Saturday, 21 January 2017

Maltby Main 1 v Hemsworth MW 1 - NCEL Prem

Saturday 21st January 2017
Toolstation NCEL Premier Division
at Muglet Lane, Maltby
Maltby Main (0) 1
Ryan Carroll 80
Hemsworth Miners Welfare (0) 1
Jack Steers 81
Admission £5. Programme £1.50. Attendance 65
The final score was probably a fair reflection of the balance of play overall, in this no holds barred, all action game; even though the visitors possibly shaded the first half as regards their use of the ball inside Maltby's final third.
In midweek, the Miners recorded their second of two back to back 4-2 wins on the road, when, having beaten in form Athersley Rec, they overcame Hemsworth at the MDC Stadium in Fitzwilliam. Such a result was never really on the cards this afternoon, in spite of both sides seeing plenty of goalmouth action.
The return of several first team players from injury and the reintroduction of a couple more who are in the process of re-signing for the club, have given Maltby a real boost in the arm and the recent upturn in results and the return of the feelgood factor around Muglet Lane are testament to that.
At times, the Wells supporters (Wells is an abbreviation of Welfare, we asked!), weren't slow in coming forward with some fairly noisy remonstrating towards the match officials, but they were tight lipped inside the opening five minutes, when Nash Connolly received the ball in an offside position, but the linesman's flag stayed down as he broke forward at pace down the right flank and Reece Wesley needed to get across to make a timely interception.
To be fair to 'the men in black' (and regardless of what anyone else might tell you), any slight errors on their part, were evenly shared between the two sides and there was no kind of bias involved in the way that they oversaw the game... and let's be clear about this: Maltby v Hemsworth was never likely to be a 'tippy tappy' game, between two sides who were going to be shy about putting a foot in or were ever going to go about things at anything less than full tilt.
Stan and Dan
Rich Collier picked out Nick Guest from the corner kick and Maltby could consider themselves a bit fortunate that the all action visitors number ten planted his header just over the bar.
Meanwhile, the home side pushed forward on the right flank and Sam Leigh made a mess of dealing with a long throw from Nicky Darker and Wesley almost took advantage, but diverted the ball wide of the upright.
Danny Rusling was called into action twice, dashing from his area to kick clear as Collier chased down a long ball and then beating Guest to the ball from the resulting throw in.
Jack Steers couldn't keep the ball on target as he rose to meet another right wing corner by Collier.
Joe Austin,who has just returned to Muglet Lane from Clipstone, put in a great shift today, but he was at fault when he under hit a back pass into the path of Guest, who was denied by Rusling once again.
Harry Viggars made a forty yard run through the middle before squaring a pass to Collier, whose first time shot was blocked by Darker.
Cameron Rigby tried his luck from thirty yards, but Luke Danville got his head to the ball and turned it away at the expense of a corner, from  which Jordan Snodin found Rigby on the edge of the area, but this time he drilled a shot high and wide of the right hand post.
Josh Hemmingway played a long forward pass to Ryan Carroll, who turned the ball towards Steve Hopewell, who was tripped by Danville, but the referee missed it... so, you see, these things do even themselves out over the course of a game.
Snodin and Carroll combined and sent Rigby free through the left channel, but Leigh got down well to his right to make a save.
Austin knocked the ball down the right wing to Carroll, but his run was impeded when Cameron Clark grabbed hold of the Maltby front man, but once again the match officials disproved one particularly outspoken visiting supporters point of view that the ref was giving them 'nowt!
I feel that I must point out, that the banter between the two sets of fans was good natured, if a little expletive heavy, in fact at one point, a middle aged lady from Hemsworth actually apologized to us for her bad language, explaining that she was very passionate about her team and hated it when the linesman was a fookin' shithead! 
We politely smiled and said "You carry on duck!"Connolly and Collier advanced forward towards the Maltby goal but when the latter's cross evaded Guest, Bill Law scuffed the ball into the side netting.
Collier was causing a lot of problems for Maltby and was prone to turn up on either flank, he linked up with Clark and Hemmingway who was tracking back had to clear behind his own goal.
