Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Maltby Main 4 v Tadcaster Albion 2 - NCEL Prem

Wednesday 20th April 2016
Toolstation NCEL Premier Division
at Muglet Lane, Maltby
Maltby Main (3) 4
Lee Hill 8, 33
Ryan Carroll 17, 88
Tadcaster Albion (1) 2
Jimmy Beadle 31
Carl Stewart 80
Admission £5. Programme £1.50. Attendance 117
Maltby Main
Rusling, Flint, Hibbert, Hill, Austin, Darker (Poole 60), Bemrose (Ballington 82), Rigby, Nodder, Hopewell, Carroll, Rigby (White 72)
Unused Subs - Poole, Stancliffe (GK)
Tadcaster Albion
Stevens, Barrett, Clayton, Milne, Anderson, Mycoe, Stewart, Beadle (c), Greening, Greening, Baker (Black 58) 
Unused subs - Corner, Armstrong, Sellars, Conway
Well I have to take my hat off to whoever was doing the Twitter feed for Tadcaster tonight.
Not only did I enjoy tonight's entertainment on (and off) the pitch, the Albion tweets had me in stitches at times too.
I sincerely hope they were being posted in a tongue in cheek fashion, because if they were meant to be taken in the slightest bit seriously; then they were even funnier.
Regardless of what you may have read elsewhere on the internet over the course of the game, that may have been a 'tad' biased, Maltby won this game fairly and squarely. They defended well when they had to, scored four times against a side at the top of the league, which kind of suggests they merited tonight's win and worked damn hard for each other all night.
As I said when I visted Muglet Lane last week...
"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"
... apparently, even I'm right sometimes!
Tadcaster's fate this season is still in their own hands after this defeat on the grassy knoll of Muglet Lane and with their two games in hand (Handsworth Parramore play again tomorrow), they are still favourites to win the NCEL Premier Division title, but tonight's result was very well received elsewhere tonight, as Les Hill put in a match of the match performance for both his current and his previous club.
The visiting fans had turned up in full voice and were in party mode, given what a win tonight would mean to the league table, but their celebrations were curtailed when Les Hill powered a header past Gary Stevens from Nicky Darker's long throw after just 8 minutes and for a while (but only a while) they fell completely silent, when the unmarked Ryan Carroll latched onto the ball on the edge of Taddy's penalty area and side footed the ball past Stevens to double the Main's lead.
"Wow! We'll probably loose 5-2 or summat, but this is good while it lasts" exclaimed and excited but not entirely convinced local in our midst.
The visitors went on the offensive looking for a way back into the game, but they were thwarted when Rusling saved well from Gregg Anderson who smashed a thumping goal bound shot from Jimmy Beadle's left wing corner, while Hill headed Josh Barrett's cross away with Josh Greening well placed to receive the ball.
Meanwhile the visitors had another scare, when Stevens dropped Josh Nodder's shot and only managed to retrieve the ball at the second attempt after a struggle.
On the half hour Tadcaster were thrown a lifeline, when Hill tried nudging the ball away with an outstretched leg and Beadle went to ground over his boot. It was unintentional but the referee Sean Richardson had no option but to blow up and point to the spot.
Beadle's resulting penalty kick was touched onto the bar by Rusling, but the visitors captain netted at the second time of asking from the rebound.
Two minutes later, Hill had the last laugh, when he picked the ball up just past the centre circle advanced forward and spanked a quite amazing strike into the top corner of the net from all of 35 yards. Scribble all other goal of the season contenders off the list, Hill's just bagged that award for himself. And that one was 100% intentional!
For the remainder of the first half, Tadcaster got out their tents and set up a camp around the Maltby goal area and Rusling was kept busy as Carl Stewart, Beadle and Josh Greening (having controlled the ball with his hand on the ref's blind side) all took turns at trying to get a second goal before the break.
Moments before the break, Nodder released Carroll on a run towards goal and Stevens had to race out of his area to kick the ball to safety. Tad would do well to remember this moment and avoid letting it happen at the end of the second half too!
HT: Maltby Main 3 v Tadcaster Albion 1
Meanwhile on Twitter, Maltby had apparently spent the first half heading the ball away.
Or even more hilariously, kicking it out of touch into the field on the far side of the ground from the stands... err, that's a cricket pitch!
Maltby started the second half on the front foot, but as the clock ticked down, it was a case of all hands to the pumps for Spencer Fearn and Mark Askwith's battling Miners side.
