at the Recreation Ground, Scrooby Road, Bircotes, DN11 8JT
CMFL Phoenix Trophies Floodlit Cup
Harworth Colliery (0) 0
Westella Hanson (0) 1
Chris Spinks 66 (pen)
Admission £3, Programme £1, Attendance 47
Alas, at around 1.27am, Mr Swain threw his arms up in the air and declared: "Screw it, I'm calling time on this, Harworth won't score if we play on until breakfast".
That is, of course, a complete fabrication on my part, but the truth wasn't so far removed from that fictional introduction.
Tonight, Harworth redefined the word 'frustration' in front of goal.
Chance, after chance, after chance went begging for the Colliery, but it looked like only a matter of time until their efforts and commitment to all out attack, would finally bear fruition and once they had made a breakthrough, then the floodgates would open wide ... in the event though, that just didn't happened.
|Waldorf and Statler enjoy a night off from filming the Xmas 'Muppet Show'|
Tonight's visitors are currently at the top of the CMFL North table, having only lost once all season.
In spite their record this season, Westella are still vastly under rated in some quarters; but not in Harworth, where they've recorded a 3-2 win in the league already this season, a month ago to the day.
You don't build a run of results like Westella's by good fortune alone, but they definitely rode their luck at times tonight.
Besides both strikers having had a plethoras of chances to put the visitors to the sword, Jonny Bownes put a 25 yard shot wide of the upright, after his free kick had been cleared straight back to him by a Westella defender.
Just before half time, Chris Belshaw embarked on a defence splitting run .... dribbling in from the left, he left two Westella players in his wake and beat Alden with a fierce angled shot, that went narrowly wide of the right hand upright.
Belshaw picked out Blakey with an inswinging corner, but Alden pulled off a great save.
Gaz Sides played Blakey through on goal, but Alden kept him out again.
Blakey sent West racing towards the Westella goal through the right channel, the defence closed ranks and cleared the ball.
Sides and Ollie Chappell combined well on the edge of the box, but once again, the visitors absorbed the pressure and got the ball away to safety.
It is an age old football tradition, that all teams who create a multitude of chances but fail to convert them, will go behind to a sucker punch goal at the other end. And sure enough ... the ref spotted Jonny Bownes tugging on a Westella players shirt in the Harworth box and blew for a spot kick.
Chris Spinks, put the ball away and the visitors were in front, against the run of play.
The Colliery, regrouped, reorganised and rolled their sleeves up and set about getting a goal back.
But the well drilled visitors kept their shape and were in no mood to let Harworth in, now they had got the advantage.
The home sides defence had looked solid all night up until that point, providing a buffer zone that allowed the midfield and attack to take the game to their stubborn visitors.
Harworth's management threw their substitutes on, hoping that fresh legs could take advantage of the visitors overworked defenders, but Westella were having none of it.
They had been fortunate at times, but had also battled well to keep the Colliery's attacking approach in check and they weren't going to give up their slender lead now.
The final whistle sounded and Westella had squeaked the win, while Harworth were left to lament, that all the graft in the world and a gameplan that had created chance, after chance (after chance) counts for nothing, if you can't get ball in the net.
Another cup exit, via a narrow single goal home defeat, from a game that had promised so much more, especially for the first hour or so, was a real kick in the teeth for the Harworth camp.
Westella's manager Leon Sewell was generous to the Colliery performance in the aftermath of this defeat and was kind enough to remove the spell he'd put on their forwards before the game, he doesn't only resemble a Druid wizard, he *really* is one (possibly).
"Shooting practice required" muttered one Harworth fan on his way out of the ground ... "I know which ones I'd shoot tonight" replied his sidekick.
FT - Harworth Colliery 0 v Westella Hanson 1