Thursday, 18 April 2013

Sheffield U19 0 v Handsworth U19 0 - NMU19L Div 1

Thursday 18th April 2013,
at the Coach & Horses Ground, Dronfield
North Midlands U19 League Division 1
Sheffield U19 (0) 0
Handsworth U19 (0) 0
Admission £2 inc. free programme
Once more this term, the NMU19L has provided an excellent source of entertainment and intrigue again all season and in both divisions its going right to the wire.
Basford United could (deservedly) claim the 2nd Division title at Matlock Town next Thursday, with Buxton and Dunkirk (2nd v 3rd) playing against each other on Tuesday.
Second placed Sheffield hosted Division 1 leaders Handsworth tonight, in this nip and tuck game.
A win for either side, would've given them a massive leg up in the race for the title, but in the event, a goalless draw, combined with Staveley's 3-0 victory at Teversal last night, means that there are still three teams in with a shout of lifting the trophy.
Handsworth have just one game remaining, at Arnold Town on Monday 29th April. 
Sheffield's last game will be at Teversal, on Tuesday 23rd April. 
And Staveley MW have two away games left to play at: Hallam on Monday April 22nd and Worksop Town (at Shirebrook) on Thursday 2nd May (according to the NMU19L website, though I'm unofficially but very reliably told that game will actually go ahead on 29th April too).
Staveley MW also travel to Cannon Park/The Jones & Co. Solicitors Stadium (home of Retford United), on Wednesday 8th May, when they face Hallam again in the NMU19L League Cup Final.
If Handsworth win at Arnold the league title will be theirs and they'll already know both Sheffield and Staveley's interim results by then.
Both teams were well supported tonight, for this game that could've gone either way.
In the end I think the draw was just about a fair result.
Handsworth had Sheffield on the back foot for most of the first half, but couldn't make their lions share of the possession count.
But after the break, Sheffield got into the game more and Liam Fox came closest to breaking the deadlock  when he shot narrowly wide and into the side netting from close range.
Adam Hurrell went in late and recklessly on the Handsworth keeper, just after the restart. I gave him the benefit of the doubt over an unpunished challenge on Staveley's Dan Hatfield a couple of weeks ago, but tonight, well ... he deserved his yellow card, at the very least.
Barry and Pam Crownshaw, NMU19L Committee stalwarts ...
and an ex England international footballer called Chris
Elsewhere tonight, Retford United beat Worksop Town 4-3 in the Bassetlaw NMU19L Division 1, local derby game (at Shirebrook), in what must've been a great game if the text updates I was getting from there, are anything to go by.
The result all but guarantees the Badgers a top four finish, unless Hallam win all of their four games in hand.
Worksop will be hoping Hallam don't achieve that record, because they could then slip down in the table, below the dreaded dotted line, that could spell demotion to Division 2 next season.
The fact that Hallam and Worksop both need maximum points from the run in, adds even more spice to Staveley's two remaining league games.
Hold on tight!
NMU19L Remaining fixtures - April
NMU19L Remaining fixtures - May