Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Handsworth Parramore 4 v Barton Town Old Boys 0 - NCEL Prem

Tuesday 7th March 2017
Toolstation NCEL Premier Division
at the Windsor Foodservice Stadium
Handsworth Parramore (2) 4
Stephen Warne 38, Jon Froggatt 41
Reece Hands 72, Alex Rippon 90
Barton Town Old Boys (0) 0
Admission £5. Programme £1.50. 
Attendance 100
Handsworth have only played twice since Tuesday 24th January and both of those games were played away from home. Namely: a 5-3 win at Parkgate, which was their only fixture in the whole of February, and a 2-0 victory in the Sheffield & Hallamshire Cup six days ago at Staveley.
Since I last saw the Ambers in action, they have undergone a number of personnel changes, both on and off the pitch, and have a new(ish) management team now, comprising of Micky 'you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind' Godber, Jason Dodworth, who did such a great job at Athersley Recreation prior to joining Parramore, and some bloke called Dean Bamforth, who carries the water bottles and fetches the other two hot drinks on cold nights. 
But he was good enough to offer me directions tonight, in case I couldn't remember where the ground was, seeing as it been so long since I (or they) have visited the Windsor Foodservice Stadium. 
That was pretty decent of him and I genuinely appreciate the time that Dean took out from scrubbing the showers clean, sweeping the changing room, polishing Godber and Dodworth's boots and giving them both an embrocation massage and rub down; to draw me a map. 
Typically, Bamforth was hard at work looking for a tin of tartan paint, two sacks of welding sparks and some sky hooks, that his colleagues had sent him to look for and missed the pre-match management team photo shoot.
Check in the elbow grease cupboard
Top man Bamf!
Your elevation within the club ranks is wholly warranted and well deserved pal.
Barton's result at the weekend caught the eye, when they picked up a 1-0 win against AFC Mansfield at the Forest Town Arena, that saw them climb out of the bottom three, a point ahead of Armthorpe Welfare.
Following such a morale boosting result, the Swans would've been heartened upon arrival at Sandy Lane tonight, to hear that Parramore had a sixteen year old keeper, Jim Pollard, starting tonight, but as things turned out, he ended up being a strong contender for man of the match, with a confident, competent and assured performance, that belied his age and lack of NCEL experience.
And though the Ambers had the quality of players to turn the screw and ram home their advantage on any team in this league, the visitors certainly didn't play like a side who are struggling to beat the drop to Division 1... and if truth be told they probably didn't deserve to be on the end of a 4-0 drubbing either.
But as I've said before, Lady Luck seldom hops into bed with the teams at the wrong end of the table and she was probably doing handstands in the home teams shower and waiting to join in with their celebrations after tonight's game, when the fourth goal went in.
Barton's former Stags player Ryan Williams, finally where he belongs:
behind bars! His Numerous crimes include joining Chesterfield and
scoring for Hull City against Mansfield Town. Always a pleasure Rhino ;-)
Stephen Warne, who was pivotal to most of the good things that Handsworth did tonight, threaded a pass through to Jon Frogatt in the opening minutes, but the Barton keeper, Rick Watson blocked the resulting shot with his feet.
Two minutes later Watson saved an angled shot from Warne, using his feet once again... the visitors goalie must've had some new gloves that he wanted to keep clean, but he had no option but to use his hands to block Luke Fletcher's long range shot, after the Ambers had pushed forward from a free kick in the middle of the park, when Lee Shillito and decided that the best way to prevent Warne from stamping his influence on the game, was to clatter into him with the kind of challenge that screamed "Stop showing off or you'll have me to deal with!"
John Hadley broke quickly down the left and picked out Tom Waudby with a slide rule delivery, who diverted the ball towards the Amber goal with a first time knock, that gave Pollard his first touch, as he got behind the ball and held onto it as if it belonged to him..
Connor Smythe was linking up well with Danny Buttle down the left flank and providing Handsworth's twin strike force of Frogatt and Aaron Moxam, currently the top two goalscorers in the NCEL Premier Division, with plenty of ammunition, bot from open play and set pieces, went for goal himself from twenty yards,but Watson got both hands behind the ball and was in the right place at the right time to thwart Handsworth's lively left back, cum left half, outside left and left winger.
Seriously... you would have to ask Worksop Town WTF they were thinking, when they let Smythe go to Rainworth, before he ended up back at Sandy Lane playing for their landlords.
The visitors, having soaked up a spell of pressure, broke forward again, but Will Eades, another youngster who has come through the ranks at Handsworth and established himself in the first team, got across quickly to intercept Luke Salas in full flight and mop things up at the back for the Parras.
It's OK Walt, I won't tell your Worksop Town pals
that you keeping sneaking off to watch Handsworth.
Smythe got forward once again and threaded a pass through to Fletcher who switched the ball to Moxam, but Watson did well to make a last ditch save from the former Rainworth striker.
Just after the half hour, Barton's right back Lewis Andrew had to leave the field of play, after trying to carry on after receiving treatment for a knock, but ultimately finding that the pain wasn't going to allow him.
As Handsworth were frequently probing the visitors back line down the left flank, that was probably the last thing that the visitors manager Paul Foot needed.
