Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Maltby Main 1 v Handsworth Parramore 2 - NCEL Prem

Tuesday 12th April 2016
Toolstation NCEL Premier Division
at Muglet Lane, Maltby
Maltby Main (1) 1
Lewis Bemrose 15 (pen)
Handsworth Parramore (0) 2
John Froggatt 74, 89 
(I might've given Danny Buttle the first one)
Admission £5. Programme £1.50. 
Attendance 160
Maltby Main:
Gary Hibbert, Connor White, Jordan Poole, Liam Flint, Joe Austin, Danny Swales, Lewis Bemrose (Ryan Poole 65), Nicky Darker, Ryan Carroll (Josh Hemmingway 89), Josh Nodder (Steve Hopewell 77), Cameron Rigby
Unused sub - John Ballington
Handsworth Parramore:
Andrew Sneath, Simon Harrison (Ryan Lee 87), Connor Smythe, Luke Fletcher, Tyler Bates, Gareth Griffiths, Colin Marrison (Danny Buttle 62), Steve Warne, Jon Froggatt, Kieran Wells, Ash Burbeary
Unused subs - Will Eades, Billy Wright
With Tadcaster Albion's game against Armthorpe Welfare having been rained off tonight, this was Handsworth Parramore's chance to climb back to the top of the table, against Maltby Main, a top eight side who have been enjoying a decent season under Spencer Fearne and his assistant Mark Askwith. 
Apologies in advance to my 'Ambers' pals, but I am afraid that I've got to mention the weekend's results in this 'setting the scene' intro, where the Miners overturned a two nil deficit to take a point off of Staveley at Inkersall Road, while Micky Godber's side were on the wrong end of a 5-2 scoreline at Tadcaster. 
Least said soonest mended methinks.
Following this hard fought win against Spencer Fearn's extremely resilient Maltby side, Parramore are now two points ahead of 'Taddy', but the north Yorkshire side, who also visit Muglet Lane next Wednesday, have two games in hand.
Mathematically Cleethorpes Town, Bridlington Town and Worksop Town still have a (wafer) slim chance of pinching the top spot, but barring a monumental capitulation by the pace setters, the title race is effectively a two horse one.
Micky Godber, ably assisted by Mark Ward, is keeping his players feet on the ground by taking it one game at a time and staying focused on their own fixtures, as the 'do or die' climax to the season comes into view, with his side still in the running for silverware on three fronts.
Tadcaster are favourites to win the league and take the one solitary promotion spot, so the pressure is on them to maintain their form into the final run in and not slip up right at the end like they did last season. As Handsworth showed tonight, yet again, they will keep up the fight and chase down any cause right until the bitter end.
The signature tune to tonight's no holds barred contest, could have been Billy Ocean's "When the goung gets tough" (but not Boyzone's feeble cover version).
Nobody should ever turn up at Maltby expecting an easy passage or any favours, and their all action approach to each and every game, combined with a pitch that would be a daunting challenge for even the most experienced of polar expedition orienteering teams, makes life 'difficult' for any visiting team... not to mention the 'blunt' talking local crowd breathing down your neck (they're actually top lads when you get to know them), whose bite is no doubt even worse than their fairly ferocious bark.
Fortess Muglet Lane is no place for tippy tappy football, posers or the faint hearted.
But, I actually love coming here, especially in midweek.
I wouldn't have been overly surprised to see Maltby's stalwart secretary playing out on the wing for the home side tonight, he'd already covered several miles doing everything else that wanted doing in the build up to the game.
Crash, bang, wallop... the game commenced at a break neck pace, as both teams went in search of an opening goal in a game that the visitors really needed to win.
Kieran Wells got in behind Maltby's defence twice early on, but struggled to get a shot in on goal, due to the number of Miners players who seemed keen to get back and surround him, (body)checking his every move, whenever he got anywhere near the ball.
The end to end goalmouth action wasn't letting up for a moment and amid a goalsmouth scramble in front of Andrew Sneath, the referee Chris Ward spotted a handball and blew up for a penalty.
Sneath dived to his right but Lewis Bemrose struck his spot kick low and straight down the middle and the ball nestled in the back of the net via the Ambers keepers outstretched leg.
The home side weren't content to sit back and defend their one goal cushion and within minutes, Cameron Rigby cut inside from the left flank and Sneath had to get down to keep the ball out at the foot of the near post.
Rigby found his way in round the side of Handsworth's defence again and only a timely interception by Luke Fletcher, prevented the ball finding it's way through to Ryan Carroll who had timed his run perfectly to arrive unmarked straight in front of Sneath's goal.
