Thursday, 21 July 2016

Worksop Town 0 v Gainsborough Trinity 0 - PSF

Thursday 21st July 2016
Pre-Season Friendly
at the Windsor Foodservice Stadium
Worksop Town  (0) 0
Gainsborough Trinity (0) 0
Admission £5. Programme (inc. a THE66POW centre spread) £1
Attendance 215
Dubious programme content herein. Mind those staples!
I would imagine that Worksop would've been happy with the draw and a clean sheet, given how they spent much of the game absorbing a lot of pressure, as Trinity dominated for long spells of the game.
And that balance of play swung even more in favour of the visitors, when they introduced the former Tigers crowd favourite Jake Scott from the bench during the second half.
Following on from a great shift filling in at right back against Lincoln City on Monday night, Scott was on top of his game again, giving the home crowd a painful reminder of the bite their midfield has been missing since he moved on last season. Mark Shaw's side recovered from a number of high profile departures from the club and adapted well, but never really got over the untimely loss of Jake to Bradford Park Avenue, who by way of the coincidences of football fates, face Gainsborough on the opening day of the 'Conference North' season.
Back in the days when Jesus was still a lad, Worksop Town took the fateful decision to move out of their three sided Central Avenue ground, that was attached to the adjacent cricket club, in a prime location right in the middle of the town centre, and they actually moved into the Northolme for a while and Gainsborough Trinity became their landlords.
I'll skip over what happened to the travelling Tigers in the interim, given that I have imposed a 55,000 per post word count limit for this season.
This fixture illustrated just how much of a rapid tumble Worksop have taken in recent times, given that Trinity, who were the Tigers local rivals when the two clubs competed against each at the upper end of the non league scale, are a forward looking and innovative National League North club these days, while the home side ply their trade in the NCEL, three levels further down the pyramid, at a ground they are currently renting, that used to be their own.
And had it not been for their goalkeeper Alan Graves, they could have been on the wrong end of a good going over tonight too.
I liked the look of Loftus at right back for Worksop, he marked out his territory and his movement on the right flank and distribution were good too.
But it was Trinity who ruled the roost for the majority of the game, compressing the game into the oppositions half, stifling any attacking intentions and effectively silencing the Tigers roar.
But alas, they couldn't turn that territorial advantage into goals and although much of that was down to the tenacity of Mark Shaw's sides no nonsense defending, with Alex Pugh sitting in front of the two centre halves to great effect, proving to be a successful aspect of the night for the home side, if the visitors had upped the ante just a notch more and shown the same kind of clinical finishing touches they had done against their county rivals Lincoln City just two nights ago, then the final outcome could've been much different.
That said, Ashley Worsfold wasn't very far away when he rose to nod Matt Thornhill's free kick wide of the mark in the opening exchanges.
Adam Scott, did however almost knock the wind out of Trinity's sails, when he received the ball from a Loftus throw in out on the right flank, turned quickly, cut inside and darted off towards the visitors goal, only to see his effort from 18 yards fizz millimetres (not even inches) wide of the right hand post with Jake Eastwood in the visitors goal, beaten all ends up.
But it was only one of very few chances that Worksop created, as James Reid and Matt Thornhill dictated the game at the other end of the pitch, while Jake Picton bombarded the right channel with a succession of quality balls in behind the Tigers back line. If Jacob Hazel and/or Laim Davis had been on from the start for Dominic Roma's side, this game would've over by half time.
Trinity were sparring with their Nottinghamshire neighbours, but stopped short of delivery a knock out punch, although just before the interval, the ever lively and very busy Graves pulled off a worldly when he tipped Thornhill's long range thumping shot over the bar.
HT: Worksop Town 0 v Gainsborough Trinity 0
The vast majority of the second half was played out in one half of the pitch, but it gave the Tigers of defence plenty of practice time together and when all is said and done, that is one area of their game that was often their undoing last season.
The next page of scribbled notes, are all about Graves, keeping the visitors at bay with a string of saves, some of them at the second attempt, but keeping them out none the less, which bodes well for the season ahead and gives 'Showie' options, when the club captain and first choice keeper isn't available.
Mark Fereday forced a save out of Eastwood with a cross cum shot, when he might have benefitted from having a team mate alongside him offering support.
Graves was withdrawn with three minutes to go, probably so the ever faithful Tigers support could show him their appreciation for the heroic shift he'd put in.
I was hoping to see Josh Dacre, Worksop's recent young signing, get a decent run out tonight, but he only made a cameo role at full back for the last few minutes. Having seen Josh in action endless times in the colours of Handsworth Parramore and Sheffield FC at development team level, I can vouch for the fact that he is more than ready to make the step up to first team football, but he needn't think that I'm the forgiving kind or that I'll ever forget the goal he netted against Mansfield Town's youngsters.
Anyway, game over, Gainsborough had by far the better of it but couldn't quite put the finishing touches to a decent performance, while Ryan Graves was probably man of the match overall, which speaks volumes about which goalmouth the ball spent the majority of it's time in.
FT: Tigers 0 v Holy Blues 0