Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Harworth Colliery 3 v Swallownest 2 - HKL NMU19L (North) Mini Shield

Wednesday 30th March 2016
HKL North Midland U19 League (North) Mini Shield
at the Jones &  Co. Recreation Ground, Bircotes
Harworth Colliery (0) 3
Louis Maquire 49, Marley Alder 58,
Bailey Armstrong 66
Swallownest (1) 2
Steve Nettleship 16, Connor Gregg 72
Admission £2. Programme 50p. Attendance 68
Harworth Colliery:
Josh Court, Alex Hawkridge, Tom Hawkridge, George Agnew, Marley Alder (C), Louis Maguire, Callum Hudson, Josh Dickinson, Ross Taylor, Bailey Armstrong, Brett Garrett
Subs - Danny Fitzackery, Kelvin Playfair, Josh Bacon
Jack Hood, William Hague, Callum Davison, Luke Kocura, Jack Leitch, Steve Nettleship, Joe Parkin, Josh Lill, Connor Gregg, Brandon Ashnore, Dale Featherstone,
Subs - Patrick Menye, Freddy Rosscamp, Dylan Chapman
Last week's performance at Espial, was probably the best that I have seen Swallownest U19s play collectively as a team all season, as they recorded a 2-0 win.
But tonight probably wasn't!
And Harworth deserved this win at their rapidly developing home ground, though of course, it needs to be said, yet again, that results and league tables don't actually matter as much at this level of football (or so they reckon), because they are of secondary importance to player development, but the Colliery lads obviously enjoyed their win of  tonight.
The game game set off at a frantic pace, as both teams weighed each other up and looked to get a good start.
Joe Parkin and Brandon Ashmore exchanged passes as they worked their way into the Harworth area, but Matty Alder, the home side's captain, made a timely interception and cleared his lines. Alder put in an impressive shift tonight, showing why he wears the captain's armband for the Colliery youngsters.
Alas, Harworth were the architects of their own downfall after 16 minutes, when they messed about in their own six yard box instead of adopting a safety first approach and Steve Nettleship pounced and bulged the back of the net with a thumping shot.
You can't faff about on the ball with a box to box, versatile and quality player of Nettleship's undoubted ability breathing ominously down your neck.
Brett Garrett launched a left wing cross in towards Bailey Armstrong, but the colossus Nettleship proved his worth at both ends of the pitch and headed the ball away to safety.
Callum Hudson and Ross Dickinson pushed forward for Harworth on the right, but when the cross came, it dropped behind the two Colliery players who were jostling for position and 'Swall' nipped the move in the bud.
Josh Court in the Colliery goal was tested twice within a minute, when he saved at Connor Gregg's feet after Parkin had played him through on goal and as the visitors attacked again from the Colliery keeper's clearance, he plucked Josh Lill's dipping cross out of the air and clutched it to his chest.
Armstrong and Ross Taylor tried finding a way into Swallownest's box through the left channel, but as the latter weighed up his options, Jack Leitch nicked the ball away and the moment had gone.
But Taylor slipped his marker moments later and nudged a measured pass into the path of Brett Garrett, but Jack Hood had spotted the danger early and advanced from his line early to smother the ball before the Harworth number 10 could shoot.
Armstrong drilled a right wing cross into the visitors goalmouth that only needed the slightest of touches, but Nettleship authoritatively played the ball out of harms way.
Connor Green broke into the home side's area with a burst of pace, but Alder intervened yet again.
Luke Kocura launched a dangerous angled cross towards Parkin, but Court got up well and took the ball virtually off of the 'Swall' number 7's head.
Right on the stroke of half time, Garrett smashed a long range shot just over Hood's crossbar.
HT: Harworth Colliery 0 v Swallownest 1
Swallownest attacked down the left flank through Callum Davison, but within four minutes of the restart, the Colliery were on level terms when Bailey Armstrong played a great ball down the right for Garrett whose cross was turned past Hood from close range by Louis Maguire. One can only assume that the usually reliable Nettleship was AWOL and still goal-hanging at the other end of the pitch when Harworth finally found the goal that their efforts thus far had deserved.
Gregg almost put the visitors back in front straight away, but Court twisted and tipped the ball over the bar with a good one handed save. From the resulting corner, Parkin headed Lill's delivery narrowly over.
Court just about got the better of Gregg again as the 'Swall' captain chased down a sloppy back pass, but the Harworth keeper got a vital touch and got the ball away.
Garrett raced forward, riding one challenge and Nettleship had to turn the ball away at the expense of a corner. Laitch cleared the flag kick out of the area, but it fell to Alder who smashed it straight back where it had come from and past the unsighted 'Swall' keeper Hood, to give Harworth the lead.
It was the visitors turn to go in search of an equaliser now. Lill's free kick bounced back towards him off of Harworth's defensive wall and he hooked it across the face of goal at the second attempt, to where Court reached the ball a fraction before it reached Patrick Menye who was poised to head the ball into the back of the net.
Garrett nudged a pass to Dickinson, but his shot on the run from an awkward angle was blocked by Hood.
The visitors plight got no better for them as centre half Leitch, limped out of the game and was replaced with an outfield player, Freddy Rosscamp from the bench.
Taylor tried to release Callum Hudson with a forward pass from the middle of the park, but Hood sprinted from his box and launched the ball down the pitch.
Harworth attacked down both flanks and were pounding the visitors area with crosses and Armstrong arrived fifteen yards out at just the right time to zip and unstoppable first time curling shot through the crowded goalmouth and into the top corner of the net. A sublime strike.
Blimey! An hour on the clock and Harworth Under 19s were 3-1 up! That is the first chance I've had to write that this season.
On 72 minutes, the visitors got a goal back to set up a grandstand finish, when Kocura's free kick was cleared off the line and scrambled away as far as Gregg who crashed the ball past Court from the edge of the area. Game on?
Menye switched passes with Nettleship who fed the ball through to Dale Featherstone but Aelx Hawkridge (or his twion brother) blocked the shot and conceded a corner. Lill delivered the ball into the area and Alder headed it away but only as far as Featherstone whose volley from 12 yards was deflected over the bar.
Lill played the ball in again but Court punched it away.
Rosscamp almost made Harworth pay for a lack of concentration as two of their players left the ball for each other allowing the visitors substitute a clear run on goal, but Court was alive to the situation and adopted a sweeper's role as he put his foot through the ball.
Kocura chipped the ball over the Harworth backline for Menye to run on too, but the ball went out of play for a goal kick, before the 'Swall' number 12 could reach it.
In the final minute, Garrett ran on to a long clearance and with the visitors pushing forward in search of a third goal, he plenty of space to work himself a great shooting opportunity, but Hood narrowed his angle with a run forward and saved as the Colliery number 10 tried to place the ball instead of belting it full bore.
FT: Harworth Colliery 3 v Swallownest 2
Truth be told, I actually enjoyed this match far more than the one I had travelled a bit further to watch last night... and as the end of season rearranged fixtures start racking up, there is a very good chance that I will be watching both of these sides play again any time soon.