Thursday, 3 April 2014

Welbeck 2 v Kinsley Boys 8 - CMFL North

Thursday 3rd April 2014
at Elkesley Road, Meden Vale
CMFL North
Welbeck (1) 2
Ashley Farquharson 12, Robbie Savage 50 (pen)
Kinsley Boys (4) 8
Craig Rouse 21 (pen) 22 (pen), 44, 66
Jack Owen 35
Ryan Jennings 39, 72
Richard Watson 74
I'm 95% certain that I've got the sequence right for all of Kinsley's goals, but towards the end of two 40 minute halves it was getting very dark, windy and wet. By the time I got home, my notes looked like they had been written in Chinese ... and the paper and ink certainly weren't waterproof.
However, the Welbeck scorers and times are definitely correct.
Admission £3
Programme £1
Attendance 15 and a big dog
I'm very grateful to Colin Picken, the Lord Mayor of Scotter, for picking me up en route to this one, because my ever unreliable motor conveyance is currently in pieces pending a 'do I get this rust bucket fixed or cut my losses and limp it into the scrap yard?' type debate with my finance manager.
Elkesley Road is the last CMFL North ground he needed to see a game of football at, to tick off his done the lot list.
Though he still can't claim to have seen a whole match there, because you needed night vision binoculars to watch the last ten minutes, seriously ...
Weleck (white shorts) attack from left to right.
With seven minutes still remaining.
The Central Midlands League seriously needs to be have a serious look at overhauling their fixtures selection policies before next season.
Not giving teams with a long distance to travel, midweek games at the end of the season, should be avoided, where possible and not cramming teams like Askern, Brodsworth and Harworth's home games in en masse at the start of the season (the majority of which were 3pm kick offs), while ignoring the fact that they actually have floodlights and could stage more home games during the winter months (which encompass a big chunk of the football season), are, I would have thought, fairly obvious steps to take.
With all due respect to those involved, I know there have been a lot of weather dictated cancellations this season and there are always going to be occasions when level 7 teams aren't available due to work commitments and the added inconvenience of County Cup games can regularly cause chaos, but the current way that CMFL go about things is unacceptable and is probably the major factor behind so many decent and established clubs from the league, decamping elsewhere to play their football next season in other step 7 leagues.
Though it would be easy for people to point the finger at the CMFL fixtures secretary for all of the problems their have been this season, and being the sort of person he is, Andy would be the first person to put his hands up and say he has made a few mistakes, it is worth remembering that he is just one man, trying to deal with a fixtures minefield for all four divisions that fall under the CMFL umbrella ... in my humble opinion, he could do with some assistance and the committee need to install somebody else to take on some of that workload, possibly installing another person to oversee the two Reserves divisions and leaving Mr Harland to sort out the first team North/South divisions?
You could also ask, does a step 7 league really need a league cup and a floodlit cup competition clogging up the fixtures schedule, when clubs (first team and reserves) already have County Cup commitments. One could also ask, why fixtures in this league are only released on a month to month basis, surely, it is a no brainer, that publishing an whole season's worth of games up front, like a majority of clubs do, would give everybody the opportunity to spot potential problems months in advance and this would also give clubs the opportunity to advertise for matchday sponsors for their most attractive fixtures, local derbies etc. when at present the timescale involved renders that possibility inert.
Anyway club secretaries ... Paul Hunter, the CMFL registrar put out a group email last week, asking clubs for suggestions vis any changes, alterations and amendments to the way things are done, so if you've got any constructive ideas, speak up! Moaning about what is wrong amongst yourself won't bring about change, but approaching the right people with sensible suggestions now. might help you to solve a multitude of time consuming problems for both yourselves and your counterparts at other clubs.
Without meaning to sound condescending to those involved, it can be counter productive to soldier on dealing with the same old problems time after time, when you could speak up and be part of the solution to your woes.
Though a lot of people at clubs and CMFL committee members, put in more hours than staff employed by clubs and leagues further up the football pyramid, it needs to be remembered that the suits who are running the league, all work at their football jobs part time too, just like the players, managers and club back room staff. Everybody needs to work together towards common aims, because finger pointing and apportioning blame, only creates scapegoats, not solutions.
Err ... sorry, I'm going on again, aren't I!?
F*** me! Is that a dog or a bear?
On a cold windy evening in Meden Vale, I took up a good vantage spot on top of the banking overlooking Welbeck's pitch, muttered obscenities under my breath as it started to rain, looked at the rapidly darkening skies and descending smog/fog and consulted my wristwatch. Hmm, it was fairly obvious that if 90 minutes was going to be played, with a half time break, then we might as well give up and go home now. But in the event, the referee decided on two 40 minute halves with a quick turnaround in the middle. Which would mean the game would finish at about 7.40pm ... last night I gave up working on my car at 7.15pm because it was getting too dark. And the weather was nowhere near as bad as it was tonight either.