Right on the stroke of half time Collier put the ball wide from Connolly's cross.
HT: Miners 0 v Wells 0
Hemsworth attacked straight from the restart and Rusling had to be alert to the threat posed by Guest once again and was forced into conceding a corner. Darker headed Collier's flag kick away to safety and Maltby picked up the attacking initiative, with Carroll heading Snodin's measured cross back across the face of the visitors goal, but Steers hooked the ball away.
Dean Smith won the ball on the left flank and sent Rigby racing forward with a great knock, but Steers intercepted once again as the Miners number eleven almost threaded a pass through to Carroll.
Jack Greeves almost released Carroll as well, but Danville poked the ball away with a last ditch challenge.
Wesley cut out an attempted clearance and got the ball forward quickly to Hopewell who turned and rolled the ball towards Carroll, who was thwarted when Danville got a foot in at full stretch, but could only divert the ball into the path of Darker, who fizzed a shot wide from outside the area.
Maltby were imposing themselves better on the game than they had during the first half, but Hemsworth stilled posed a threat on the counter attack and to all intents and purposes a goalless draw, with a few thrills and spills chucked in along the way, looked to be the most likely outcome.
Rigby, Carroll, Hopewell and Darker, ably assisted by Wesley who was having a hell of a game and adding a whole lot of input at either end of the pitch, kept chipping away at Hemsworth's rearguard.
But it was the visitors who almost broke the deadlock with fifteen minutes still remaining, when Austin put in a slide tackle on Guest, right on the edge of the six yard box and though he got the ball cleanly, Guest toppled over him, which inspired the Hemsworth fans at that end to call for a penalty, particularly when the loose ball fell to Law and his thumping shot ricocheted off of Austin who was still on the ground, cries of "Handball!" filled the air, but the ref signalled 'play on' and his assistant was unmoved too.
The ball actually hit Austin in his back, squarely between his shoulder blades... and as such it was neither a handball or deliberate on the part of Maltby's right back... and angry spectators calling the linesman two words beginning with the letter C, (one of them being 'cheating'), wasn't going to sway his decision.
Carroll went close with a long range shot, but Hemsworth pushed forward again from the goal kick and Austin denied the 'Wells' once again when he cleared Viggars cross cum shot off the line.
Both teams were definitely still going at it hammer and tongs and wanting the three points, which was providing a great spectacle for all present.
Hopewell got in between his marker and Snodin's right wing corner kick, but he could only knockthe ball past the wrong side of the near post.
Ryan  Carroll finally opened the scoring in the eightieth minute, when he showed great perseverance on the ball, after picking up a low cross from Hopewell... and while using all of his upper body strength to hold off Danville, withstood a kick on the ankle and drilled the ball past Leigh from a tight angle.
With the home fans still celebrating Carroll's emphatic strike, Hemsworth broke forward and won a left wing corner. 
Collier swung his delivery in towards Rusling's right hand post and as the ball pinged about in the six yard box, Steers forced the ball over the line in spite of the vainglorious efforts of Greeves and Wesley to divert it away.
A messy goal, but they all count!
Hemsworth MW - Luminous shirts
Both teams still weren't content to settle for a point apiece, though ultimately they had to, but Guest almost forced the issue, when he was denied, yet again, by Rusling, who can be very pleased with his own performance this afternoon; while Leigh plucked a right wing cross from  Darker from under his bar as the game went into stoppage time.
FT: Maltby Main 1 v Hemsworth Miners Welfare 1
Neither side deserved to lose... and to that end, I wouldn't imagine that there will be any complaints from either manager about the final outcome. Both of their teams couldn't be faulted for the amount of effort they had put in.
A great afternoon's entertainment all told, on and off the pitch. 
There are some genuinely funny and good natured people among the hardcore support of both of these teams... and despite appearances, their bark is far worse than their actual bite.
On Saturday Maltby Main travel to AFC Mansfield, while Hemsworth have two home games coming up, on Tuesday and Saturday, against Rainworth MW and Clipstone respectively.