Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Liversedge 4 v Nostell MW 2 AET - Pat Rice Trophy

Wednesday 13th April 2016
Northern U19 Allaince - Pat Rice Trophy Semi Final
at Crofton Community Centre
Liversedge (1) 1 
Vaughan Redford 15, Cody Cromack 102
Niall Coulthard 104, Rob Thomas 115
Nostell Miners Welfare (0) 1
Billy Mole 83 (pen), 112 (pen)
Liversedge won 4-2 AET
Admission £2 inc. programme
Liversedge home game but venue switched to Nostell MW's ground
Thank you to Kevin Allsop the Nostell MW manger for the team line up details
Liam Scott-Bell, Tom Coyle, Tom Elliott, Cody Cromack, Brad Patefield, Niall Coulthard, Aaron Rogers, Callum Barron, Kenny Tafireyi, Vaughan Redford, Rob Thomas
Subs - Oliver Rimmington, Jack Jones, Jordan Emery, Corban Pankhurst
Nostell Miners Welfare:
Jake Almond, Tom Booth, Ty Bell, Connor Bailey, Dillon Connelly, Harry Jones, Galeu Makamut, Luke Blackburn, Ben Austin, Steven Smith, Billy Mole
Subs - Jack Rogers, Aiden White, Jamie Allsop, John Moran, Josh Craig
It was the recent form of both of these teams that drew me to Crofton tonight, for what turned out to be an excellent game that could've gone either way, until Liversedge grabbed the spoils deep into extra time.
'Sedge' have been having problems with the climate and above average rainfall this season and as a consequence both the first team and Under 19 sides are playing around the clock to fit their outstanding fixtures in, as the season reaches its climax. 
In qualifying for the Pat Rice Trophy final tonight, John Redford's youngsters now still have nine games left to play... and a good few of their players are also featuring regularly in Liversedge's NCEL side too.
Liam Scott-Bell got an early feel of the ball, as he collected Dillon Connelly's long free kick into his area towards Steven Smith.
But it was Liversedge who created the better chances during the opening exchanges, with Kenny Tafireyi in particular showing some good touches out wide on the right for the 'away home' team, keeping Harry Jones busy in the 'home away' team's defence.
Vaughan Redford netted the only goal of a lively first half, when he held off and made his run late to give Callum Barron the time and space to lay the ball on a plate for him from the left wing and he stroked the ball home from ten yards out.
Galeu Makamut broke forward for Nostell, but Tom Elliott dealt with his speed and trickery in a time honoured fashion and Steven Smith dropped the resulting free kick wide of the right hand post.
Ben Austin ventured towards the Liversedge area, and having run out of passing options he opted to shoot from 25 yards, which almost caught Scott-Bell out as the ball fizzed narrowly past the upright.
Connelly bulged the visitors net as he met Smith's left wing cross head on... that is to say, Nostell's centre half literally bulged the net as he ended up caught up in the back of it as the ball skimmed narrowly over the bar.
I was sat in the furthest seat from the entrance, being all incognito and as anonymous as possible, but I had to move and go to the opposite end of the ground, because a very supportive mum in the stand was roaring her support of her son and giving me a headache. 
Fair play, she wants the best for her lad and was backing him admirably, but I could barely hear myself think. I do know whose mother she is, but wonder if naming the lad would be the right thing to do at this juncture, because I wouldn't want to embarrass him, so I tossed a dice and decided to reveal his identity if it landed with an odd number facing upwards. 
Vaughan! Have a bleedin' word son ;-)
Nostell showed what a quality passing side they are when Jones fed the ball forward to Smith on the left flank, who flicked the ball into Austin's path for him to thread the ball through to Makamut, whose shot was turned round the post by Scott-Bell.
Tafireyi threatened again for 'Sedge', but Connelly intervened and sent Makamut racing forward with a quick pass, but Tom Coyle stopped him in full flight with a well timed tackle.
Makamut twisted and turned and held off the attentions of two markers but he he couldn't quite get his shot way as Coyle kept close tabs on him, after Luke Blackburn had created a half chance.
Meanwhile as played switched quickly from one end to the other again, Callum Barron threaded the ball through the narrowest of gaps to Aaron Rogers who drilled the ball just wide.
