Wednesday, 11 November 2015

AFC Mansfield 1 v Sherwood Colliery 2 - AET - Notts Senior Cup R2

Wednesday 11th November 2015
Nottinghamshire Senior Cup 2nd Round
at the Forest Town Arena
AFC Mansfield (1) 1 90 mins (1) 1 AET
Ryan Williams 10
Sherwood Colliery (1) 1 90 mins (2) 2 AET
Cliff Clarke 43
Julian Topliss 93
Admission £4. Programme £1.50. Attendance 160
Thanks to Peter Craggs for the team details
Left click image to enlarge
These two sides have only ever played each other on four previous occasions, all in the CMFL (North). I was present for their first ever meeting in September 2012, on a spying mission for Harworth Colliery. The Bulls won that one quite emphatically in front of over 340 spectators, see HERE for details.
These days AFC Mansfield are looking for promotion from the First Division of the NCEL, while Sherwood play in the CMFL (South), where they currently sit in fifth place, 6 points behind Eastwood Community, but with three games in hand.
But the ex-factor, i.e. 'the Wood' had several ex 'Bulls' players in their line up, acted as a bit of a leveller, especially with this being a local derby cup tie.
The first person I bumped into in the Forest Town Welfare met me with a cheery greeting of: "I'm surprised to see you again after that **** performance at Shirebrook on Saturday".
Well, things can only get better, eh!?
For the record 'the Bulls' played more football inside the opening ten minutes than they had managed throughout the whole game on Saturday.
Phil Buxton and Jimmy Ghaichem played a neat 'one-two' out on the left and fed the ball into the path of Dean Rick, but the home side's captain lost his footing as he homed in on goal.
Ghaichem was wiped out by a heavy challenge from Yogi Depass as he ventured towards the penalty area towards the left flank inside the eighth minute.
The challenge earned Depass a booking, which took the match referee James Shipley a few valuable seconds too many to administer in my opinion. Because when Ryan Williams curled a peach of a free kick over Liam Kerry's head into the top right corner of the net, to open the scoring, I was smiling all the way to the bank, with '9 minutes' printed on my golden goal ticket.
Alas, a club official claimed the ball had gone in after nine minutes and eleven seconds, AKA the tenth minute, by virtue of the official adjudicator's iffy stopwatch and Andy Saunders pre-match instruction, ie: "That swine who slagged us off in Saturday's match report can't win tonight under any circumstances" ;-)
Chuffing rob dogs, the lot of you!
Sherwood, managed by one of the local success stories at CMFL level, Wayne Savage, who no doubt will be gracing a higher level of the game in the not too distant future, hopefully with his current Mansfield Woodhouse based club, showed that they weren't just here to make the numbers up while demonstrating that they didn't exactly 'feel the love' for their local hosts either, as they picked up a page full of bookings in the referee's notebook.
One foul in particular, executed (for want of a better word) by Joe Meehan, could quite easily have been deemed to have been a red card offence, but he stayed on the field of play.
Meehan incidentally, scored in the first ever AFC Mansfield v Sherwood Colliery game, he was still a 'Bulls' player then... and he scored their seventh of the night. Dean Rick scored a hat trick in the same game; tonight he had ample chances to repeat that goal tally, but seemed to be out of sorts following his absence at the weekend.
People who weren't at this game might think this was a shock result, but it wasn't, 'the Wood' are an emerging side in Nottinghamshire football circles and they were well up for taking their NCEL oppositions scalp tonight, metaphorically and quite literally at times..
The only shock for people who did attend the game is that it finished eleven side, because both teams had players who seemed keen on being first into the showers.
Williams was looking lively for 'the Bulls', he shot on sight once again and when the ball cannoned back to Craig Mitchell, the usually prolific striker scuffed the ball wide of the target and into the outside lane of the cycling track that surrounds the pitch, in what doubles up as a velodrome.
Mitchell thought he had doubled the lead for the home side, but his effort was ruled out for offside and Williams, seeing no route through to goal in front of him through a crowded defence, hit an audacious strike from 30 yards that dropped wide of the left hand upright.
Sherwood realised that they were making some headway in the battle for the middle of the park and grew in stature towards the end of the opening half, as the home side made hard work of capitalising on a lot possession in the visitors half.
Savage's team grew in confidence and you could sense that their movement was beginning to match their application and desire and the home side were getting pushed back into their own half more and more.
Dale Gilliatt, out on the right wing almost level with the AFC dugout, swung a long free kick across Jason White's goalmouth, that evaded the scrum of players in front of the goal, but fell kindly for Cliff Clarke on the left hand side of the six yard box, who let the ball bounce once before clipping it just inside the left hand upright to pull the visitors level.
Having just set up a goal at one end Gilliatt broke up Mansfield's next attack from the restart, by flattening Williams.
Williams, who once committed the cardinal sin of turning out for Chesterfield (among others) in between his two spells with Mansfield Town, pumped a long free kick into the mix that Kerry could only punch clear as far as Danny Naylor, who nearly caused carnage with a table full of beer glasses in the Prince Charles public house, just up t'road, his shot was so wayward.
Meehan's aforementioned X rated challenge from behind, on Phil Buxton, came just before half time.
The referee decided it was only a yellow card offence, so that was that.
He was stood much closer to the offence than me, but I've seen Bruce Lee deliver less convincing scissor kick attacks. 'Nuff said!
45 minutes: 1-1
Sherwood came good in the second half and Rudy Funk's side knew they were in a game now and they must've been kicking themselves for not taking advantage of a number of decent chances before the break.
