Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Handsworth Parramore 4 v Cleethorpes Town 0 - NCEL LC2

Tuesday 9th August 2026
NCEL League Cup 2nd Round
at the Windsor Foodservice Stadium
Handsworth Parramore (2) 4
Ryan Lee 5
Daniel Buttle 43
Colin Marrison 49
Jon Froggatt 90
Cleethorpes Town (0) 0
Admission £5. Programme £1.50. Attendance 84
In a fixture that is fast becoming an annual event, once again, these two NCEL Premier Division championship rivals came face to face in the league cup.
On Saturday, both teams negotiated potentially difficult FA Cup games away from home, with Handsworth claiming a 2-0 win at Armthorpe, while Cleethorpes came back from a goal down to beat Rainworth at Kirklington Road.
Many people are already suggesting that this season's NCEL Premier Division title challenge is a two horse race between the Ambers and the Owls and they both start their league campaign's with home games at the weekend, with Staveley visiting the Worksop Van Hire Stadium, while Thackley travel due East to take on Marcus Stewart's side.
Both games are on my radar for a potential visit after the 11AM kick off between Mansfield Town U18 and Chesterfield U18 at Rainworth finishes this coming weekend, but I don't have to make that decision until after 1pm on Saturday, so Que Sera.
With fixtures coming thick and fast on a number of fronts, the two sides embraced the idea of modern day football being a squad game, though the visitors hand was forced somewhat to that end, given that some players were unavailable because they were away on holiday. Which raises two questions, namely: Where do people who already live in a coastal resort go for their holidays? And what sort of person books time away during the football season anyway?
With all due respect to my friends from the seaside, Cleethorpes approached tonight's game as though they were possibly concentrating their priorities on some of the more glamorous silverware on offer this season, but Micky Godber always sends teams out onto the field of play to win each and every game; which they did tonight, as thoroughly and comfortably as the final score suggests.
Ryan Lee, one of the Handsworth players tonight that have come through their development team ranks, opened the scoring from the Ambers first attack after just five minutes, when he cut in from the right to meet Colin Marrison's pass through the Owls midriff and buried a shot into the bottom left hand corner of the net across the young Cleethorpes keeper Darren Birch's six yard box.
The home side kept up their attacking tempo, with Danny Buttle looking to be a threat every time he advanced forward. While Sam Denton and Micky Harcourt were getting up for all of the set pieces, leaving Connor Smythe to man the barricades at the back.
On the other flank Lee was enjoying a no holds barred struggle against the visitors left back Laurence McKay, who was on Rotherham United's books as a youngster. He evidently possesses a fair amount of ability, but he's also got a lot of rattle and needs to curb his verbals towards the match officials before he gets himself a bad reputation among the referees in the NCEL... just saying!
Harry Bamforth, on the occasion of his NCEL competitions debut, paired up with Steve Warne in the centre of the park and the midfield duo were pivotal to retaining possession while disrtibuting the ball out to the flanks and bringing both Colin Marrison and new signing Danny Holland into the game, while Simon Harrison was also supplying a number of quality balls into the Cleethorpes area. From one such delivery across the face of thge visitors goal Reece Moody almost turned the ball into his own net, but Birch kept the ball out to spare his team mates blushes.
Birch was soon in action again, saving with his feet as Buttle hit a twenty yard shot on target from out of the left.
It was almost a dream debut for Bamforth as Harrison, Lee and Marrison mounted an attack on the right flank, but as Harrison crossed, Kyle Kavanagh stepped out and blocked Bamforth's attempted shot... and when the visitors only cleared the ball as far as Warne he shot over.
'Clee' were almost on level terms against the run of play when Luke Aldrich's cross found it's way through the 'Parras' defence as far as Michael Milne, but Sneath saved.
Sneath was in action again moments later, keeping the prolific Marc Cooper at bay to preserve his team's slender lead.
But from their next forward raid, Handsworth doubled their margin, when Marrison made light work of threading the ball through to Holland, who crossed first time for Danny Buttle to claim the goal from close range, that his first half efforts had warranted.
Cooper was inches away from pulling a goal back moments before the half time whistle, but the only shot to evade Sneath all night, dropped just the wrong side of the upright.
HT: 2-0
The visitors came out after the break, knowing that it was now or never, if their defence of the League Cup wasn't going to come to an abrupt end, but when Jack Steel's dipping cross was dealt with by Sneath and Handsworth stepped things up a gear again, as they went in search of a third goal that would probably kill the game off as a contest, that third strike wasn't long in coming.
In the Forty ninth minute, Marrison gratefully received the ball from an attempted headed clearance and fired past Birch via a slight deflection.
Moody, Cooper and Aldrich were still trying to get the ball forward into the final third, but Cleethorpes never really got going anywhere near as well as they are capable of tonight, while Parramore were sending out a warning to all other NCEL Premier Division sides as regards the production line of talent they've got at their disposal and the strength in depth their squad possesses, in all departments.
Connor White, who impressed during pre-season, replaced Simon Harrison who had taken a knock and slotted in seamlessly in a like for like swap. Harrison had cut a swathe down the right flank, bring his colleagues into the game and White carried on in pretty much the same vein.
Some clubs have scrapped their development sides recently... each to their own, while others only demonstrate a scant regard to home grown talent, or merely only pay lip service to this important resource at any football club; but the Handworth development stream keep on providing a steady flow of young talent, who are fortunate enough to have a management team who are willing to give them a go.
Marrison and Buttle continued to torment the young visiting side in what had by now become a fairly one way and one sided game.
Even with Kieran Wells being sat on the naughty step for the opening three games, following his red card at Brigg towards the end of the season, it demonstrated the depth of talent at Handsworth when they were able to put both Jon Froggatt and Connor Higginson on from the bench as they comfortably saw the game out.
I'm sure that the visitors will feel that they owe Handsworth (and their own travelling fans) a performance the next time the two sides come face to face (Saturday 22.11.16 at the Windsor Food Service Stadium)
Buttle and Lee could both have added to the score, but the Cleethorpes keeper was doing his level best to keep the score down.
However,  Birch soon had a different kind of difficult situation to deal with, when Wressell lobbed an under hit back pass in the general direction of his keeper, that saw the diminutive stopper running from his area and having to head the ball before he could kick it away to safety... as if he didn't have enough to deal with already tonight!
Handsworth played out the last ten minutes a man down as Denton limped off of the pitch after the Ambers had already used all three substitutes. The numerical difference wasn't noticeable however.
The ever cheerful John Stainrod dancing with joy
Higginson beat Birch from all of twenty five yards, but his shot was a fag paper's width the wrong side of the right hand upright.
In stoppage time, Lee dragged his marker all over the place before rolling the ball into the path of Froggatt, who couldn't miss from such a great position... and didn't!
FT: Handsworth Parramore 4 v Cleethorpres Town 0
Cleethorpes can play far better than they did tonight and I am sure they will be doing any time soon, but the worrying aspect for all NCEL Premier Division sides this season, is that Handsworth still have far more in their tank that they showed tonight. 
Good luck to both sides for what promises to be a memorable 2016-17 season.
Handsworth Parramore v Cleethorpes Town
Hall of fame:
See you all soon!