Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Collingham 3 v Handsworth Parramore 2 - NMU19L Mini Shield Final

Tuesday 17th May 2016
North Midland Under 19 League Mini Shield Final
at the Coach & Horses Ground, Sheffield FC
Collingham (2) 3
Simon Biggs 23
Sidnei Costa 45
Marlon Grundy 90+4
Handsworth Parramore (1) 2
Tiago Bravo 44
Ben Rooth 85
Admission £2. No programme produced
Ben Tonks, Sam Biggs, Simon Biggs, Roy Bescoby, Ryan Atwell, Sidnei Costa, Jack Wilkinson, Marlon Grundy, Kieron Helsdown, Jackson Buckthorp (C)
Subs - Carlos Vagarosa, Adam Stone, Callum Barnes
Handsworth Parramore:
Jake Lancini, Tom Cropper, Ellis Moore, Harry Bamforth, Ollie Beaumont, Ged Phillips (C), Danny Beighton, Juninho Blake, Tiago Bravo, Jacob Mason, Ash Cooper
Subs - Danny Bent, Harry Groombridge, Ben Rooth, James Hastings
Handsworth were on target for a treble tonight, having already won the NMU19L North title and League Cup, by virtue of having beaten Collingham 3-0 in the final, at Inkersall Road, with goals from Harry Bamforth, Tiago Bravo and Mitch Dunne.
But Collingham, already Champions of the NMU19L South, fancied a double haul for themselves and as a consequence tonight's crowd were treated to a high tempo, end to end game, that could've gone either way, but was ultimately decided when Collingham took advantage of a couple of uncharacteristic defensive errors.
Providing a steep learning curve for young players is what that these sort of leagues are all about; a final step up in their footballing development, between youth football and the men's game, where being punished for mistakes and having to deal with the consequences of losing concentration at vital moments, is infinitely more educational than steamrollering your way to dominant wins each and every week and the old adage that: "it is all about development and not results" carries no small amount of clout, but one needs to strike a balance between the learning process and results... and whatever anybody says, losing at any game of football is crap; getting hit with a 94th minute sucker punch of a goal, in a cup final that you have just forced your way back into inside the final five minutes, must be sickening.
In a few days time however, once the disappointment has dissipated a little, tonight's runners up will be able to take stock and savour the fact that winning ALL of their league games this season along with lifting the League Cup, topped off by the counting the impressive amount of youngsters that first team manager Micky Godber is giving an opportunity to show their mettle, says to me that this season has proved to be as highly successful as the last one and the seeds are already sown for the next campaign too.
And the same can be said about Collingham too, who from what I have seen of them, play to a fairly similar system most weeks, but who have the players withing their ranks who can interchange positions and are comfortable in a number of roles.
Sidnei Costa, who deservedly won man of the match, has a great football brain (and I don't mean his cranium is made up of stitched leather panels with Mitre stamped on it), whereby he seemingly vanishes from the game altogether and then makes a killer run on the blind side of defence to arrive in his own personal vacuum of space. It must be a complete nightmare to try man marking Costa, because when he has 'ghosted' into a space on his markers blind side, he has the ability and foresight to use the ball cleverly and immediately before anyone can get near him and combines these attributes with pace and power.
At set pieces out wide on the flanks, as his team mates square up to deliver the ball into the middle, Costa will be stood barely inside the opposition half and they strike the ball an instant after he starts his run. As was demonstrated by his goal just before half time tonight.
Man of the match Sid Costa, Collingham
If 'Sid' isn't playing at a higher level in the game within three years, I will present Match of the Day wearing just Gary Lineker's underpants.
Be afraid... be very, very afraid!
On the night, Handsworth definitely had the better of the opening twenty minutes or so, with Ellis Moore, Ash Cooper and Danny Beighton linking up with Juninho Blake, Tiago Bravo and Jacob Mason... Ged Phillips and Harry Bamforth weighed in with a few excellent balls forward, while Ollie Beaumont and Tom Cropper held the fort at the back; when all Collingham had to show for their efforts was two over hit crosses... and, ever so slightly against the run of play, a goal after 23 minutes.
Handsworth made a complete mess of clearing a routine situation on the edge of their area, Jake Lancini was caught in two minds whether to come out of his six yard box or not and Simon Biggs gratefully rolled the loose ball into the back of the net via the right hand post, as the Ambers keeper struggled to recover the situation and could only get the slightest of touches as Biggs shot bobbled past him.
Handsworth brushed themselves down and pushed forward in search of an equalier and came very close when Tiago Bravo directed a header narrowly wide of the upright.
Ash Cooper was stopped in his tracks out on the left flank by Ryan Atwell's heavy challenge, but Beaumont's free kick went wide of the right hand post without any of his team mates having got a touch.
With just a minute of the first half remaining, Bravo darted between two hesitant defenders and placed a low shot past Ben Tonks to level things up.
But in stoppage time, Costa timed his run well to meet Biggs left wing corner and restored Collingham's lead.
A stoppage time goal. Take notes Handsworth, there are a few questions to be answered right at the end of the game.
HT: Collingham 2 v Handsworth Parramore 1
Harry Groombridge added a few decent touches to the Parras build up play after the break and Tonks was kept very busy as he put up a great one man stand against a Handsworth side who were fighting tooth and nail to get a goal back.
Beaumont got around the back of Collingham's defence and was a whisker away from netting when Harry Bamforth picked him out with a free kick from thirtty yards out.
The Ambers keeper Lancini, did well to keep[ out Vagarosa's shot on the turn as the game continued to ebb and flow one way then the other.
Tonks pulled off a brillaint save from Blake and Moore hit a speculative long shot that dipped inches over the crossbar, while Danny 
Collingham had a chance to give themselves a two goal cushion, but when  rolled a sideways pass to Adam Stone, he rushed his shot with the goal at his mercy and cleared the stand behind the goal with his shot from the edge of the area.
With just five minutes remaining and both sides still committing themselves to a high tempo, attacking and quick passing brand of football, Bamforth chipped a well weighted ball over the Collingham defence to Ben Rooth, who gleefully drilled the ball, first time, past Tonks.
2-2 and extra time beckoned... I don't think there would've been a single person watching who wasn't relishing another 30 minutes of this pulsating entertainment.
Tonks pulled off four saves in added time as Handsworth tried to claim an hard won victory before the final whistle, but they were undone by another moment of hesitancy and communication breakdown in the 94th minute... Marlon Grundy had gambled on the Ambers not clearing their lines and nicked the ball away, took two steps forward and thumped the ball just inside the post.
There was no way back for Handsworth now and as the referee Ed Cook sounded his whistle, virtually from the restart, the west Notts side had forced the result right at the death.
FT: Collingham 3 v Handsworth Parramore 2
A great game all told, a real credit to both sides and the Development League that they play in.
Congratulations Collingham!
And don't get too down about tonight Handsworth, it's been another excellent season.