Wednesday 25th September 2013
at Inkersall Road, Staveley, S43 3JL
TOOLSTATION NCEL Premier Division
Staveley Miners Welfare (0) 2
Michael Trench 73
Jordan Turner 75
Nostell Miners Welfare (0) 0
Programme £1 32 pages, lots of reading matter, great effort
Staveley Miners Welfare:
Laurence Matthewson, Nick Hague, Michael Trench, Josh Scully (Rob Ludlam), James Colliver, Luke Beatson, Jamie Smith (C), Matt Thorpe, Jordan Turner, Jake Vernon Ryan Damms), Jonathan Wafula (Phil Austin) - Unused Sub, Chris Butt (GK)
Nostell Miners Welfare:
Jordan Robson (C), Alex Marsh, Wayne Ball, Darren Rushton, Jonathan Downey, Joe Penn (Darren Beeforth), Philip Miles, Mario Campagna, Kevin Morris (Danny Critchlaw), Matthew Johnson (Gareth Hamlet), Simon Poole - Unused Subs - Callum Stroder, Ryan Holdsworth
A fairly straightforward win for Staveley tonight at Inkersall Road., who have now edged up the table into 19th place, on ten points, with games in hand on the four teams below them and three of the four directly above them too.
Visitors Nostell have an unenviable 100% record so far this season, having lost all of their opening twelve league games and two cup matches.
Profligate finishing from Neil Cluxton's team, punctuated a first half that wasn't particularly inspiring to watch at times, but the home side had to adopt a patient approach and keep plugging away, because it was fairly obvious that a breakthrough would come at some point.
The importance of keeping things tight at the back and the need to get the vital three points, probably contributed to the thinking behind the cautious waiting game that Staveley adopted.
In the event, it proved to be exactly the right approach.
It's been a steep learning curve for Neil Cluxton, since he took the first team reigns, but he's shrewd and worldly wise enough to know, that the NCEL is a whole different ball game to that played by his successful development teams over a number of years.
Results matter so much more at first team level.
Whereas good habits, freedom of expression, all out attack and entertainment are prevalent at Under 18 and 19's level football (as we saw at Inkersall Road on Monday), some of that finesse has to be compromised in the name of grinding out results, when the first teams standing in the league table is at stake.
That said, having contained Nostell and weighed them up for the first 45 minutes, Staveley stepped things up a notch after the break and despite the goals not coming (in quick succession) until late in the game, it is fair to say that there was only one team in it after the break.
Inside the first five minutes, Staveley ought to have scored, when Luke Beatson headed over a left wing cross from Michael Trench, after a Jamie Smith corner had only been half cleared by the visitors defence.
Josh Scully released Jordan Turner down the right wing, where he skinned Wayne Ball, the Nostell left back and cut into the box, where his shot across the face of goal went narrowly wide of the far post.
The visitors centre half Jonathan Downey, was proving to be a formidable presence in their defence as he battled to keep out both Josh Scully and Jamie Smith.
Jonathan Wafula took a heavy knock and after receiving treatment tried to carry on, but found he couldn't and he was replaced by Phil Austin.
Staveley's captain, Smith, launched a deep cross into Nostell's box, but Downey was using every inch of his massive frame, to dominate anything played into the air.
Phil Miles and Alex Marsh both tried to catch Laurence Matthewson out with long range free kicks, but they were comfortably held by the Blues keeper and both efforts proved to be wasteful.
Smith played Turner through into the Nostell box, but despite having two bites at the cherry, both of his finish were blocked by a tightly shut defence.
Michael Trench was relishing in the role of getting forward from his left back berth and he picked out the unmarked Jake Vernon with an inswinging cross, but the home sides number 10 headed over.
Right on the stroke of half time, Josh Scully unleashed a 25 yard free kick, that deflected off of a Nostell defender and forced Jordan Robson into making a fingertip save.
HT 0-0, still all to play for, but Staveley only had themselves to blame, because with a bit more sharpness in front of goal, they would've been well ahead by now.
Miles hit a snap shot from long range that bounced awkwardly in front of Matthewson, but it bounced harmlessly wide of the mark.
Jordan Turner was making a real nuisance of himself among the visitors defence by now and it was now a only a matter of time until he made a breakthrough against a tiring and overstretched defence.
But the longer that the game remained goalless, the more Nostell started to fancy their chances and within the space of two minutes, Downey rattled the ball against the crossbar and Danny Critchlow forced Matthewson into tipping the ball over, with a goal bound strike.
But Staveley weren't about to capitulate now after spending so long camped out in the oppositions half, Smith set up Turner again and once more his shot was charged down, this time by Alex Marsh.
Smith took matters into his own hands and broke forward into the box, but as he cued up his shot, the chasing last man Darren Beeforth, did just about enough to unsettle the Blues number 7 and he shot wide.
The crowd were still encouraging the home side, rather than getting restless, because they could see the Staveley players were giving their all, but when Trench's shot from Smith's sideways knock was also snuffed out by the visitors back 6 (six), even the most optimistic spectator must've been starting to think that this game was destined to finish nil-nil, regardless of how hard Staveley were huffing n' puffing.
Staveley won a free kick, five yards outside the area in the 73rd minute.
And with the packed defence picking up a man apiece to mark at the set piece, Michael Trench deceived everybody and struck the ball straight past Jordan Robson.
The crowd were up on their feet, punching the air with relief as much as celebration that finally, all of the home sides pressure had paid off.
Less than two minutes later, the home side struck again, when Josh Scully played Jordan Turner in on goal, he sprinted into the box, pulled Robson and his defence wide and belted the ball home from a tight angle. Two-nil and no way back for the hard working visitors now, who had entrenched themselves across their goal area for most of the game, in what had now become a vainglorious combined effort to keep the home side at bay. Brave Nostell had been undone by two quality strikes.
Phil Miles, for the third time tonight, saw a chance go begging at the other end, when Luke Beatson tidied things up at the back for Staveley.
Jordan Turner battled for the ball in the last third, as is his wont and passed the ball through to Michael Trench, who twisted and turned and led off two challenges, but couldn't get the ball onto his favoured left foot to finish the chance off.
Staveley MW man of the match - Jamie Smith
Three points, a clean sheet and despite having squandered so many chances, it bodes well that the frontline were getting so much service tonight.
The real Staveley Miners Welfare stood up to be counted tonight and didn't let their heads drop when it took them so long to finally hit the back of the net.
Next up: Staveley Miners Welfare are away at Armthorpe Welfare on Saturday, 3pm kick off, both clubs need to start picking up a few points now, to kickstart their respective seasons.
Ground address: Welfare Ground, Church Street, Armthorpe, Doncaster, DN3 3AG
Ground directions: From the south, take the M1, then M18 to J4 on to the A630.
At 2nd roundabout, turn left and proceed to next roundabout, then turn right.
Ground is situated 400 yards on the left behind supermarket and opposite the highly recommended 'Golden Cod' fish & chip shop.