Saturday, 25 March 2017

Maltby Main 0 v Bridlington Town 0 - NCEL Prem

Saturday 25th March 2017
Toolstation NCEL Premier Division
at Muglet Lane
Maltby Main (0) 0
Bridlington Town (0) 0
Admisssion £5. Programme £1.50. Attendance 83
Flickr photo gallery, click HERE
This afternoon, the football ground at Muglet Lane was graced by the presence of one of the most remarkable British sportsmen of his generation, the current Bridlington Town manager: Curtis Woodhouse.
Having played professional football over a career spanning nine season's, during which time he won four international caps with the England Under 21 side, commanded a million pound transfer fee when he joined Birmingham City (for whom he actually played in the Premier League) and even reached the giddiest of heights imaginable, when he turned out a dozen times for Mansfield Town, during their second season as a Conference club.
Initially when he retired from football during the 2006-07 season, having become disenchanted with the game he embarked on a new sporting career and took up pro-boxing... and he went on the become the British Light-Welterweight champion. 
Talking about his often colourful personal life, Woodhouse said: ""I love fighting...Rather than get locked up for it, I might as well get paid for it."
The 'Driffield Destroyer', as the footballer/fighter was known, also picked up another nickname, when he went to the home of a 'keyboard warrior' who had been abusive towards Mr Woodhouse and his wife, after tracking him down, in a bid to put an end to his stalker's foolish misuse of social media, and subsequently also picked up the handle of 'Troll Hunter'.
Remember kids (of all ages), the next time you think that is OK to post lies, slander and libelous bullshit on the internet about other people; sometimes you're going to have to reap what you sow. 
If you haven't already read 'Box to Box', Curtis Woodhouse's gripping and inspiring autobiography, then you really should do... ASAP!
The book is currently available on a cut priced offer at WH Smith's... and it would make an ideal Mother's Day gift ;-)
Of course, if she prefers historical tomes, there are still a very limited number of Maltby Main's centenary history book, splendidly narrated by Peter Kenny, available at a tenner a chuck. 
Contact the club's commercial manager Darrell Johnson on 07907 502050 if you are tempted to purchase one of these bespoke items.
The mug featured in the photograph, costing £5, is one of the numerous items available from the Maltby Main FC 'Red & Black Shop', full details of all available items can be found by left clicking HERE
Today's visitors Bridlington Town were originally formed in 1918, as Bridlington Central United, but changed their name to Bridlington Town in 1959 when they joined the Yorkshire League.
The 1992–93 season was the most successful in the club's history, when they won the Northern Premier League Division One title and lifted the FA Vase at Wembley Stadium, courtesy of an Alan Radford goal in a 1-0 win against Tiverton Town. 
The Seasiders had been beaten by Yeading in the 1989-90 FA Vase final, in a replay at Elland Road, having drawn the initial game at Wembley.
A man of many jobs at MMFC, Peter Kenny, the
author of the club's centenary history book.
However things went horribly wrong the year after Brid enjoyed their Vase triumph and they finished 21st in the Northern Premier League, while playing their home games sixty two miles away from their east coast base and at the end of the season, they went into liquidation.
The club's name was rehashed in 1994 when a local pub side approached the lease-holders of the Queensgate ground with a view to using the facilities there and part of the deal was that 'The Greyhound' should change their name to Bridlington Town and subsequently the club was reborn, in the Driffield & District League.
Since then, the Seasiders have had their ups and downs, but at one point climbed as high as the Northern Premier League again. Following their relegation to the NCEL Premier Division in 2008, they have competed at this level for nine consecutive seasons... and they are currently sat in third place.
That just about covers Bridlington Town's long and eventful history.
And if you want to read about Maltby Main's glorious past as well... buy the book!
Cleethorpes Town are still odds on favourites to win the title, but mathematically, both 'Brid' and Pickering Town are both still in with a shout of winning the title, although the odds of that happening lengthened considerably today with both of the North Yorkshire sides drawing, while the Owls took all three points from a 2-0 home win against Handsworth Parramore.
