Toolstation NCEL Premier Division
at Kirklington Road, Rainworth
Rainworth Miners Welfare (0) 0
Handsworth Parramore (1) 4
Alex Rippon 45+, 71
Kieran Wells 52
Daniel Holland 62
Admission £5. Programme £1 (inc. team sheet)
A few miles to the south of Handsworth, there is a four lane section of the Queen's Road (A61), not very far away from the best Football League ground in Sheffield, that contains a reversible lane, meaning that the priority direction of traffic in and out of the city centre during the respective morning and evening rush hours, alters to afford a faster traffic flow and less congestion.
It beggared belief that the visitors didn't actually open the scoring until first half stoppage time, given that they had probably had at least a 77/23 (approx) split of possession in their favour throughout an opening 45 minutes that could quite easily have been mistaken for footage from a remake of the Alamo (post watershed screening).
As if to illustrate the point that Handsworth had invaded Rainworth and effectively taken over for 90 minutes, the Ambers club development manager (or whatever it is he does) Steve Holmes, won the half time 50/50 draw. Though I was only 38 minutes away from winning the golden goal tonight.
|Gordon Foster, a real gentleman with perfect annunciation.|
Well mannered with an in depth local football knowledge.
Best Non League reporter ever, in the entire known universe.
After the interval, there was no respite for the hard pushed Wrens, who I hear will be sending a bill to Micky Godber's side, for using their goal area as a camp site, they spent so much time in and around it.
I could painstakingly list all of the near misses Handsworth had, or detail how many times the Ambers strikers, ably supplied with vast amounts of ammunition from Simon Harrison, Alex Rippon and Steve Warne dismantled Rainworth's overworked defence... and marvel at the manner in which Tom Dugdale ran amok, cutting a swathe through the home sides rearguard with 'snake hipped' mazy runs or even applaud with some very loud and boisterous cheering and clapping, both the heroics and agility of Ben Townsend as he thwarted the visitors with a string of excellent saves, but I would be up until the early hours writing all of that up and being such an ugly bleeder, I do need at least four hours beauty sleep per night, before my daily 5.30AM wrestle with the alarm clock.
I would seriously run out of superlatives to praise the non stop battering ram presence of Kieran Wells and Danny Holland upfront for the Ambers, but I wouldn't be surprised if at least a couple of Rainworth defenders were traumatised by tonight's experience.
If you take a look further back upthis post at Handsworth's line up and peruse the substitutes, that demonstrates the strength in depth this team has... that bench would easily win any NCEL five-aside tournament.
And though some of it is obviously tongue in cheek psychology, it didn't escape my attention that the worse culprits are those who in the not so distant past have chucked infinitely more cash at chasing unfulfilled dreams, than the Ambers are paying out at present.
One of those club has been hemorrhaging support staff at an alarming rate, while another probably should have offered better incentives for it's only pivotal players to stay on board, because at the end of the day, a professional footballers career is notoriously short and the need to 'get it while you can' at non league level, is accelerated tenfold. Loyalty seldom pays the bills and their isn't an massive pool of players who are happy just to play for the badge and stick with one club throughout their playing days.
I also have a lot of friends at Rainworth, a club that is steeped in great traditions, who ooze class with their manners and humility... attributes that are sadly lacking at certain clubs who get things horribly wrong as they lurch from one confrontational crisis and drama to another, because their egotistical mindset misses the point of the the really important things that are the essence of the non league game.
An example of the Wrens good grace, was a post match tweet they posted that said:
"Handsworth Parramore are an Evo-Stik team in all but name and after last night's performance April will see them achieve that too. #awesome".
The gesture didn't surprise me at all, Rainworth are like that!
There are some really strong teams in this division at the moment and it's shaping up to be one hell of a season.
FT: Rainwoth Miners Welfare 0 v Handsworth Parramore 4
For more detailed match reports, you'd do well to visit either clubs website.
Myself and the 'Blonde Beelzebub' were too busy catching up with our good friends Steve and (Mad) Lizzie Bates (the hardest working woman in non league football) and enjoying a game of football, while sharing too many laughs, to scribble down many notes about the game.
Handsworth effectively dismantled Rainworth, who were magnanimous enough to praise and compliment their visitors on a thoroughly deserved win.
Man of the match... Ben Townsend.
Good luck to both teams this coming weekend.