Saturday, 20 July 2013

Gainsborough Town 3 v Harworth Colliery 0 - Friendly

Saturday 20th July 2013
Westbeck Lane, Blyborough
Gainsborough Town (1) 3
Leigh Hutchinson 10, 
Mark La Rocca 71, 
Geno Robinson 85
Harworth Colliery (0) 0
Left click pictures to enlarge
Gainsborough Town
Details to follow
Harworth Colliery
First Half: Steve Wibberley, Jordan Hardman, Paul Burns, Simon Brewster, Ryan Paczkowski, Dean Bonser, Gareth Sides, Jonny Bownes, Chris Belshaw, Tom Walker, Tom Pick
Second Half: Steve Wibberley, Paul Burns, Scott Hardman, Billy Ball, Greg Fox, David Baum, Lewis Hilton, Andy Webb, Danny Siddall, Tony Garner, Matt Smith
Gainsborough Town were runners up in the Lincolnshire League last season and the ambitious club's preparations for 2013/14 have been going very well so far.
They've beaten CMFL North club Welbeck Welfare 4-0, drawn against NCEL Div. 1 side Appleby Frodingham 0-0 and only lost by two second half goals, away from home, against Sheffield FC of the Evo-Stik League on Tuesday night.
This was Harworth's second pre-season game, following last Saturday's 2-1 win at Southwell City on the hottest afternoon ever, in the whole history of mankind (or similar).
Of course, results don't matter in these warm up games (no, really), because they're all about increasing fitness levels, blending new players in to the team, building camaraderie, developing an understanding and experimenting with tactics, ahead of the real competition that commences next month.
But it was good to start the campaign with a win last week.
Likewise, it was take it on the chin time for the Colliery this afternoon, as they conceded three goals without reply.
The home side usually play in Gainsborough, but today the pre match directions were the sat nav details for the Stirrup Inn, in Willoughton, where somebody would come and meet us and show us the way to the pitch they had booked for this afternoon's game, which in the event turned out to be Blyborough United's ground.
At least the Harworth management will be able to pinpoint one flaw from today's game to work on in training, in so much as all three goals were scored from a similar range, by players who had made themselves the luxury of time and space, in and around the edge of the box. 
Credit where it's due here though, Gainsborough's tactics afforded them those opportunities and they played to their strengths today.
There were quite a few plus points to draw on in defeat for Harworth. 
But hey! I'm sure that Bren, Jonny and Lee would rather that we kept those in house, until the season starts at least, rather than sticking other teams homework on t'internet for them to read.
Dean Bonser has fitted in to the team straight away and his graft in midfield, as well as his distribution to Tom Pick and Chris Belshaw out on the left flank, created a string of openings that kept Gainsborough on their toes ... and it freed up the players operating down either flank as well.
Other than that, my lips are sealed.
With a bit more sharpness in front of goal, the Colliery would've finished the game with a slightly more respectable scoreline to take back home along the A631. 
That said however, Steve Wibberley had to pull off a couple of top class saves at the other end to prevent the 'home' side netting another two goals.
The game was seven minutes old when Leigh Hutchinson made a well timed run into the box (ghosting in from 40 yards), to bury the ball into the back of the net.
But then Harworth increased the tempo and tightened things up for the remainder of the first half.
Just before the break, Tom Pick had the ball in the back of the Gainsborough net, but his effort was ruled out for offside.
The game got a bit physical once or twice, with a bit of needle creeping in.
But it was nothing unduly reckless or over the top ... and these sorts of encounters are better for team building than those 'polite' friendly games, where the opposition stand off of each other and virtually invite the each other to express themselves. Football, in essence, is a contact sport and always should be.
At half time, Harworth made nine substitutions, with just Steve Wibberley and Paul Burns of the first half team, staying on after the break.
The second half was just as competitive as the first, with one or two of the fringe players in the Harworth squad trying to make an impact and catch the management's eye, as they strived to claw the 1-0 deficit back. But it was Mark La Rocca who scored the next goal, for Gainsborough, having forged a run into the box down the left channel, before picking his spot.
Shortly afterwards, Matt Smith rattled the Gainsborough woodwork, with a stinging shot against the right hand upright from ten yards out, but any hopes of a comeback were squashed once and for all, when Geno Robinson made it 3-0 with a well taken strike on 85 minutes. 
Game over.
Harworth's next warm up game will be at Handsworth FC on Tuesday night, kick off is at 7pm. 
Then they're at home against Brigg Town on Saturday July 27th (3pm kick off).
Gainsborough Town's remaining two friendly games will see them face Eccleshill United (away) next Saturday and then they have a game against Gainsborough Trinity on 6th August.
As regards this afternoon, I have to say it, Gainsborough warranted the victory today. 
While Harworth's two elevens will have both benefitted from another step towards peaking at the outset of the 2013-14 season. 
It's good to see so much healthy competition for starting places.
A productive day all round, for both teams.