Brid Town's coach driver Peter Smurthwaite
Carling don't make non league chairmen... but if they did.
Match Report: 
The visitors defended high up the pitch, which condensed a lot of the play into the centre of the park, in what became a well contested battle for midfield domination for long spells.
But despite the physical nature of this gripping contest, the match referee Ed Cook and his assistants Kev Wilson and Jamie O'Connor policed the game well and, credit to both sides, there were no unpleasant flash points, in spite of today's encounter being a no holds barred public demonstration of standing up and being counted.
Clearly, their were quite a few participants out on the field of play who could dish it out and cope with being on the receiving end of a full blooded challenge.
In the words of the great philosopher William Ocean: "When the going gets tough... the tough get going" 
With Josh Nodder and Shawn Mitchell (or should that be Shorn Mitchell, now that he's had a grade one crop... suits you sir!) battling for every ball in the middle of the pitch like a pair of possessive Ninjas and Richard Adams, centre half  Dean Smith and Reece Wesley forming a formidable wall of steel across the Maltby defence, today's visitors, who had only lost once in their last fourteen games in all competitions, were going to have to put in a double shift today if they were going to encroach Jamie Bailey's goal. The keeper himself was immense on the occasions that Bridlington did make in roads into the Miners territory.
In Chris Jenkinson, the Seasiders also had an uncompromising man mountain of their own at the back. While the Brid keeper James Hitchcock was a fearless sort, who would double up as an emergency sweeper at the drop of a hat.
There will certainly be a lot of footballers hogging the bathroom tomorrow morning, in need of a long, hot, Radox soak to ease away their aches and pains.
Bridlington started the game in a lively fashion, but there first attack was curtailed when the referee spotted an infringement on Bailey, while the second saw Joel Sutton hook his shot wide of the post from just outside the area.
The visitors opted to take to the right wing to push forward, but three fair but (very) firm interceptions by Wesley inside the opening five minutes, suggested that they might be better off looking for a chink in Maltby's Armour elsewhere.
Jamie Forrester tried to pick out Brett Agnew, but Smith, excelling in the middle of the Maltby back line, leapt like a salmon and cleared the danger, but conceded another corner into the bargain.
Forrester's second delivery was nowhere near as threatening and Sam Forster and Adams cleared the ball away with ease.
Having weathered the early pressure, the Miners began to grow in stature themselves, as Forster and Josh Snodin pushed forward down the flanks, while Ryan Carroll dropped in behind Steve Hopewell and the live-wire youngster Keegan Burton, to forma three pronged attack.
But in Jenkinson, Jack Walters and Benn Lewis, the visitors showed that they had built their recent impressive run on having a solid foundation at the back to build on and had a few stubborn cusses of their own in defence.
Nodder played the ball forward to Hopewell, who flicked it on  to Carroll and the Maltby number ten was upended by Kurtis Bedford, in the D just outside the Brid area.
Jordan Snodin stepped up to take the free kick but fired wide of the left hand post.
Both sides almost broke the deadlock just before the break, with Maltby going close first when Forster's right wing cross was only cleared as far as Snodin, he threaded a pass through the Brid defence to Carroll who rolled the ball across the face of Hitchcock's goal Burton went agonisingly close to diverting the ball into the net,
The visitors countered from the resulting goal kick and when Forrester's long ball into the Maltby area was only cleared as far as Agnew, who 'pinged' it first time towards the bottom left hand corner of the Maltby goal, but Bailey got down to his right well to make the save.
HT: Miners 0 v Seasiders 0
Men in hats: MMFC Press Officer David Watts with his special 
guest for the day, former Miners player Dennis Bulleyment
Bailey dealt with Andy Norfolk's high ball in from the right, inside the opening minute of the first half and at the other end Hitchcock was soon in action too, saving from Smith as he latched onto Snodin's throw in, as he got up in support of his forwards from a set piece, just like a good central defender should.
