Friday, 5 February 2016

Nostell Miners Welfare 0 v Garforth Town 0 - NCEL Prem

Once more into the breach, as I dipped into 'the greatest league in the world' yet again, to take in this West Yorkshire derby, contested between 18th placed Nostell Miners Welfare and their visitors Garforth Town who kicked off the night in 15th place.
Friday 5th February 2016
Toolstation NCEL Premier Division
at the Welfare Ground, Crofton Community Centre
Nostell Miners Welfare (0) 0
Garforth Town (0) 0
Admission £5. Programme £1. Attendance 106
Paul Lines, the Nostell Manager, resigned yesterday, leaving Kevin Allsop to step up from his usual position of Under 19's boss and take on the role of first team caretaker manager for the Welfare tonight.
Visitors Garforth made the short trip to the Welfare Ground, looking for their first ever win there, on the back of six defeats in six games last month.
In the event, a draw and a point apiece was a fair result in a game where both sides put in a lot of effort and endeavour but didn't really create an awful lot in front of either goal.
Upon arrival at the ground, wearing my amber and blue Stags scarf, some people mistook me as an away supporter and assumed I was a Garforth Town fan. Oh well, I've been called far worse things on my travels this week. Every single Garforth Town fan I've ever met was pleasant enough, so I have no problem with such an allegation.
One of life's little pleasure that I really enjoy, is spending some quality time in the company of Nostell's dynamic duo Malcolm Lumb and Roy Winfield, who are the sort of people who make non league football so special.
Hopefully I will get the chance to catch up with both of them again really soon.
The pitch at the Welfare Ground is, in my humble opinion, the best playing surface in this league by some way, it's lush greenness could almost make you believe it was a pleasant August night, if it wasn't for the icy cold drizzle blowing straight across the pitch. 
For the opening thirty minutes the home side were pretty much running the show and dominating proceedings, though it was more of a case of extended fingers and thumbs foreplay sans any real penetration. Andy Davis, who you could say wasn't exactly shy about putting in a tackle or letting his presence be known, almost opened the scoring when his long range shot fizzed narrowly wide of the right hand upright and Liam Radford was making a nuisance of himself, down the left flank along with Fidel Mhlolo, but the tide turned towards the end of the half when Nostell were a touch fortunate not to fall behind when they somehow managed to keep Curly Martin-Wyatt's header from creeping in by the post.
Radford's shot from Steve Smith's right wing cross and when the ball rebounded to Mhlolo he went to ground as he passed a Garforth defender, but the referee Chris Akers was having none of it.
Meanwhile at the other end, Jassim Alali hit the deck as he tried to get on the end of a cross from Khalid Alali, but Mr Akers wasn't having any of that either.
Martin-Wyatt found himself through on Ed Hall, but the Nostell keeper did well to take the ball away from him in the nick of time.
One player who stood out for me, was Garforth's engine room in the middle of the pitch, Mick Jones, he was firm in the tackle and distributed the ball well, a non-league David Batty if ever there was one.
Matt Johnson picked up a loose ball thirty yards from goal and tried to catch out Tom Osborne with a first time shot, but the Miners custodian was equal to it and got down well to his left to tip the ball around the post.
HT: 0-0
Garforth were first to show their attacking intentions after the break, as the rain stopped drizzling about and made a real effort to join in with the game.
But at the other end Steve Smith and Luke Gordon were linking up well on the right hand side of Nostell's attack.
Danny Harris looked useful going forward for the visitors
Hall was left stranded a couple of times as he had to sprint from his line and clear from both Martin Wyatt and Harris outside the box... and the Nostell keeper was involved again shortly afterwards when Harris shot straight at him from the edge of the area, having done the hard part of working himself a yard of space.
Gordon tried his luck with a 20 yard free kick but it was probably the same distance wide of the mark too.
Garforth came closest to breaking the deadlock, when Spencer Lund put the Welfare defence under the cosh with a great run through the left channel, before picking out Martin-Wyatt with a well weighted chip, but the Miners centre forward powered his header against the crossbar.
Andy Davis was upended by Mick Jones just outside the visitors area and Radford's free kick was cleared behind for a corner that Garforth dealt with and moved the ball forward quickly to Mark Simpson, who sprinted towards the Nostell goal from out on the left flank, but buried his shot into the side netting.
Simon Poole drilled the ball acros the face of Garforth's goal from Jack Waldron's throw in, but their was nobody lurking in the six yard box to provide a final touch.
The game came to a close with Garforth camping out around the home side's penalty area, but to coin a phrase, the Nostell goalmouth was akin to a bus station at rush hour and the Welfare held out for a point.
FT: 0-0
A decent enough night's entertainment, but both sides could possibly do with beefing up their attacking options.
Enjoy your cruise and good luck for your big day Malcolm, I'm looking forward to receiving my invitation soon mate.