Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Tadcaster Albion 2 v Staveley Miners Welfare 0 - NCEL Prem

Tuesday 25th August 2015
Toolstation NCEL Premier Division
i2i Stadium, Ings Lane
Tadcaster Albion (1) 2
Andrew Milne 45
Adam Baker 86
Staveley Miners Welfare (0) 0
Admission £5, Programme £1.50. Attendance 287
Tadcaster Albion:
Gary Stevens,  Jordan Armstrong, Patrick Miller,  Matt Heath, Andrew Milne, Liam Ormsby, Josh Barrett, Tom Claisse, Josh Greening, George Conway, Dan Clayton
Subs - James Beadle, Adam Baker, Alfie Beeston, Nick Black
Staveley MW:
Chris Butt, Kyle Clarke, James Leggitt, Steve Carty, Alex Pugh, Simon Hore, Ryan Watters (Mohammed Tijani), Ellis Wall (Jordan Hardman), Ryan Damms, Jamie York, Jamie Brown
Unused subs - Adam Wisdom, Adam Scott
Much has changed since these two respective teams last played against each other towards the tail end of last season (April 21st 2015).
One club has appointed a Marshall: Brett at Staveley, while the other has parted the ways with another 'Marsh': Paul, who was 'released' by Taddy and subsequently ended up at Pickering Town.
Both teams had relatively decent 2014-15 campaigns, results and league positions wise, although Staveley did tail off dramatically towards the end of the campaign.
Despite a man of the match performance by Staveley's goalkeeper, eighteen year old Chris Butt, the Welfare were swept aside 5-0 by the Brewers, the last time the two sides met, to offset the 2-1 win the Derbyshire club enjoyed against Tadcaster at Inkersall Road earlier in the season.
It is worth noting that only two of Staveley's starting line up in the first game on October 4th, namely Sam Finlaw and Ellis Wall, began in the return game at Ings Lane.
After picking up only one point in their final four league games, Staveley finished in ninth position, four places and five points behind their best ever season (2011-12) in the NCEL Premier Division.
Tadcaster for their part, finished third in the table last season and were many people's favourites for promotion for several months, but, speaking purely from an outsiders point of view, I felt that their success in reaching the later stages of other competitions, probably cost them the title in the end as they were overwhelmed with a backlog of fixtures... but I'm sure that everybody at Tadcaster would agree, even though they were ultimately pipped at the post, 2014-15 had been a fantastic season for the club.
It turned out to be a hell of a season for Staveley too, but sometimes words can have two meanings, so least said soonest mended.
Anyway, damp records the past, as the saying goes, so lets bring things right up to date:
Prior to tonight, 'Taddy' have won three out their opening four league games, amassing an impressive nineteen goals along the way (including back to back 5-0 wins in their last two matches) and they have progressed past Hebburn Town in the FA Cup and now face Colne at home in the next round this coming weekend.
Staveley are already out of the FA Cup, having lost 6-0 away against their local rivals and 'bessie' mates Handsworth Parramore in the Extra Preliminary Round, while they have won two and lost two of their opening four league games.
But it is still early days as of yet and their new squad is still at an embryonic stage. Rome wasn't built in a day, but hey, those Romans didn't fanny about when there was work to be done and if you know your history, then you will be aware of the legend that the famed Roman Empire actually had it roots deeply entrenched in (Greek) Trojan culture, click HERE for historical demystification.
By way of an explanation as to why there are several references to ancient history, for the benefit those of you who don't already know, Staveley Miners Welfare FC have adopted the nickname of 'The Trojans' this summer, though they were actually called the Bluebirds for approximately a week prior to that too.
'The best form of defence in Kingdom Come', seemed like an apt byline to describe the football club, so they adopted the name of the most popular Stateside brand of rubbers johnnies, or something like that... that particular meeting was a while ago now and I can't remember all of the exact details.
On Saturday, Brett Marshall's side face a tricky away game against another side who are being tipped to do well in the NCEL Premier Division this season, Worksop Town.
It is a re-arranged game to fill the void of a blank FA Cup weekend for both teams, because while Staveley were getting beat by their chums Handsworth Parramore, the Tigers were also losing away to Abby Hey in their cup game... click HERE for more details.
Tonight's game kicked off fifteen minutes late, owing to the visiting team getting held up in northbound traffic en route. Thankfully they had their ever punctual and reliable, navigation expert and kitman David Whitworth riding on ahead of the first team mini bus, or who knows what kind of chaos might of ensued?