Smith came close to providing an equaliser shortly before half time, when he headed Makamut's cross over from almost under the bar and then saw his deflected long shot drop into the waiting arms of Scott-Bell.
HT: Liversedge 1 v Nostell MW 0
Blackburn tested Scott-Bell with a thumping long range shot right at the beginning of the second half, but 'Sedge' keeper got down to his left to make a great one handed save.
Nostell pushed and probed and all but owned the opening 15 minutes of the second half, but Liversedge were defending well.
Redford sprinted towards the Nostell goal and went to ground as Almond reached the ball first and cleared it, but the referee ruled that he had fallen rather than taken a dive, like some people on the sidelines were suggesting, quite loudly, as both centre halves raced to keep up with the Sedge number 10, but were still several feet away when he 'slipped'.
A few minutes later the same player went down under a firm but fair challenge in the area... I've seen them given, but the referee was nearer than me and these things even themselves out over the course of a game.
Connelly was doing a great job, most of the time, of sweeping up at the back for Nostell, Redford escaped his attentions and stabbed the ball towards the goal from a Rob Thomas cross and forced a save from Almond.
Makamut's pace saw him clear through on goal again, but with Scott-Bell advancing from his line, he rushed his shot and punted the ball wide of the goal.
Connelly, for once, missed a clearance and let Redford slip by him, but the usually prolific front man put his chance wide.
The clock was ticking down, when Tom Booth was toppled off of the ball as he advanced into the right hand side of the area and Nick Denton pointed to the spot without hesitation.
Billy Mole stepped up and crashed his spot kick past Scott-Bell.
In the very last minute of normal time, Rob Thomas saw off three challenges and saw his angled shot dip towards the goal off of Almond's gloves, but Harry Jones was covering his keeper and put his foot through the ball to hook it to safety.
90 minutes: Liversedge 1 v Nostell Miners Welfare 1
If anything, extra time was even more gung-ho and entertaining than the original 90 minutes had been.
Blackburn released a goal bound shot from just inside the Liversedge area, that cannoned back off of Makamut who couldn't get out of the way.
The Welfare number 7 almost made amends for his inadvertent block within a minute, but Scott-Bell did well to turn the ball over his bar.
Mole and Smith both had chances that came to nothing, before Liversedge's Brad Patefield, up from his defensive role, fired across the face of Almond's goal from Cody Cromack's long pass, only to see the ball roll inches wide of the post.
In the 102nd minute, Cody Cromack took responsibility for a free kick some thirty yards out and looped the ball over the defence wall, bypassing the scrum of players waiting to make their runs into the goalmouth and bulged the roof of the net with a quality strike.
In the final minute of the first half of extra time, Niall Coulthard scored a more run of the mill goal, when he got onto the end of a left wing free kick and nudged the ball over the line from a couple of yards out.
ET HT: Liversedge 3 v Nostell MW 1
As Nostell broke forward, valiantly looking to salvage this game, an over hit cross from the right appeared to be going nowhere and two players collided just inside the left hand side of Liversedge's 18 yard box... I thought unavoidable collision, but the ref decided otherwise and pointed to the spot once again. Billy Mole was unconcerned over whether it was a soft decision or not and he placed the ball past Scott-Bell from the spot once more and it was 'game on' again with eight minutes remaining.
In the 115th minute, Rob Thomas struck the hammer blow that put Nostell on the canvas, when Coyle's through ball to Redford was only cleared as far as the Sedge number 11 who gleefully crashed the ball into the roof of the net.
With just a minute left on the clock Smith saw Scott-Bell pluck his curling free kick out of the air and it was too late for the Crofton based side to get back in the game now.
FT: Liversedge U19 4 v Nostell MW U19 2
A great spectacle for everyone present and a real shame that only one side could go through from this end to end, high tempo semi final tie.
Good luck to Liversedge in the final.
And best wishes to Roy and Malc for their great hospitality at Nostell MW FC as always, I don't think the stories about the 'she devil' are repeatable on a family orientated blog.
If you get the chance to watch either of these teams in action before the end of the season, get along and treat yourself.