Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Handsworth Parramore 1 v Thackley 0 - NCEL Prem

Tuesday 28th March 2017
Toolstation NCEL Premier Division
at the Windsor Fodservice Stadium
Handsworth Parramore (0) 1
Will Eades 51
Thackley (0) 0
Admission £5. Programme £1.50.
Attendance 111
Steve Smith deep in pre-match conversation
 with an Egyptian river hairstyle model.
In which fifth placed Handsworth Parramore, having lost their last three games (against Clipstone at home, followed by defeats on road at Bridlington Town and Cleethorpes Town), got back to winning ways against Thackley, who started (and finished) the night in fourth, having picked up a 4-1 away win at Harrogate Railway Athletic and a 4-0 win at Dennyfield against struggling Armthorpe Welfare, in their previous two outings.
The Dennyboys, have now played in the top flight of the NCEL for an unbroken run of 35 years, since it's formation in 1982, when the Midlands Counties League merged with the Yorkshire League.
I don't reckon that they like change very much in Bradford.
Welcome to Handsworth! The Stainrod stare
Tonight's game was very much the domain of two uncompromising defences, of which Handsworth's contained thee players under the age of twenty.
Both sides have probably been involved in several more entertaining games than this one over the course of the season, but as their respective league positions and points totals suggest, this was a classic case of two evenly matched sides cancelling each other out all over the park.
Mike Garrod hooked a speculative effort over the Ambers bar from outside the area inside the first minute, which set the tone for the night as regards off target shooting... I'm glad that I wasn't stood ten yards to the side of either goal.
Aarom Moxam fed the ball wide to Danny Buttle who charged forward into the left hand side of the visitors box, but he dragged his shot wide of the right hand post.
Joe Thornton advanced forward through the right hand channel, but Luke Wilson came off his line and saved with his feet and as the ball bounced away sharply Buttle was unable to add a finishing touch as Jerry White struggled to clear his lines.
Ryan Farrell went down in the Parras goalmouth under a firm tackle by Harry Bamforth, but the referee, Paul Buck saw nothing wrong in it and waved for play to go on.
Farrell combined with George Eustance, but as the home defence made hard work of clearing their lines, Gary Stevens saved well fromthe Dennyboys number eleven.
Will Eades throw in found Moxam, who laid the ball off to Buttle, but having done the hard bit the Handsworth left winger hooked his cross behind. 
Skiving off while their pals take the warm up
Buttle broke away on the left again and dropped an inviting cross towarrds the Thackley penalty spot, that Bamforth met with a looping header, but Wilson claimed the ball.
Thackley had a half chance, when a loose ball fell to Dan Broadbent, who thumped his shot into the night sky.
The rain that had been forecast to arrive as 'light showers' was by now absolutely tipping down,
Stevens sprinted from his area to beat Farrell to the ball, but Thackley picked up possession from the clearance and Kris Hargreaves got in behind the Ambers defence down the left flank, but drilled his low cross cum shot into the side netting.
The home side played crosses in from Buttle on the left and Ryan Hands out on the right but the Dennyboys defence was standing firm.
Bamforth delivered an inch perfect left winger corner onto the visitors goal line that only needed a decent knock, but Thornton was leaning backwards and turned the ball over. That was the closest that either side had come to breaking the deadlock yet.
Jack McCarthy either has a doppelganger, or he was getting involved in most things that Handsworth were trying, all over the pitch... and Reece Hands was covering a lot of ground across the width of the midfield too.
Richard Tootle, who had been instrumental in keeping Buttle, the Ambers main attacking threat during the first half provided with ammunition, linked up again with the left winger, who knocked the ball inside to Stephen Warne and he in turn rode a challenge and nudged the ball forward to Bamforth, who, in spite of having his back to goal fed the ball to Moxam ten yards from goal, but White put in a last ditch challenge to prevent the prolific marksman from getting his shot away.
Right on the stroke of half time, Broadbent spent an eternity in cuing up a free kick, but ended up belting the ball wide, horribly wide!
A booming voice resonated from behind the goal: "Well that was a ****ing waste of everybody's time wasn't it!?". Harsh, unkind, but probably 100% accurate too.
HT: Ambers 0 v Dennyboys 0
Kris Hargreaves, who was enjoying some banter with the home fans in the seats, picked out Eustance with a long throw down the left flank, who whipped a quick cross in towards Broadbent, but Stuart Ludlam got to the ball quickest and shielded it from the Thackley forward, so that Stevens could clear the danger, with a lofty kickback towards the visitors half.
Six minutes after the restart, Bamforth hooked a free kick into the goal area, Will Eades went shoulder to shoulder with a defender and headed home what proved to be the only goal of the game.
If anybody had thought that Eades strike to break the deadlock, would now open the floodgate, then they were about to be  disappointed. Because if the first half was thirsting for a bit more int he way of clear cut chances, then the second was suffering from an out and out drought.
Broadbent had another chance to puncture the Ambers defence with a free kick. This time he was on target... if he was aiming for Eades in the defence wall and another dead ball opportunity for the visitors amounted to nothing.
Hargreaves crossed from the left towards Broadbent, but I have seen the visitors number ten play much better than he did tonight and once again he scuffed his shot off target from eighteen yards.
When you're making all of the right runs and getting into goal scoring positions, but keep missing, you just have to roll your sleeves up and keep believing in yourself. Once one goes in, the trickle will become a flood again.
Moxam had a goal ruled out for offside, before the same player linked up well with Warne to cut straight through the heart of the visitors defence, before the latter nodded the ball inches past of the left hand post.
Eades worked his way into the heart of the crowd in front of Thackley's goal again and headed wide from Bamforth's left wing corner.
Paul Whiteley went close to grabbing an equaliser, but his shot from twelve yards deflected wide and when Pat McQuire picked out Hargreaves from the resulting corner, he planted his header over the bar. 
Handsworth could've given the finishing scoreline a coat of gloss, when Hands dinked the ball forward into the path of Thornton, but Wilson bravely claimed the ball at his feet.
And that was that.
FT: Handsworth Parramore 1 v Thackley 0
Handsworth entertain second placed Pickering on Saturday, while Thackley are on the road again to Staveley. 
Table topping Cleethorpes Town are at Maltby Main tomorrow night, I know that you won't want to miss that one.
Right Said Fred have let themselves go a bit