Thursday 17th September 2015HKL North Midland Under 19 League
Worksop Town (1) 2
Mason Gee 17
Dylan Johnson 84
Swallownest MW (0) 4
Mitchell Dunne 58, 80, 83
Steve Nettleship 60
Admission £2. Programme 20p
Mitchell Dunne caught the eye tonight, with an outstanding performance, as he netted a second half hat trick that helped to secure Swallownest their first win of the season, after four games, just a week after he'd scored both 'Swall' goals in their 2-2 draw against Espial at Rotherham Road.
Ironically, the visitors had the 'lion's share' of the attacking play during the first half, but nothing to show for it at the break, which in the main was down to a the heroics of Worksop keeper Barney Phillips, but in the second half, when their raids into the home sides goal area became more sporadic, the south Yorkshire side scored four times.
But the 'Tigers share' of the first half spoils, was a slightly against the run of play goal, which came from a long punt upfield, that bounced in front of the visitors keeper Jack Hood and left him stranded in no man's land, while Mason Gee got a touch to it first and ran the ball into an open goal on 17 minutes.
Prior to that Josh Hobson had forced a double save out of Hood, after Gee had played him in on goal with a measured pass to the left hand side of the Swallownest area, but in the main, it was the visitors who were on the front foot, with Dunne, Conor Gregg and Junior Gama, all giving the Tigers defence a trying time.
Dunne in particular had a 'shoot on sight' approach that was causing Worksop a lot of problems, but at the interval, the Tigers were just about holding on to a slender lead by the skin of their teeth.
HT: Worksop 1 v Swallownest 0
Phillips dealt with a left wing cross into his six yard box with Gama having lost his marker, hovering dangerously beside the back stick, as Swallownest came out after the interval looking for the equaliser that their efforts so far probably deserved.
Dunne picked up the ball halfway into the Tigers half and spotted that the defence were stood, regimented across their area, waiting to see how he was going to try violating their domain, so he spanked a shot straight through the middle of them that needed a great stop from Phillips to keep the ball out.
On 58 minutes, the Tigers defence held their rigid formation once more, as the 'Swall' right back Joe Parkin lofted a long pass onto the penalty spot, while Dunne sprinted through, in between the centre backs and stroked the ball past Phillips.
I was sat watching the game with the learned Mr Barry Clarke of Clipstone FC, who said to me as the teams came out for the second half: "If Swallownest can put one of these chances away that they keep creating, they'll go on to win it", prophetic words indeed... within two minutes of Dunne's equaliser, the visitors were in front, when Steve Nettleship nodded home a left wing corner, although the times on the league website are listed in the wrong order, Nettleship definitely scored the second Swallownest goal. I have checked this with the players who were involved.
Nettleship's headed goal was a wake up call for Worksop and they were almost on level terms with their first effort of the second half, when Macauley Gibbons shot narrowly over the bar from 12 yards out.
Josh Allerton and Mason Gee combined to breach the visitors defence but S1 managed to intervene in time to scramble the ball away for a corner.
A flurry of substitutions broke up the flow of the game, but MItchell Dunne's focus wasn't distracted by all the comings and goings and he finished Worksop off with two goals in 3 minutes, the second of which was a thumping effort that gave Phillips no chance whatsoever from a build up out on the right flank.
With just four minutes remaining, Dylan Johnson pulled a goal back for the Tigers, with a speculative strike from 18 yards out and Josh Hobson hit a wonder strike into the top left hand corner directly from a free kick, that was ruled out when the linesman Graham Mitchell raised his flag for an offence on the goal line. It made no difference to the outcome anyway, because it was the final kick of the game.
FT: Worksop Town U19 2 v Swallownest MW 4
A convincing win for Swallownest, for whom Mitchell Dunne played an absolute blinder, this 2-4 victory marks their first ever victory in the HKL NMU19L,
However, development league football isn't just about results (though that massive 'Cheshire cat' grin on the visitor's chairman Mick Kent's face at the end of the game, might say otherwise) and the Tigers evidently have a few good prospects coming up through their ranks too, with Barney Phillips in particular, being a stand out player on both occasions that I have seen him play over this last week or so.