The motorways and major A roads of Great Britain, were designed to get people around this sceptered isle swiftly, except for the A1, which the Romans were responsible for creating, thus proving they were really crap at some things.
Mind you if you think this London to Edinburgh thoroughfare leaves a lot to be desired you should go and take a look at what is left of Hadrian's Wall. I mean, that wouldn't stop a tribe of determined pygmies invading the Roman province of Britannia, let alone a marauding nation of angry ginger people.
So what did I make of the new players in the Staveley team?
Obviously the familiar figure of Ryan Damms, back at the club after almost a whole season away from Inkersall Road and leading the frontline, is probably going to relish his 'new' role, using all of his nous and experience to bring those around him into the game, but only time will tell.
I can hear all ye cynics out there shouting out "Nepotism!" from the naughty lads seats at the back of the classroom, but I wouldn't imagine that Brett Marshall would pick any player he believed wasn't 100% good enough and/or fit enough.
And that most certainly isn't a case of me banging the drum for the official club line, because I have no connection whatsoever with Staveley any more... and there is no reason on this earth why I would ever want to curry favour with Ryan's dad, old whatisface, the Welfare's chairman, by saying nice things... on the contrary!
Ryan Damms is a proven striker at this level, this is his opportunity to see if he still fits that bill, or still wants to fit that bill... end of.
The livewire Jamie Brown combines pace with some excellent close control ball skills and will prove to be a thorn in many a side this season. He impressed me a lot tonight.
Ste Carty is already blending in and developing an intuitive understanding with several players, a great signing, much sought after by several other local clubs, again, I thought he stood out tonight, but that was exactly what I had expected anyway.
Kyle Clarke looked solid at right back and his distribution was spot on more often than not.
But I'll refrain from giving too much away, or turning this into a school report, player by player type assessment; because I know that machiavellian old rascal Ray Lucas at Worksop Town, a good friend of their manager Mark 'Showy' Shaw (and me), will be perusing this blog for inside information prior to Saturday's game, so bugger off pal, I'm keeping schtum!
I preferred the old badge with the barrel on it.
Just saying ;-)
Thankfully, the visitors are better at constructing walls than Emperor Hadrian was in 122 AD, otherwise Liam Ormsby would have put the Brewers ahead early on with a well struck free kick.
But on a pitch that invited both teams to play a passing game, Staveley began to knock the ball around and find some composure.
This is a team that will take time to build, but with a bit of fine tuning, a fair bit to be honest, the signs are there that stage one of a five year master plan that Bunker Fuhrer Damms is unhatching is starting to take shape. Slowly, but err... eventually.
Tadcaster had more of the attacking play, but the visitors were absorbing them and putting a few strides forward together themselves.
Pivotal to a lot of their build up play from out of defence was Alex Pugh, who appears so accomplished, it is easy to forget just how young he is. He cuts an imposing and authoritative figure in defence... and is probably destined for bigger things in the not so distant future.
The prolific Albion frontman Josh Greening was thwarted twice by the Welfare keeper Chris Butt, once when the young custodian audaciously dribbled the ball past him, before he pulled off a stunning save to tip a Greening effort around the upright a few minutes later.
Right on the stroke of half time, a Josh Greening corner, cleared everybody in the six yard box and was forced home by Andrew Milne near the back post to give the home side a 1-0 interval lead.
The next goal was going to prove crucial now... and though 'Taddy' kept up the tempo with their pressing game it took them a while to get it..
But in spite of the the home side keeping Butt and his defence busy, Staveley came within a whisker of pulling things level, when Alex Pugh 'up like a salmon', powerfully crashed an header against the foot of the right hand post with Gary Stevens beaten all ends up, from a Carty free kick out on the right.
With just four minutes left on the clock, James Beadle lofted a pass over the visitors backline, Adam Baker timed his run to perfection and he beat Butt from ten yards out to claim the victory for the home side.
To be fair, Tadcaster had probably deserved this result on this very wet night in North Yorkshire, but the second goal put a bit of gloss on the final outcome somewhat, because Staveley had worked damn hard over the 90 minutes and didn't deserve to be on the end of a two goal margin of defeat.
Though this was a (s)crappy football match at times... blame the weather for that, it was a compelling game throughout nonetheless and 'Taddy' left the field knowing that they had had to scrap all the way for their three points, but they'll be happy enough, sat aloft at the top of the table tonight.
FT: Tadcaster Albion 2 v Staveley MW 0
At least the A1 was clear on the way home and I'll be in bed by midnight.