Pollard was in action again as Salas chased a long pass straight down the middle, but the young Ambers keeper came off his line and collected the ball comfortably at the Barton number nine's feet.
Andrews' replacement Lee Fisher's first contribution to the game was akin to game of 'double jeopardy' when he clipped Buttle's heels as he broke into the penalty area from the left flank and then saw the ball go out for a throw in off of his left hand.
But the referee Luke watson, who I seem to be following around so regularly at the moment, he must think that I am stalking him, saw no wrong with either of his actions, despite the Ambers left wingers obvious annoyance and from then on in, Fisher actually put in a good shift, following his fortuitous start.
Warne, Handsworth's engine room, deservedly claimed the opening goal, forcing the ball past Watson at full stretch from close range amidst a scrum of bodies, to put the Ambers ahead on 38 minutes. 
He stayed down on the floor during the goal celebrations, but was soon back on his feet having picked up a bruise or two for the team... in fact I couldn't have blamed him if he was just taking a well earned rest, such was his contribution to the game thus far, as he dictated the game from midfield, with Charlie Dawes ably watching his back and covering a lot of ground in support.
"Throw it to him, I'm knackered!"
Buttle cut in from the left flank, but Fisher got across him and put the ball out of play at the expense of a corner, that Smythe took and when the ball fell invitingly into the path of Froggatt, who doubled the Ambers lead with a well placed header from six yards out.
Barton had done a whole lot of huffing and puffing during the first half, but a double whammy from the home side had just blown their house down.
The teams headed back to their dressing rooms at for their respective half time team talks, while that nice Mr Bamforth forked the pitch and did a bit of sweeping up to pass the fifteen minutes away.
HT: Ambers 2 v Swans 0
The diminutive Mansfield Town legend that is Ryan Williams came on at half time and was soon making himself busy, with an impressive array of ball skills, application and non stop running. It is good to see that he got over the massive career drawback that he suffered, when he made the huge mistake of signing for the Spireites (they were beaten tonight... again!) and as lost none of his enthusiasm for the game. 
It is remarkable to think, that when 'Willo' was a twenty four year old, terrorising defences in the Football League, Jim Pollard, Handsworth's work experience Sheffield United trainee goalkeeper, hadn't even been born.
Smythe launched another delivery into the Barton area from out on the left, picking out the run of Froggatt, who headed just over the bar.
Williams put two good crosses in for Barton and Waudby was unlucky not to find the net for the visitors from one of them.
The visitors attempted to make in roads into the Handsworth area down the left hand side, but Simon Harrisom, was have a solid game at right back and Barton weren't getting very much change, trying to take that route around the Ambers defence.
Now that Williams was on the pitch, he was never going to let any of his team mates take any free kicks in the Swans attacking half and he launched a long ball from out on the left to the backstick, that Smythe headed away as far as the edge of the area and followed to head even further away at the second attempt.
The right honourable Mr Robert Jacques, a Staveley fan
and a gentleman, enjoying tonight's game.
Barton definitely weren't going to lay down and give up the three points without making a fight of it and (T) Waudby ran forwards forty yards before laying a sideways pass to Jon Hadley, whose shot from ten yards was charged down by Stuart Ludlam.
Will Waudby cut in from the left hand side of the area and Alex Rippon did well to move in quickly to block the Barton number eleven's shooting options and he drilled the ball inches past the right hand post.
A suspicious looking character was spotted climbing into the ground over the fence at the Glassworks End (I assume they still call it that), we moved in quickly to apprehend him, but found out that it was that big bugger called Bamforth again. He'd been sent to retrieve a stray ball and somebody had accidentally locked the gate behind him. 
Perish the thought, eh!?
A goal for Barton would set up a grandstand finish to the, but one of the Ambers second half substitutes, Reece Hands, was instinctively following the ball and taking a gamble, when Watson parried it into his path and he scored from a couple of feet out.
The game was slipping away from the hard working visitors, who would have been on level terms by now and would've gotten away with at least a point tonight, if it wasn't for that pesky kid in Handsworth's goal.
As if to reinforce that point, (W) Waudby put over a telling cross into the path of Salas, who saw a slight opening in the Ambers defence and headed towards their goal, only to find that Pollard had read the situation well and advanced to smother the ball at the Barton forward's feet.
Froggatt went close as he put Rippon's cross just past the post.
In the very last minute, Joe Thornton lobbed Watson from outside the Swans goal area and swore out loud at his misfortune, as the ball bounced back of the crossbar, but it landed at the feet of Rippon who couldn't miss from eight yards out... and didn't! 
So at least Thornton can claim an assist for his troubles.
FT: Handsworth Parramore 4 v Barton Town Old Boys 0
Barton must've travelled home wondering how on earth they had just lost 4-0 after having put so much into the game, but the home side had been a just touch more clinical in front of goal and that, along with having a keeper who played out of his skin, is what ultimately decided the outcome.
Handsworth now travel to Hemsworth MW on Saturday, hoping to keep their 'two month long' winning run going. While Barton entertain Armthorpe Welfare, who are just one point and one place in the table behind them.
As we walked down the slope after the game, Dean Bamforth broke off momentarily from washing Micky Godber and Jason Dodworth's cars and waved goodbye to us with his chamois. I think it's really smashing that the Handsworth management team let him get involved on match days.