Monday, 1 April 2013

Westella Hanson 1 v Harworth Colliery 0 - CMFL North

Monday 1st April 2013, at Bishop Burton College
Central Midlands League (North)
Westella Hanson (0) 1
Chris Spinks 46
Harworth Colliery (0) 0
Attendance 15, mainly relatives of the players, but there was a ground-hopper present who had traveled all the way from Brighton to attend this game.
I hope he enjoyed it more than I did.
Westella and Willerby changed their name in the summer, when they were subject to a multi-million takeover swoop, by the Tulsa based pop-rock band Hanson, in a deal similar to the one that Thurnby Nirvana were involved in a few years ago, with Kurt Cobain's iconic Seattle based grunge band.
Westella Hanson
Curtis Alden, Rob Dodson, Mike Thompson, Andy Bagshaw, Tom Andrews, Matty Fyve, Alex Wood, Bobby Stevenson, Mike Pecora, Chris Spinks, Joe Norton
Subs - Tom Dent, Garry Flounders, Jason Crisp, Jody Barford
Harworth Colliery
Mark Latham, Jordan Hardman, Paul Burns, James Woodward, Simon Brewster, Chris Belshaw, Tom Padgett, Jonathan Bownes, Lee Edmondson, Gareth Sides, Tom Pick
Subs - Matt Smith, David Cornthwaite, Tom Walker
The Alan Carr and Bradley Walsh doppelgangers that the lookalike agency sent didn't seem to be having much fun.
Westella only beat Harworth by a solitary goal this afternoon, but, if truth be told, the visitors were let off the hook by that flattering scoreline and at times only looked like a shadow of the side that were slipping to only their fourth defeat of their CMFL North league campaign this season.
As the gentleman from Brighton politely put it, at the end of the game: "You were only beaten one-nil, but you were well beaten one-nil".
As early as the third minute, the home side gave notice of their intentions when Alex Wood crashed a blistering shot narrowly wide of the right hand upright.
At the other end, Tom Pick struggled to get the final touch on an inswinging Chris Belshaw corner and when Paul Burns delivered a cross into the mix after Lee Edmondson had played him in through the left channel, a gilt edged chance to draw first blood went begging.
Mark Latham was forced into making a 'worldly' one handed save on fifteen minutes, when Chris Spinks found a yard of space on the edge of the Colliery box and unleashed a thumping shot.
Westella were knocking the ball around well and playing most of their pass and move stuff in Harworth's half, with Mike Pecora, Chris Spinks, Joe Norton and Alex Wood all seemingly rotating positions, in an attempt to pull the visitors defence all over the place, to leave room for Bobby Stevenson to exploit.
It was an attacking formation that gave the Harworth central defensive pairing of James Woodward and Simon Brewster plenty to think about ... and though they argued like an old married couple who've grown sick of the sight of each other, from the sidelines it looked to me as though they were coping much better than they obviously thought they were against the frenetic pace that the home side were buzzing about at, especially the impressive Mike Pecora.
The home sides relentless pressure nearly paid off, when a Mike Thompson cross, was flicked on by Alex Wood into the path of Chris Spinks, but he put the ball wide of the target.
Just before half time, Mike Pecora put the ball into the back of the Harworth net, but the linesman had his flag up for an offside infringement. Phew!
HT - No goals and time for Harworth to regroup and for some (but my no means all) of the players, to up their work rate and get focussed on the job in hand.
Hmm. so much for regrouping.
26 seconds into the second half, while Harworth were still having a few stretches in preparation for the next 45 minutes of hard work and honest endeavour, the home side staged a quick smash and grab raid.
Harworth kicked off the second half, squandered possession far too easily, left Mark Latham completely exposed and allowed Chris Spinks a free run and shot on goal.
One-nil to Westella Hanson and the strains of 'MMMBop!' crackled over the clubs tannoy system by way of  a celebratory announcement.
At the other end Tom Pick got held back by Matty Fyvie as he went for the ball in the Westella area, but the referee Simon Swain, who otherwise had an excellent game, missed it. Though to be fair, given how the game was going thus far, it would be churlish to blame one decision going against Harworth, for the course this game was inevitably taking.
Just before the hour, with the defence all picking up one of the trublesome Westella forward/attacking midfield quartet, Bobby Stevenson crashed a 30 yard free kick against the crossbar.
Tom Walker came on for the last half hour and almost immediately, combined well with Tom Pick to find space on the edge of the Westella box, but he scuffed his shot.
Lee Edmondson sent Tom Pick away on a run, deep into 'Hanson' territory, but the defence closed ranks and when the half cleared came back to Edmondson, he shot wide from 18 yards out.
The play was soon back in the Harworth area again, Alex Wood cleverly back-heeled the ball into the path of Chris Spinks, but Woodward arrived in the nick of time to intercept the ball and cleared his lines.
Woodward and Brewster were both putting in overtime this afternoon and they really needed too, given the home sides preference for containing the game to the area just inside and around Harworth's penalty area.
When Mike Pecora went off for a well earned rest late in the game and I think everybody connected with Harworth was really glad to see the back of him, he'd been a real handful all afternoon.
Tom Walker was slightly unlucky to be booked for his first foul.
Maybe his reputation is now preceding him and match officials are keeping an eye out for him. But personally, I would have red carded him on the spot for his foul arsed farting in the mini bus en route to Bishop Burton.
Westella shut up shop in the closing stages, Harworth had been second best for most of the game, but the home side didn't want to take any risk,  given that they were still only sat on a single goal lead.
In the last minute of the 90, Jonny Bownes went down under a tackle in the penalty area, but the appeal for the spot kick was waved away.
I've seen them given and I certainly wouldn't have minded if Harworth had pulled it back to 1-1 at the death from the spot, regardless of how well Westella had played today.
But in the end, the home side got the win their efforts deserved and Harworth, well they probably didn't deserve the draw any way.
FT - Westella Hanson 1 v Harworth Colliery 0
Westella now face AFC Mansfield on Thursday night, in the CMFL North Floodlit Cup semi final, the winners will, of course, meet Harworth in the northern area final, venue and date TBC.

Next up: Tomorrow night, Parkgate U19 v Harworth Colliery U19, at Roundwood Sports Pavilion.
Kick off is at 7.45pm.