Jamie Forrester cleared the cross bar with a long range free kick and from the goal kick, Nodder pushed forward and slipped a measured ball forward for Hopewell to run onto, but Hitchcock charged out of his area and whacked the ball away, in the general direction of the Sputnik 1 satellite, that orbits planet Earth.
At least it will be safe up there.
Adams showed great positional awareness to clear Jenkinson's long ball towards Agnew, while Wesley continued to frustrate Joel Sutton and Louis Kirk and they pushed forward in tandem.
Burton was thwarted by a good stop by Hitchcock down by the left hand post from Nodder's measured ball through the Brid defensive ranks and as the visitors broke forward, having cleared the resulting corner kick, they were greeted by a reception committee consisting of Adams and Wesley and got no further than the halfway line.
Mitchell battled his way through a scrum of players to flick the ball on to Hopewell, but Jenkinson was on hand, again, to put his foot through the ball to stop Maltby in their tracks.
Forrester attempted to get Bridlington moving down their right flank, but Carroll powered across, like an extra line of defence and put paid to that idea. Having prevented the visitors from making any progress down the wing, Carroll was then pivotal in creating a half chance for Hopewell, but Walters got across and shielded the ball out of play, at which point I was asked: "What is the difference between shielding the ball and obstruction?"
Well, that is a fairly obvious question to answer, inasmuch: when one of your own team block an opponent and prevent them from reaching the ball, that is called shielding, but when it's a vice versa scenario and an opponent does the same, he is a dirty, fouling cheat. Who'd be a referee?
Burton challenged Jenkinson for a header, that the Brid defender nodded away from any immediate danger, but it fell to Hopewell, who forced Hitchcock into making another quality save.
The goalkeepers were featuring prominently in the game now, with both teams being far more adventurous than they had been during a cagey first half ,when a lot of the game took place in a congested midfield that was no place for the faint hearted or workshy.
Bailey was called upon again to deal with Sutton's cross cum shot, that he turned away for a corner.
Jordan Harrison dropped an curling flag kick into the Maltby goalmouth, but Nodder cleared it away.
Look busy, he's pointing that bloody camera again.
Jenkinson put the ball out of play with a clearance and Burton instinctively took a quick throw in while the visitors were still regrouping that found Hopewell who muscled past two Brid players but could only find the side netting with his shot.
Harrison had been making himself useful since he came on as a substitute in the second half for the visitors, but as he cut into the Miners area from out on the right, he  couldn't keep his angled shot down and he skied his rushed effort over the bar... possibly the one in the 'stute!
Bridlington were ending the game the same way that they had started it, on the front foot, but as Sutton chased a hopeful knock forward, he was confronted by Wesley who got a foot in and prevented the Seasiders striker from making a shot and as the loose ball fell kindly for Harrison, that man Bailey pulled off another good stop.
Deep into stoppage time, Carroll was adjudged to have strayed marginally offside  just inside the Bridlington half and Kev Wison raised his flag. Grrr! 
But hey ho... the visitors tried to breakaway from the resulting free kick and the other linesman, a chap going by the name of Jamie O'Connor lifted his flag too... what a nice man he is!
All told, the draw was a fair result. 
Both sides, with a few pivotal first choice players missing, had given their all and it would be a nigh on impossible task to pick out a man of the match, because every single one of them gave at least 110%, with no let up until the final whistle, so I will avoid running the risk of being accused of favouritism by saying who I thought had put in 115%, so argue the toss among yourselves.
FT: Maltby Main 0 v Bridlington Town 0
Champions elect and FA Vase finalists, Cleethorpes Town visit Muglet Lane on Wednesday night, for a Toolstation NCEL fixture,which kicks off at 7.45pm.
On Tuesday night, Bridlington Town face Pocklington Town in an East Riding Senior Cup Semi-Final game at the Roy West Centre in Hull.