Saturday, 16 November 2013

Phoenix FC 0 v Harworth Colliery 5 - CMFL North

Saturday 16th November 2013
CMFL North
Phoenix FC (0) 0
Harworth Colliery (1) 5
Lee Edmondson 13
Tom Walker 53
Greg Archer 63
Jordan Hardman 77
Gaz Sides 86
Admission £3, Programme £1
Raffle winner Brenda Latham.
Winning ticket drawn by Brenda Latham :-O
Phoenix FC
Matt Smith, Kieron Gallagher, James Cregan, Chris Lund (C), Andy Garlick, Joe Bland, Tom Colclough, James Lawton, Rob Gorman, Steven McDonnell, Sam Hadfield
Subs - James Davies, Scott McKenna, Stevie Spence, Suhail Hussain, Aaron Cross
Harworth Colliery
Mark Latham, Jordan Hardman, Paul Burns, Jonny Bownes, Martyn Gee (C), Gaz Sides, Greg Archer, Ollie Chappell, Dean Bonser, Tom Walker, Lee Edmondson (Makenzie Tomlinson)
Unused Subs - Sam West, James Woodward
Since their opening day defeat by seven goals to one at Harworth (I had to mention it), Phoenix have been chalking up a few decent results along the way and this afternoon they kicked off in 4th place in the CMFL North, three points and one place below the Colliery, but with a game in hand.
Following a tentative opening spell, where it was evident that the home side wanted some kind of redress for their visit to Scrooby Road in August, the visitors took the lead on 13 minutes.
Greg Archer played a slightly fortuitous one-two off of the home sides captain Chris Lund, who was grounded at the time and knocked the ball wide to Jordan Hardman, Harworth's right back quickly played the ball inside to Ollie Chappell who planted a slide rule pass into the path of Lee Edmondson, who knocked the ball past Matt Smith from 8 yards out.
Harworth were soon on the front foot again and once more it was Hardman, Edmondson and Chappell who were involved, when Jordan's searching cross was laid back by 'Eddy' to Ollie, who was clattered by Andy Garlick as he lined up to shoot.
Garlick received a booking for the offence and as a consequence became the only player to get his name in the referee's notebook all afternoon, as the match officials: Jamie O'Connor, Paul Beswick and Dennis Ashman, kept a lively and competitive game flowing, in a refreshingly proactive way.
Tom Walker buried the free kick into the back of the net ... alas it was Parkgate FC's net! At least that is roughly the direction that the ball was travelling in as it cleared the silver birch lined coppice that acts as a windbreak at the bottom end of the Phoenix pitch.
Gaz Sides went to ground under a challenge from Joe Bland out wide on the left flank. But Matt Smith took the ball off Chappell's head just in the nick of time.
Before the break, Phoenix were pushing for an equaliser and Kieron Gallagher knocked a free kick across the field to James Cregan and he let rip with a low shot from 25 yards. Mark Latham, who must have seen the ball late because of the Colliery's defensive wall, was across like a flash to turn the ball away and preserve his side's lead.
Right on the stroke of half time, Steve McDonnell played Sam Hadfield in on goal, but Jonny Bownes was on hand to clear the ball away at the expense of a corner.
Bownes put in a great shift today, given that his central defensive partner and captain Martyn Gee was only playing through the pain barrier out of necessity, due to a player shortage and he should really have been resting. A great effort from Geebo who took one for the team today, that he'll no doubt be feeling throughout the next week.
Both unused subs today were only actually there to give Phoenix the impression that Harworth had a full compliment of players available, both Sam West and James Woodward are actually injured at the moment.
HT - Phoenix FC 0 v Harworth Colliery 1
Just about the right score going in as the visitors had shaded the first half, in my humble and almost unbiased opinion.
If Harworth had just about merited their lead at the break, there was no denying who was the better side after the interval, when the Colliery hit Phoenix like a platoon of shock troops of an unexpected invasion.
Ironically, they had played pretty much the same tactics in the first half v Westella Hanson in the week, with no reward for their efforts, today they were unstoppable. That's football for you.
Chappell dispossessed Smith on the left hand side of the penalty area and dropped the ball over the keeper towards the Phoenix goal, but Joe Bland raced back and cleared the ball from under the bar.
Gaz Sides broke into the box from the left flank but his shot went just wide of the right hand upright.
Sensing that Harworth were getting the upper hand, Phoenix mounted an attack down through the left channel, but Tom Colclough was thwarted by a classy and timely interception from Greg Archer, who set up and end to end attacking move and sprint forward from Tom Walker who rounded Smith and kept the ball on target this time. Two-nil to Harworth.
With a two goal cushion, the Colliery could relax a bit now and invite Phoenix to bring the game to them, leaving gaps at the back to exploit.
This allowed Gaz Sides the space to run into and time to unleash a shot, that hit the last defender on the shoulder and deflected wide for a corner.
Walker swung a dangerous looking left wing flag kick right into the heart of the Phoenix defence and Archer was on hand to put the ball past Smith and increase Harworth's lead on 63 minutes.
Lee Edmondson came very close to increasing his sides lead even further from a Paul Burns cross as Harworth threatened to run riot.
However, Phoenix still have their game in hand and their goal difference to think about, so in spite staring defeat in the face now, they battled their way back into Harworth's final third. James Lawton broke free and homed in on goal, but Mark Latham was off his line quickly and went down bravely at the Phoenix players feet to gather the ball.
Phoenix came back again, but as Rob Gorman lined up his shot, Jonny Bownes arrived to block the angle and the home sides number 9 put the ball wide of the target.
At the heart of all of Harworth's play and distribution in Phoenix's half was Dean Bonser, battling for every ball and spraying passes around. His unselfish performance and unrelenting effort made him the man of the match in my eyes. A real team player who was the engine room of Harworth's victory today in my humble estimation.
Not content with claiming the highest off the mark shot of the game in the first half, Walker was on the phone to the Guinness Book of the Records again on 72 minutes, to record the widest miss too, as he nearly hit the corner flag with just the keeper to beat.
Phoenix were defending deep, trying to keep Harworth at bay now ... and as the visitors pondered how to play their way through the packed goal area to cement their lead, the ball came to Jordan Hardman who didn't need a second invitation to try out his new party piece, as he drilled a thumping shot home from 25 yards out.
Kenzie Tomlinson's pace almost saw him in on goal twice in the closing stages, but Smith, anxious to avoid a rout, was quickly off of his line to thwart Harworth's local teen idol both times.
Inside the final five minutes, Gaz Sides broke into the left hand side of the Phoenix box, the defence who were expecting a cross to either Kenzie or Walker, stood off for a vital couple of seconds and with a burst of pace, Sides took advantage and claimed a goal for himself, before running off to celebrate with the corner flag.
In stoppage time, Paul Burns pumped a left wing free kick into the Phoenix goalmouth, but Smith held onto it as the final whistle sounded.
A good first half from Harworth, followed a great second half.
Although certain other teams still have games in hand, which in all likelihood they'll probably pick up points from, today's win, coupled with Sherwood Colliery's impressive 4-3 victory at Westella Hanson, means that, for now at least, Harworth Colliery are currently at the top of the CMFL North table.
FT - Phoenix FC 0 v Harworth Colliery 5