The referee, Mr David Webb, was in one of those 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' situations and it was really a case of getting the game started and hoping for the best.
An earlier kick off of 6pm would've (possibly) been better as regards playing in a half decent amount of natural light, but it would be unreasonable to expect Kinsley Boys to make a 90 mile round trip, after finishing work, to get to Meden Vale for that time. As it was, they did remarkably well, to get to ground and be out on the pitch and ready to go for quarter past.
Of course, a short extension added on to the end of the season, would avoid this all too frequent end of season lottery game, of gambling when darkness might fall, but what do I know, eh!?
Welbeck took the lead on 12 minutes, when Ashley Farquharson burst through a static Kinsley back four and knocked the ball home from 8 yards out.
The 'Pitmen' had slipped to 17th place in a 17 team league back in September and have stayed there ever since, recording just one win all season (v Easington United) along the way, since they drew against Glapwell on the opening day of the season. Tonight, there was to be no change in their fortunes against 10th placed Kinsley Boys.
Assistant ref Graham Mitchell raised his flag on 13 minutes and the visitors were denied a goal, but 8 minutes later, a Kinsley player went down under a tackle on the edge of the box and the ref pointed to the spot.
I thought the foul was actually committed on the line rather than just inside the box, but those are the breaks when you're down on your luck.
Craig Rouse made no mistake from the spot and was back again less than a minute later when a clear shoulder charge in the back, well inside the box, had left Mr Webb with no choice but to award another spot kick.
The stand in keeper Ashley Barker (an outfield player usually, Welbeck didn't actually have a proper goalkeeper tonight), went the right way, but Rouse scored again.
Barker was doing well, given the circumstances, but on 35 minutes, his defence struggled to clear a corner and the ball fell to Jack Ward, who buried his shot into the net.
Before half time, Ryan Jennings effectively killed off this lively game by finishing well from 12 yards out in the 39th minute.
HT - Welbeck 1 v Kinsley Boys 4
This season, Welbeck have been known for still being in games at half time, but struggling and conceding the majority of goals scored against them (after tonight there goal difference is minus 117) after the break, so it looked ominous for the CMFL North's bottom club, when they fell further behind, 4 minutes into the second half, as Craig Rouse claimed his hat trick with a neat finish from the edge of the box after Ryan Jennings had set up the chance with a measured pass from out on the left flank.
On 50 minutes, Welbeck got a goal back, when Robbie Savage reduced the arrears from a spot kick. Tonight is only the third time this season, in all competitions, that the 'Pitmen' have scored two goals in a game. But a third goal (for the first time) never looked likely to be forthcoming, as Kinsley now turned the screw and set about trying to rack up a greater winning margin.
The visitors 6th goal came on 66 minutes, when Rouse sneaked forward under the cover of darkness and 'pinged' the ball into the Welbeck net, off of the right hand upright with a shot across the face of goal.
Craig Rouse nets the first of his two
penalties in a minute for Kinsley Boys
Alas, the all too familiar second half collapse was now in full swing and Ryan Jennings had all the time in the world to score Kinsley's seventh, but by now I could only recognise the goalscorer because of the brightly coloured slime green boots he was wearing.
Richard Watson headed home Kinsley's 8th goal, after an end to end move that started with their keeper in the 74th minute.
From the top of the banking, you could barely make out what was happening on the pitch at all by now and if the ref really did blow for time a couple of minutes early, then I for one fully support him using his discretion, you really have to wonder what would've happened if a player had got injured when visibility was now rated at somewhere in between very poor and non existent.
A quick look at a map, shows that there are four other CMFL North clubs who play within a ten minute drive of Meden Vale ... and Welbeck are playing away against one of those clubs (who have floodlights), in broad daylight in less than 48 hours time, at 3pm on Saturday afternoon .... I make no apologies whatsoever at this juncture, for pointing out the bleedin ' obvious!
FT - Welbeck 2 v Kinsley Boys 8
I've have nothing but complete admiration for the people who are battling against the odds to keep Welbeck FC going, during this obviously frustrating time, when they already know that they're probably going to be on a hiding to nothing again, week after week.
Their chairman, Graham Hall, spoke of there being light at the end of the tunnel in tonight's match programme. Light at the end of a truncated midweek game would be a start, though the solution to that problem is out of Welbeck's hands.

Another view of tonight's game can be found on Rob Hornby's blog, 'Around the Grounds' CLICK HERE
I didn't reckon much to the sales technique of the guy doing a public demonstration of the new AFC Mansfield umbrellas at Welbeck tonight.
But he obviously kept some people amused.
Next up for THE66POW: 
Friday 4th April (7pm) - Bawtry Town v Brodsworth Welfare - Doncaster Senior League - Div 1 Cup Final (at Yorkshire Main FC)