Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Harworth Colliery 4 v. Brodsworth Welfare 1 - CMFL North

Wednesday 6th November 2013
at the Recreation Ground, Scrooby road, Bircotes, DN11 8JT
Harworth Colliery (2) 4
Sam West 32
Chris Belshaw 36
Martyn Gee 51
Jordan Hardman 60
Brodsworth Welfare (1) 1
Shane Carver 29
Admission £3/£1 Programme £1, Attendance 31
Harworth Colliery
Mark Latham, Jordan Hardman, Paul Burns, Jonny Bownes, Martyn Gee (C), Makenzie Tomlinson, Greg Archer, Ollie Chappell (Dean Bonser), Chris Belshaw (Gaz Sides), Sam West (Lee Edmondson), Arron Blakey.
Unused sub, Greg Fox
Brodsworth Welfare
Dominic Senior, Andrew Abbott (Ben Hodgson), Luke Kelly, Mark Vickerage (C), Sterve Knifton, Andrew Culshaw, Harry Chamberlain, Dan Smith (Joe Fisher), Gary Mundy, Shane Carver, Lee Winterman.
Both subs used.
Many words were written about Harworth's recent performance in the reverse fixture on the 19th October at the Welfare Ground in Woodlands, north Doncaster.
Which for the most part, whilst taking nothing away from 'Broddy' for their thoroughly deserved win that afternoon, served as a critical analytical scrutiny of the Colliery's sides efforts (or lack of them) and failings (quite a few of them) on the day in question, against a very determined Welfare side.
It would be fair to say, from an Harworth perspective, that standards dropped, heads dropped and three points were dropped *that* day, but seemingly, with hindsight, the penny also dropped too, amongst certain players, who realised that if they didn't up their application and work rate, there and then, that they might as well write this season off and become also rans in the CMFL North, after all the hard graft earlier in the campaign had seen them challenging for a top five spot from the outset in August.
Tonight's performance however, reminded me of an old adage that says:
"Hard work won't always win against talent, but without hard work, talent won't ever win against anyone".
There is a lot of football still to be played this season, mostly away from home in Harworth's case, due to the unfathomable fixture selection process of the CMFL, who've insisted on packing the majority of the Colliery's home games into the first two months of the season (Brodsworth have also suffered a similar fate too). And if Brendan Wilson's side can maintain the level of performance and application they showed tonight, then there is no reason why they can't stay the course, tucked in nicely behind the front two clubs, waiting to seize the moment if either AFC Mansfield or Westella Hanson slip up.
Broddy's goalkeeper, Dom Senior, had to be alert straight from the kick off, as Harworth exploited the pace of Sam West to spring the visitors defence in the opening exchanges, but Senior just got to the ball first and snatched it off of Westy's toe as he was about to shoot.
However, the Welfare had arrived at Scrooby Road in an equally positive and attack minded frame of mind, boosted by a recent good run of results ... and at the other end, Gary Munday forced a great save out of Mark Latham, who got down well to turn a goalbound effort around his left hand post.
Ollie Chappell had two chances to open the scoring for Harworth inside the first twenty minutes, but both of them were narrowly wide of the woodwork.
With the rain belting down, turning the pitch into a gooey mess (I don't envy whoever is sorting that out in the morning) and a stiff breeze blowing down the pitch towards the dressing rooms, it was no place for the feint hearted out on the park tonight.
Aaron Blakey is looking fitter and more effective with every game that he plays and is proving to be a great signing for the Colliery.
Besides linking up with his frontline teammates tonight, he was also adding a bit of steel to the holding role behind the strikers, in the absence of the suspended Tom Walker.
Blakey and Chris Belshaw, who was charging around the Brodsworth area on a mission to win his place back in the team after an injury lay off, combined to put Brodsworth under pressure again and the Blues defence were relieved to clear their lines at the expense of a corner.
Jordan Hardman picked the ball up in the middle of the park, advanced a few strides and let rip with a thundering shot from 35 yards out, that Dom Senior did well to parry round the post.
Broddy would've done well to have taken notice of Jordan's shooting prowess at this point.
The visitors were a bit under the cosh at this point, with Harworth all out to avenge the 3-2 reversal last month, but they forced their way into the Colliery's half and Shane Carver tried his luck from a free kick, 25 yards from goal, but Latham was on hand again to pull off another timely save.
Inevitably, with Harworth on the front foot and doing everything but score, Broddy broke forward, Shane Carver sprinted away after a low defence splitting through ball, rounded the completely exposed and stranded Latham and knocked the ball into the net from close range.
Brodsworth had opened the scoring through the same player, yet again, just like they had done against Harworth a few weeks ago.
