Central Midlands League (North)
at the Recreation Ground,
Scrooby Road, Bircotes, DN11 8JT
Harworth Colliery (2) 2
Makenzie Tomlinson 4
Martyn Gee 45
Bentley Colliery (1) 1
Jack Gilkes 17
Admission £3, Programme £1
Elsewhere on planet football, England were beating Poland 2-0 to seal their qualification to the World Cup in Brazil next year, but here in downtown Bircotes, the only scheduled CMFL North division game of the night went ahead, between Harworth and Bentley, two sides who play their home games just 12 miles apart.
Teams in this division play just 16 home games per season.
Next weekend, when Easington United visit 'the Rec', Harworth will already have played ten of their home league games, before October is even over.
Both cup ties this season have been home games too.
Some could say that 'home advantage' is a major contributing factor to the Colliery sitting in third place at the moment, but they have actually won all three of their away games thus far, having scored 13 times while conceding just one goal on the road.
Saturday sees Harworth making the short trip to Brodsworth, after playing three home games in six days.
It will possibly be the first time ever, that the Woodlands estate to the north of Doncaster, will have been called 'a welcome change of scenery'.
But it didn't take long for the home side to make a breakthrough and Makenzie Tomlinson opened the scoring after four minutes, after good work from Jordan Hardman.
Harworth's captain Gaz Sides broke into the area from the left flank and only the outstretched leg of Bentley's keeper Mike Teale prevented him from increasing the lead.
Tom Walker battled well and put in a good cross for Greg Archer, but the Harworth number six couldn't keep his shot down and he put the ball over the bar.
With so many chances going begging, it looked like only a matter of time before the Colliery found the net. And on 17 minutes they did, but unfortunately it was the wrong Colliery as Jack Gilkes headed an equaliser for Bentley.
At times on Saturday, Harworth had looked a bit sluggish against Westella, as though some kind of post cup match malais had set, but tonight they responded well to conceding a goal and upped the work rate in an effort to regain the lead.
But despite their efforts, a second goal wasn't forthcoming until first half injury time, when Martyn Gee got to a pinpoint right wing delivery from Lewis Hilton, ahead of Mike Teale and Lloyd Wilkinson and knocked it into the back of the net.
A classic poachers goal, to top off an already polished performance from Gee, who put in his best 90 minute shift for Harworth tonight, since he had a rethink about his retirement from playing.
HT - HARWORTH 2 v BENTLEY 1
At the start of the second half, as the spectators drifted back from watching a bit of the England v Polska game in the Pavilion Bar, or warming themselves on a very reasonably hot priced drink in Tom's Tea Room, Lloyd Wilkinson attacked Bentley's left flank and dropped an inviting cross into the path of Jordan Hardman.
Tom Walker, in a deeper role than he sometimes plays, was popping up all over across the midfield to provide service for Harworth's attackers, along with Jonny Bownes and Lewis Hilton, but having conceded a second goal Bentley had tightened things up at the back and were repelling everything the home side could throw at them.
Kenzie Tomlinson had a great chance to increase Harworth's lead but he put the ball just over.
Moments later he dribbled past the Bentley right back, but his sideways pass was cleared by Aaron Drogba just before it reached Jordan Hardman.
Credit where it is due, Aaron Drogba, Bentley's centre half, had a very good game tonight, which is also a good indication of how busy he was, given that play was condensed around the visitors box for long spells.
|Martyn Gee - THE66POW man of the match.|
Walker again, who looked busy all night from where I was standing, chased down a back pass from Courtney Peynado, which forced Teale into having to handle the ball.
But in a congested penalty box, Bentley got the ball away and the free kick came to nothing.
Late in the game Greg Archer and Lewis Hilton combined well with a free kick, but Mike Teale turned the ball away at the expense of a corner.
There were to be no more goals tonight, but Harworth had put in 100% effort over the course of the game against a stubborn Bentley side, who were well beaten, despite only having gone down to the odd goal in three over 90 minutes.
That said, the visitors didn't really deserve to get completely turned over, in light of a lot of hard graft that they put in, in their own final third.
Harworth could and should have scored more.
But all in, all, I reckon it was a fair result in the end.
FT - HARWORTH 2 v BENTLEY 1