 2

Thursday 21st March 2013,
at Walesby Lane Sports Ground, Ollerton
Ollerton Town U19  (2) 3
Jordan Lamb 41,  43, Lewis English 81
Harworth Colliery U19  (0) 3
Matt Smith 69, Daine McGrain 70, Mitchell Lax 86 pen
Admission £2 inc. team sheet/programme
Attendance 47, thanks to all the Harworth first team players and staff (past and present) who travelled across to watch the Under 19's in action tonight, it was greatly appreciated :-)
Left click pictures for enlarged versions if you're that way inclined.
A slightly altered Harworth starting eleven, lined up for tonight's game, because of player unavailability and an injury picked up by Enzo Guarini when he was playing elsewhere.
But no excuses, football is a squad game and those who started tonight, are more than capable, as they proved over the course of the game.
To be perfectly honest, I'm glad it isn't me who selects the team. because it must be really difficult, to justify leaving any of the current crop of players out.
Mitchell Lax broke forward right from the kick off, giving Ollerton's defence an early wake up call as they combined the smother his run out.
Luke Bailey knocked a short free kick to Chris Higgins, who's well measured ball over the top of the Ollerton defence, was met by Danny Siddall on the right byline, but his angled finish was chalked off when the ref's assistant raised his flag for offside.
Jordan Hardman threaded a well weighted pass through to Ben Thompson from out on the right wing, but Thompson couldn't keep his shot down and the ball flew high and wide.
Brandon Carr broke down the right wing and swung over a cross for Ollerton's prolific striker Lewis English, but he put the opportunity over the crossbar.
Harworth's very own prolific forward, Daine McGrain, looked comfortable and composed on the ball, as he kept it close and ghosted through four challenges before firing narrowly over from ten yards out. 
Harworth team details
Disaster struck for Harworth on 18 minutes, when central defender Gaz Bonner hurt his ankle so badly, whilst clearing the ball, that he couldn't take any further part in the game. He was replaced by Tom Cameron. Bonner's centre half partner Chris Higgins was feeling his hamstring from this point onwards too, but had to carry on while trying to hide the fact that he was struggling from the Ollerton front line.Lewis English darted through to meet a long ball played over the top for him, but Tom Hogg was quickly off his line to narrow the angle and English was forced to shoot early and put the ball wide.
Matt Smith, muscled his way through a few challenges on the edge of the Ollerton box, using his low centre of gravity (that's football-speak for being small and stocky), but Joe Hankey got down and caught the ball before Matt could shoot.
Matt Smith was another one playing on through the pain barrier, he's struggling to shake off a chest infection ... and his constant bouts of coughing tonight, were causing havoc with all the dogs in the houses that back onto the ground, who were barking back at him.
Jordan Lamb found a gap in the Harworth defence and set up Brandon Carr, but he missed the target from 8 yards. Phew!
Carr then took on the role of provider, but his left wing cross to English was blocked by Higgins, who closed off the route to goal as the Ollerton number 11 fired wide.
Ollerton team details
Danny Siddall, Matt Smith and Mitchell Lax combined well together to put Ollerton under pressure, but the home side's defence cleared the ball for a corner that came to nothing.
With half time fast approaching, Ollerton hit Harworth with a double sucker punch just before the break.
On 41 minutes, Jordan Lamb ran onto a direct ball over the defence and knocked the ball past Tom Hogg.
But then they doubled their lead when Brad Middlekoop, with no passing options on, fired the ball into the goalmouth from 40 yards out and it went in via two slight deflections, past the unsighted Tom Hogg.
Apparently, it was a genuine goal attempt and Middlekoop had meant to do it.
OK then, hands up, my poor old eyes fail me at times, so it would be wrong of me to say ... what a bloody fluke! Wouldn't it!?
HT - Ollerton 2 v Harworth 0
It is an well worn cliché, that getting a goal just before half time gives the side that scored it, a massive psychological lift, while deflating the spirits of the team that conceded it.