The opening goal was swiftly followed by another case of deja vu, when events unfolded exactly like they had in the previous game between these two teams, in so much as, Harworth were on level terms just a couple of minutes later, when Arron Blakey's measured knock into the path of Sam West, saw the diminutive striker sprint towards Broddy's goal, just about beating the offside flag, before knocking the ball over the line via Senior's outstretched arm.
West definitely wasn't offside when the ball was played by Blakey and the goal line technology app on my phone, said "It was over, no case to answer, so shurrup!"
From then on in, there were no other apparent similarities between tonight's game and the one on October 19th, other than that the teams wearing the same colours.
This was to be Harworth's night and to the Brodsworth management's credit, they acknowledged as much at full time too.
Blakey was involved in everything the home side were doing onthe visitors half at this point, as Harworth put the visitors defence under siege for a while, his precision sideways knock across the box, set up Chris Belshaw perfectly and the Colliery were ahead on 36 minutes. It must have been a real 'Buzz' for birthday boy Belshaw on his return to first team action. Woody, Slinky and Mr Potato Head jumped for joy and cheered raucously in the main stand at the Scrooby Road Stadium.
Alas, Blakey's enthusiasm was his undoing in the 39th minute, when he was guilty of committing a 'forwards tackle' right in front of the visitors dug out.
It wasn't intentional dangerous play, but his foot was up and Blakey himself acknowledged that the referee had no alternative but to show him a red card.
The wet conditions and pace of the game played their part, but Harworth were going to have to play out the remainder of the game a man light.
But there were some big hearted and battling performances amongst the Colliery ranks tonight and you couldn't actually tell (without actually counting the players obviously) which side were down to ten men for the remainder of the game.
Makenzie Tomlinson could probably have run himself into the ground until midnight, such was the amount of ground he covered and Greg Archer must have had an extra lung fitted, given the amount of running and work he got through in stamina sapping conditions.
As the first half came to a close, West sent Tomlinson clear through and with Senior dashing from his line, Kenzie tried his luck from the edge of the box, but his shot went narrowly wide of the left hand upright.
The second half was just six minutes old when Martyn Gee put Harworth 3-1 ahead.
Gee headed Jordan Hardman's right wing cross back across the face of the goal where it was destined to go into the bottom right hand corner of the net, but right on the line an unnamed defender stuck out a leg and deflected the ball the other way. It was going in anyway, so Gee's goal, all ends up and fair and square ... unless of course anybody from Broddy wants to step forward and claim it.
And the goal was the very least that Gee deserved, having put in a great captain's performance tonight.
On the subject of captaincy, it was great to see the two club captain's who are both out injured at the moment, shouting encouragement and supporting Harworth from the stand with other teammates.
Brodsworth's Gary Mundy ran through the Colliery back four, but as he cued up his shot, Latham sprinted out and block the Welfare number 9, just in the nick of time.
Jordan Hardman had served Brodsworth with a warning in the first half that he'd got his shooting boots on tonight and on the hour, he belted home an unstoppable shot off the inside of the right hand post.
Jordan has been playing out of his skin these last few weeks. As an established first team regular, it is easy to forget how young he is sometimes ... and he occasionally doesn't get the credit he deserves, because he is so consistent, it is often just taken for granted that he's played well again, He's also developing a really good understand with Kenzie Tomlinson along the right hand side.
I've seen the ratings for the match, that this weeks anon. judge awarded and I was a bit surprised to see that Jonny Bownes and Paul Burns hadn't scored slightly higher marks.
Maybe their roless in the grand scheme of things, aren't as glamorous and eye catching as some of the others, but when they were given jobs to do tonight, they stuck to their tasks and contributed no end to the overall team performance, but I guess it's all about opinions.
During the last half an hour of the game, Harworth could afford to go into cruise control and swap things around a bit.
Dean Bonser, Gaz Sides and Lee Edmondson, all picked up the pace of the game as soon as they entered the fray from the bench as Brodsworth bore the brunt of a lively Colliery side, who know they all have to be on their toes now if they are to be in contention for a first team place.
Kenzie was unlucky not to have scored tonight, but if he keeps plugging away the way he did tonight, he won't have to wait long to make his mark more often.
Harworth probably ought to have had more to show for their efforts tonight, but nobody will be complaining after a performance like that.
Brodsworth's manager Simon Hogg shook my hand at the end of the game and said "You battered us mate", he'd also applauded Sam West from the pitch when he came off for a well earned breather on 72 minutes and was overheard complimenting Kenzie Tomlinson while the game was in progress too.
You can't fault his generosity and humility in the face of such a resounding defeat. The scene is set nicely, for when these two sides meet again in the CMFL League Cup next month at Broddy.
Full time - Harworth Colliery 4 v Brodsworth Welfare 1