Handsworth definitely seemed to have that bit more in reserve than their south Yorkshire neighbours and even class to see them through over the 90 minutes, but the Main were definitely shading the first half.
Simon Harrison and Connor Smythe were trying to get the visitors going from down the flanks, but Maltby were strong at the back.
Just before half time, Wells threatened to break free from the halfway line towards the Maltby goal, but Nicky Darker intercepted the ball with a firm challenge... so firm in fact, that the ball spun away so fast and far that nobody could retrieve it and Darker conceded a corner.
Ash Burbeary's kick was cleared, but only as far as Gareth Griffiths, who chipped it towards Wells, but Gary Hibbert climbed above him and plucked the ball off of his ginger bonce.
HT: Maltby Main 1 v Handsworth Parramore 0
And Tadcaster started inflating their party balloons.
Griffiths fouled Bemrose around 35 yards from the Ambers goal, but Smythe was on hand to head the free kick away.
Wells cleared Rigby's corner but Handsworth's attempted counter attack broke down in the middle of the park. Where the 'tackle' were now flying in from all angles. Mr Ward sensibly decided to nip things in the bud by issuing Danny Swales with a yellow card. It seemed to do the trick, for at least three minutes as an unsightly wrestling match broke out over a throw in near the halfway line, followed shortly afterwards by another 'coming together' of 17 players as Handsworth took offence to a foul in front of Maltby's most vociferous supporters.
The game still finished 11 aside, so well done to the referee for restoring order.
Wells ghosted in on goal behind the Miners defence, but Burbeary couldn't quite pick him out with a long range pass from out on the left.
As a hour ticked by with Handsworth still chasing the game, Godber made a couple of changes and tweaked his game plan accordingly, it was the turning point of the game. It's got to be a nassive plus point for any side, to have both Danny Buttle and Alex Rippon to throw into the mix when you've got to up the ante.
Froggatt picked up the ball and sprayed a wide pass to Buttle, who surged down the left touchline, but Connor White got under him with a 'proper tackle', but conceded a corner into the bargain.
In their desperation to get back into the game, three players went for the same ball from Buttle at the back stick and got in each others way as Maltby cleared their lines.
The home side sacrificed Bemrose, taking him out of his attacking midfield role and beefing things up at the back in anticipation of Handsworth's late charge and sent on Danny Poole as part of their reorganisation.
Buttle got forward again and he dropped a cross into the path of Griffiths, but the centre half cum prolific goalscorer headed the chance over from just a few feet.
Handsworth won a corner out on the left flank, but Maltby putting up and all hands to the pumps rearguard action cleared the ball away past the back stick. Buttle's right swing corner swung in just under the Maltby bar as a scrum of bodies piled in towards it... and the visitors were on level terms.
I personally thought that Buttle had scored directly from the flag kick, but eye witnesses who were closer to the goal line than me, including the ref, said that Froggatt had got the final touch. He definitely had, that was clear to see, but I wasn't sure it had already crossed the line until the matter was clarified later.
Buttle took a free kick out towards the left wing in line with the penalty spot and unleashed a thumping and curling shot towards the top right hand corner of the goal, that left Hibbert with no absolutely no chance of making a save... I hereby declare that Maltby's Liam Flint is completely certifiable... because without any thought for himself he dived and met Buttle's pile driver full on with his forehead to keep the ball out. Taking one for the team doesn't even come close... Flint deserved a medal and a least a point for his bravery.
The Ambers pressed again and Wells unlocked the Maltby defence for Rippon who hit the bar from close range,  Steve Warne pounced to get to the rebound first but Connor White cleared his effort off the line... everything was getting a bit of frantic inside the Miners goalmouth.
There was no mistaking who scored Handsworth's winning goal right at the death, as Froggatt latched onto a bouncing clearance almost thirty yards from goal and hooked a sublime finish into the back of Maltby's net, inside tha last minute of the ninety.
Froggatt disappeared under a pile of celebrating team mates as the Ambers supporters were up and celebrating a HUGE result.
Wells came very close to adding a third for Handsworth in stoppage time and there was still time for another goalmouth scramble at both ends, but Froggatt's late strike had won the day for Micky Godber's side who simply don't know when they're beaten.
FT: Maltby Main 1 v Handsworth Parramore 2
Both sides were generously applauded from the pitch and rightly so.
That was a massive grandstand finish by the Ambers, that keeps them well and truly in the mix at the business end of the table. And Maltby are growing into a really good side this season too.