Tuesday 30th April 2013, at Inkersall Road
Baris Northern Counties East League, Premier Division
Staveley Miners Welfare (0) 1
Oliver Woodhead 77
Liversedge (0) 2
Danny Toronczak 49
Ryan Wood 75
Admission £5, Programme £1, Attendance 78
Ta very much to 'our Ele' for the team sheet
|Left click for enlarged image|
Staveley beat bottom placed Hall Road Rangers 3-0 on Saturday, to end a shocking sequence of 15 consecutive League games without a win, since they beat Barton Town Old Boys on Saturday 15th December 2012.
There have, of course, been mitigating circumstances that have temporarily delayed the progress this club's been making, both on and off the pitch. But even after a worrying spell of uncertainty for the Staveley faithful, that saw the vultures eagerly, but prematurely circling Inkersall Road, there is still an air of positivity around the place, as they move forward again, towards a brighter future.
The truth is, this north Derbyshire football club are far from going bust and vanishing without a trace, as many of the salacious rumour mongers in local football have been predicting.
If I may rehash a variation of a famous Mark Twain quote to make my point: the reports of Staveley Miners Welfare FC's death are greatly exaggerated.
Trust me and just watch them find their feet again next season, now they've taken their standing count squarely on the jaw and weathered the stormy seas, that were caused by the waves of people deserting what they wrongly assumed was a sinking ship.
Defiant Sabre rattling conjecture, or fact?
Tell you what, if you're not convinced by what I've just said, come back in twelve months time and discuss the above subject matter with me, because I'll enjoy that, a lot, because I absolutely love being proved right.
Earlier this month, Liversedge had dished out an 8-1 mauling to Staveley at their Clayborn base in Cleckheaton, but a fairly lacklustre first half, suggested that this game was never likely to provide many goals, to entertain the 78 spectators who'd turned out tonight, instead of watching the European football on TV.But there were a few stand out moments at either end.
Lee Anthony looked as though he had given Staveley the lead, but having connected well with Ryan Damms neat delivery into his path, to lob Tony Clarke in the visitors goal, he saw the ball take a wicked bounce in the rock hard goalmouth and it flew straight over the bar instead of into the net. That moment, encapsulated the kind of luck Staveley have been having this season; i.e, none at all, except for bad luck of course.
Lee Anthony's right wing cross was only half cleared by the visitors defence, as far as Sean Dickinson, but Tony Clarke saved well to dent the Blues number 8.
Anthony was involved again, when he dispossessed James Rathel on the edge on the 'Sedge box and played Joe Bytheway through, but his shot went across the face of the goal and out of play narrowly wide of the far post.
HT - Staveley MW 0 v Liversedge 0
Jamie Smith saw his effort fly wide of the target, as the home side started to inject a bit of momentum into their game.
But the pressing game up front, turned into panic in defence, as Martin Dewberry and Joe Bytheway combined to make a real mess of clearing the ball and they were fortunate that Matt Bugg couldn't respond quickly enough to the unexpected chance he was gifted.
Staveley pushed forward, probing for an equaliser and Ryan Damms crashed the ball against the crossbar with Tony Clarke beaten. Michael Trench hurt himself trying to get to the loose ball as Clarke recovered and plucked it out of the air.
Dewberry was in the thick of it again before long, plucking a left wing cross from the ever lively Toronczak off of Bugg's head.
Just when it looked as though Staveley had weathered a mini storm, Ryan Wood ghosted in, took advantage of a gap in the home sides rearguard and knocked home Liversedge's second goal with fifteen minutes remaining.
Liversedge scoring again woke Staveley up a bit and within two minutes they had pulled a goal back through Oliver Woodhead who headed home a pinpoint delivery from Liam Osborne.
Osborne steeped up the ante and began to cause the Liversedge defence no end of problems as they resorted to kicking him to keep his obvious threat under wraps.
The game finished under a cloud of controversy, due to a couple of decisions that went against the home side and cost both Ryan Damms and Jamie Smith a yellow card apiece.
A Liversedge player definitely handled it, no doubt about that, but Ryan Damms also got a touch.
However it was difficult to ascertain whether the Staveley captain was booked for the handball or for what he said to the ref in the aftermath of the incident.
But if it was for for using his hand, then whichever Liversedge player helped the ball over the bar, should also have received a caution too.
For the record, I was in line with the goal, watching the action through a zoom lens, hoping to get a picture of a late equaliser for Staveley (not that I'm biased or 'owt!).
But that doesn't mean my first hand account is either definitive or wholly accurate.
If opinion was split about the handball decision ... and having spoken to a few people about the incident on the way out of the ground, there were several contradictory and conflicting views from eye witnesses ... then Jamie Smith's misfortune at being shown a yellow card, was agreed upon unanimously.
It was a crap decision, end of!
Neither a case of foul or dangerous play, but just the act of a player making a last ditch and legitimate attempt to get to a ball that was still in play, as his team pushed forward in search of a late goal that would salvage a point from the game.
Smith was entitled to go for the ball, just like Clarke, who bravely saved the situation and possibly preserved his teams lead in the process.
I'm loathe to criticise match officials at any time, as I've said previously ... but, in this instance, Jamie Smith is going to have to pay a fine as punishment for challenging for the ball fairly.
Surely, that is exactly what he is meant to do.
FT - Staveley Miners Welfare 1 v Liversedge 2
It could've gone either way in the second half. But Liversedge hung on to their slender advantage and won the day.
Both sides will finish the season just below mid table in the Baris NCEL Premier Division and will be looking for an improvement next year.