Chris Timons blocked Liam Black's shot and well the ball fell to Meehan whose follow up crashed wide of the post off of Jason White who'd put his body in the way.
Meehan, who had walked the tightrope with the match officials just before half time, was actually imposing himself on the game very well and beside that particular transgression he was pivotal to most of Sherwood's approach play and spraying an impressive array of passes around in the middle of the park.
Luke Jeffs, 'the Bulls' recent capture from Frickley Athletic fired the ball across the face of the visitors goal from out on the right and Kerry had to block Jake Park's downward header on the line.
Buxton launched a speculative shot wide of the post from 18 yards out, but it was now 'the Wood' who were looking like the team most likely to force the issue.
A long throw in caught the home defence out and left them flat footed as White had to sprint from his goal and whack the ball out of play as Julian Topliss homed in on goal.
Meehan knocked the ball over the defence for Black to run onto and White arrived in the nick of time to meet the 50/50 and clear the danger, but many people felt that 'the Bulls' keeper had followed through on the Sherwood striker and those who had travelled across from 'Woodhouse' to support the away team were incensed by the alleged 'afters'.
Black stayed down and was taken only taken off the pitch after a spell of treatment, after which time he was 'chair lifted' to the visitors dugout and took no further part in the game.
Jason White is not the sort of player to go out and injure an opponent, it is not in his psyche... and both players were entitled to go in robustly for the ball, but a fraction after White completed his clearance there was definite contact. 
I'm sure that everybody present, who saw the incident, hopes Liam Black wasn't too seriously hurt. Get well soon Liam.
It as a full blooded challenge in a no holds barred sort of game... and once again the referee had to make a split second judgement that was never going to please everyone in both camps. 
This game could quite easily have been a ten aside encounter by now though.
Buxton, Williams, Naylor and Brad Wilson, stroked a succession of passes around the pitch in the build up for another chance for Dean Rick, who put the ball over the bar from twenty yards out.
Kerry held onto a Buxton free kick and Williams put the ball over the bar from just outside the box.
Lucan Barker was tackled just as he was about to shoot and from the resulting corner White did well to turn the ball over the bar with Barker poised to put Sherwood ahead. The visitors second flag kick, found it's way out to Jobe Shaw, who ultimately showed why he is a defender instead of an attacker.
Brad Wilson was busting a gut to get 'the Bulls' into the game, but must've been starting to wonder whether some of his teammates were interested in joining in with him.
Topliss played the ball behind the Mansfield defence and on a plate for Tristan Burrell, but he on a plate, but he stumbled at the optimum moment and the chance had gone.
Williams knocked the ball out wide to Buxton who picked out Timons with his cross, but having timed his run to perfection the centre half lost his footing.
Josh Pickering was delighting the Sherwood supporters with a range of flicks and tricks... he drew a defender out of position to block his run and slipped the ball inside to Topliss who struck a first time shot that flew wide just inches of the goal, with White beaten.
Shaw's free kick from the halfway line was cleared out of the area, but fell to Pickering who took a few steps forward, nutmegged Mitchell and drove a sweeping cross cun shot into the sidenetting.
As normal time drew towards a close, the home side launched a series of hopeful balls in the Colliery box, but the end result was lacking each time.
90 minutes: 1-1
As so often happens when neither side has broken the deadlock inside 90 minutes, the decisive goal was scored right at the start of extra time.
Topliss knocked the ball into the home side's area, White made a hash of getting it away and was dispossessed by Barker, who knocked a quick pass back to Topliss, who had the whole goal to aim at and couldn't miss... he didn't!
Sam O'Malley was trying to get Mansfield back in the game at the other end, but both Rick and Williams couldn't get the ball on target. Rick crossed to Mitchell, but his strike partner put the ball wide... and Kerry denied Rick and then Williams, as Ghaichem got past the full back and put over an inviting cross, that just needed a decent finishing touch.
Extra time HT: 1-2
Jeffs' 25 yard free kick was deflected past the post for a corner. 
Once more Jeffs took responsibility for the dead ball and picked out Mitchell who put his header wide.
Sherwood were hanging on a bit now, but with most of the home side's players chasing an equaliser, Cliff Clarke spotted White off his line and tried to lob him from 45 yards. Luckily for 'the Bulls' keeper, Clarke's aim wasn't as keen as his intention.
Goalkeeper White was now the only player in the AFC Mansfield half of the pitch... he launched two long last ditch balls into the Sherwood box and he found Mitchell both times, but the striker thumped the first one wide and the second one over the bar.
The final whistle sounded and it was clear for all to see how much this win meant to everybody connected to Sherwood Colliery FC.
Extra time FT: AFC Mansfield 1 v Sherwood Colliery 2
A game that could've gone either way, right until the very end.
Perhaps if Dean Rick and Craig Mitchell had been wearing their shooting boots tonight, it would've been a different story. But let's not take anything away from Sherwood Colliery, they slogged it out for two hours against a NCEL side tonight and gave their all.
This must've been murder to watch for anyone connected to either of these sides at times, but as a neutral I've had a bloody great night's entertainment... ta very much.
On Saturday, 'the Bulls' really need to put a couple of below par performances behind them and start finding the back of the net again, when Worsbrough Bridge Athletic are the visitors to 'Foggo' in a NCEL Division One game. While a buoyant Sherwood Colliery will be looking to progress in the CMFL Challenge Cup at Debdale Park, with a home tie against Hucknall Rolls Leisure. Good luck to one and all!