So scoring again, in theory, must have twice the effect, whilst leaving the opposition doubly down in the dumps.
Then again.
Overhearing an opposition player, who's just seen his side go two in front from an 'intentional but very fortunate' strike, gobbing off and saying "These are crap, we'll will by four or five now", can also have a desirable effect too.
And Harworth were back out on the pitch a full five minutes before Ollerton, waiting to make them eat those words, while knocking on the referee's door en route to politely ask him if it was time 'to get on with it yet'. 
Mitchell Lax powered a 30 yard free kick towards the Ollerton goal, Joe Hankey saved it, spilled it and recovered in the nick of time before Matt Smith pounced.
Tom Cameron broke forward and Ollerton had to clear the ball away for a corner.
Joe Hankey had his hands warmed by yet another free kick from Mitchell Lax.
The tide had turned and Ollerton were now finding themselves on the back foot as the Colliery lads pushed forwards..
Lewis Francis, Harworth's second and only sub was thrown on to add his presence up front, winger Danny Siddall was gutted to have come off.
He's a team player and desperately wanted to help his side to get back into the game.
Ollerton knocked another long ball into the Harworth box, Tom Hogg ran from his line to collect it and caught the ball cleanly, but his momentum took him over the eighteen yard line and out of the goal area.
Because Hoggy hadn't prevented a clear goalscoring chance, a red card would've been over the top, but you never can tell what way these things will go sometimes, so it was a relief when he was booked instead.
Harworth cleared their lines and were soon back on the attack. Matt Smith powered his way past Matt Eland and thumped a low shot past Joe Hankey.
Having deservedly got a goal back, Harworth equalised a minute later, when Daine McGrain beat two defenders for pace and left Joe Hankey clutching at thin air.
Not bad for a side who are crap and going to lose four or five nil (cough).
Matt Smith almost put Harworth ahead, but he was thwarted by a last ditch tackle by Brad Wilson after Mitchell Lax had played him in.
Ollerton attacked again, Brendan Carr rattled a shot against the crossbar and through a scrummage of bodies Lewis English got the touch that put the home side back in front. Hmm, I s'pose if you're going to have anybody in this league following the ball in, 'just in case', then it might as well be him.
Daine McGrain got away again at the other end, but he flashed the ball agonisingly wide.
Inside the last five minutes, Jordan Hardman's in swinging free kick, from out on the right, hit a Ollerton players hand ... note I just chose my words very carefully there .... and the referee pointed to the spot.
MItchell Lax drilled the spot kick home and it was all square again at 3-3.
Right at the death, Mitchell Lax got above the Ollerton defence and powerfully headed Luke Bailey's left winger corner towards the goal, but Joe Hankey pulled off a great save to preserve a point for Ollerton.
FT - Ollerton Town 3 v Harworth Colliery 3
So, a point apiece and a score draw, just like it was when Harworth played at Ollerton in pre season.
So, was it a penalty near the end of the game?
I could cop out and say that the referee thought so and leave it at that, however:
Hmm, the evil demon who sits on my right shoulder offering me naughty advice (who usually gets his own way) says: "Get In! And I hope that big gob who was mouthing off at half time was the one who's hand it hit".
But my fair and sporting alter ego (who seldom gets a look in), politely suggests, that I would've been well and truly p*ssed off if a decision like that would've gone against Harworth ... and he's possibly right.
However, over the course of the 90+ minutes, I saw enough baffling decisions go against the away side (in fact I don't think a single call went Harworth's way for the opening 25 minutes or so), to reach the verdict, that these things balance themselves out over an entire game (season?).
Both teams were probably a bit lucky to have scored under the circumstances they did, right at the end of each half and 'comeback kings' Harworth, deserved something out of this game, end of.
Man of the match - chosen by Harworth Under 19s's manager Hasan Hussein, is Matt Smith.