Initially Nodder's right wing cross was headed away as far as Cameron Rigby who drilled his ball just wide of the post, much to the relief of the unsighted Stevens.
Rigby broke down the right flank and saw off two challenges, before Josh Barrett put the ball out of play with a firm but fair challenge. Darker picked out Lewis Bemrose with his throw, but Jason Mycoe charged his shot down.
Andy Milne launched a long ball up the field, that travelled all of sixty yards before Rusling plucked it out of the air. Yet a Twitter busy soul claimed that it was the home side who were direct in style tonight. Pot, kettle and black springs to mind.
Not that I am knocking Taddy for adopting such a horses for courses strategy at the business end of the season, on a pitch that the ever busy John Mills at Maltby Main FC hasn't had time to run either a mower or roller over this week... and possibly last week too!
Rusling was having a great game... and the way the second half was unfolding he needed to.
Liam Flint headed the kitchen sink away as Tadcaster threw all they had got into the mix... that's an exaggeration by the way, but only a slight one.
But having survived a sustained rearguard action, Maltby broke forward and Stevens was at full stretch to turn Nodder's shot around the right hand post.
And Stevens was in action again shortly afterwards, kicking for touch after winning a race for the ball with Carroll. The visitors keeper didn't look at all comfortable in these situations... I really hope he thumped one or two of his defenders later on for leaving him so exposed, time after time.
Maltby's Michael Caine sounded a bugle call and got his depleted troops to form a circle around Rusling, as a swarm of Tadcaster players arrived chucking spears and taking it in turns to try breaking the Miners resolve with a leather sphere. One of the Greening brothers (the less famous one I think) penetrated the home sides defence with a thumping shot, that was nearly on target... if he was aiming at the passing bus, that frequently circumnavigated the estate that backs on to the Muglet Lane ground throughout the game.
Mrs THE66POW wearing her swearword proof coat
But eventually, the visitors all out bombardment reaped dividends, when the ball fell to Stewart, amidst a frantic amphetamine paced flurry of action inside Rusling's goalmouth and he side footed the ball into the back of the Maltby net to set up a grandstand finale.
Tadcaster have a reputation for playing until the final whistle and bagging late goals this season and at this point it really did look as though a draw was on the cards.
But Maltby were having none of it and for several minutes it appeared as though their defenders were having a competition to see who could make the best goal line clearance, the ball was pinging about inside the Maltby area like nobodies business, but the resilient home defence had no intention of letting up, they were steadfast, determined, united for the cause and perhaps a bit fortunate once or twice, but try as they might, the Brewers were not going to get the late strike they required tonight.
But Maltby got one.
Carroll chased a long clearance down the right flank, directly in front of the terrace where the locals had gathered to shout abuse at the referee's assistant Scott Mason all night (and did they ever!?), but Tadcaster had neglected their keeper yet again and he had to sprint across to the touchline to deal with the situation. Had he opted to smash the ball into the stand it would be returned immediately for the home side to take a quick throw in, so Stevens tried to hook the ball away back down the wing and kicked it straight at Carroll, who controlled it and cut inside before planting the ball into the empty goal, to seal the win for the south Yorkshire side.
Tadcaster were finished, the home supporters and several people with Handsworth Parramore connections who'd made the short journey across were elated and we all headed home to a backdrop of noise from the Tadcaster fans who were still in the stand singing long after everybody else had gone home.
It had been a battle, for both sides and the ball was probably covered in bruises when the final whistle sounded... but nobody could deny Maltby Main their victory, courtesy of a wonder goal and a sting in the tail right at the end.
FT: Maltby Main 4 v Tadcaster Albion 2
Maltby Youth Casuals defending their terrace.
The title is still Tadcaster's to lose. 
All the other challengers can do is keep trying to win all of their remaining games and hope that the Brewers droop again before the end of the season (they have four games left to go)
and go AWOL in front of their keeper again like they did far too often tonight.
On Saturday, Maltby will be riding on the crest of a wave to Athersley Recreation, while Tadcaster Albion have a vital home game against their neighbours Garforth Town.
Second placed Handsworth Parramore are at home to Clipstone tomorrow (see you there) and away at Brigg Town on Saturday.
And third placed Cleethorpes Town are away at Bridlington Town at the weekend in the 'Seaside Classico'.