Saturday, 18 March 2017

Maltby Main 1 v Bottesford Town 0 - NCEL Prem

Saturday 18th March 2017
Toolstation NCEL Premier Division
at Muglet Lane, Maltby
Maltby Main (0) 1
Shawn Mitchell 72
Bottesford Town (0) 0
Admission £5. Programme £1.50. Attendance 73
Introducing Elisha, Maltby's smiley faced mascot.
A late change team sheet change was required as Maltby's Ryan Carroll was injured during the warm up and replaced by Callum Cheetham who stepped up from the subs bench and acquitted himself well against a decent Bottesford Town side, who arre a match for anyone in the NCEL Premier Division their day.
Four minutes into the game, the Miners were dealt another blow, when captain Nicky Darker went into the sort of challenge he's probably going to be regretting for a while on the Poachers Oliver Donald and ended up with a yellow card and a slow painful walk on crutches back to the dressing room for his troubles.
Jack Greeves came on in place of the injured skipper and had what was possibly his best game yet in a Maltby shirt, until he also had to leave the field of play late on, having taken a heavy knock.
A few minutes into the game the Maltby chairman Wilf Race and his two good pals Stephen 'Birdy' Baird and Stuart 'Nip' Rogers arrived at the ground 'fresh' from their fifty mile Transpennine trail sponsored cycle ride, which is a fundraiser to help towards ground improvements at Muglet Lane.
If by chance you are one of those tight fisted, short armed, deep pocketed and mean spirited types, who doesn't care about local football clubs and their perpetual struggle to raise money, then log off now... and go to the bathroom and slam the toilet seat on your fingers. Twice. Really hard!
If however you have a conscience and a few pounds to spare, please support this saddle sore trio and do amount would be considered too small... or too large. Thank you in anticipation for your kind generosity in anticipation, you are a truly wonderful human being.
Having already made one late change before the kick off, Spencer Fearn had to reshuffle his pack again, but Maltby were soon on the attack, when Dean Smith released Sam Forster down the left flank after picking him out with a great knock from midfield, but Jody Barford, the experienced Bottesford keeper, dash from his line and dispossessed the Miners number nine, with an intercception and turn that Joanne Cruyff would've been proud of (she's Johan's elderly auntie) and cleared the ball away to safety.
The same Smith/Forster combination probed the visitors back line again, but Terry Barwick put a blocking tackle in, as is his wont and played the ball forward and out of harms way.
Bottsford's first opening came, when Danny Boulton planted a forward pass into the path of Luke Anderson, but with the ball rising before him in a penalty area that resembled a bowling green that had been prepared by using a spirit level, or similar, he struck his shot over the bar, and the perimeter wall, and a passing double decker bus.
Donald had just about got his bearings after the early challenge by darker, when Smith crashed a thirty yard shot against him, that must have smarted, after Forster had set him up with a sideways pass. 
Jordan Snodin won a corner out on the left, but his delivery was headed behind by Tom Spall. 
So Snodin took a second flag kick, this time from the right, that picked out the run of Shawn Mitchell, but Barford advanced from his line to punch the ball off of the live-wire Miners midfield dynamo's head.
Callum Cheetham broke forward at pace and put Barford under pressure, but Jack Cross sprinted back to help his keeper and put in a last ditch challenge.
Bottesford picked up the tempo towards half time, but when Anderson sent Spall on a forward run, Joe Austin moved in swiftly to prevent him getting his shot in.
In the dying moments of the first half, Snodin misjudged a challenge and received a yellow card, but Barwick fired the free kick wide of the post.
HT: Maltby Main 0 v Bottesford Town 0
And to be perfectly honest I wouldn't have been surprised if the scoreline hadn't changed by the time that the referee, Paul Buck, blew for full time. But Maltby were having none of that.
On the subject of the officials: Neil Allsop is obviously wise and he ran the line on the cricket field side of the ground, but Ian Jackson, who took the touchline in front of the Maltby die hards, should have been given free earplugs and an 'I survived the Maltby inquisition' t-shirt to take home with him.
Don't take it personally pal; if you had been responsible for helping to award the home side three penalties, the locals would've still lambasted you for not ceremonially sacrificing the perpetrators among the opposition ranks. It is just their way of showing affection.
Fans at another local club abuse the opposition players, another ground not a million miles away from Maltby, contains venomous individuals who poor scorn on their own players, at Muglet Lane, the poor bugger carrying the flag in front of terrace gets earache. It isn't personal... and the row of linesman's heads on spikes from previous games, next to the stand, is just there for show.
Bottesford showed their teeth first after the restart, but when Cross had his left wing corner headed back towards him, he slipped and scuffed his second delivery towards Jamie Bailey who took an easy catch.
Bailey was in action again shortly afterwards. when Anderson tested him with a long range shot, but the keeper, making his first appearance of the season for the home side, got down well to his right to make the save.
It was a tight affair all afternoon and in the end, just the one goal settled it.. and it took a touch of class, as Snodin, from the halfway line, fed a great ball along the floor for Mitchell to run onto, Barford raced from his line, but the Miners number six, nudged it past him with a deft touch, to claim all three points.
There were claims for offside, but they were in vain... and although the blurred image (below) that I captured on my phone, is of a fairly crap quality, it is clear enough to for anyone to see that Wayne Graves was quite obviously playing the Maltby goalscorer onside.
Subject closed!
Cheetham was fouled out on the right flank by Tom Johnson, but Snodin's free kick was cleared.
Wes 'don't call me Reece!' Wesley, hooked a superb, instinctive overhead pass forward to Mitchell, with his back to play... and 'Mitch' tore away down the left flank before knocking a cross into the path of Cheetham, who was only a matter of inches from connecting at full stretch.
Good knock Reece! ;-)
Boulton was penalised for colliding with Bailey as they both challenged for the ball from a corner. Giving the timing of the referee's intervention and the 50/50 nature of the challenge... and the fact that Mr Buck showed a yellow card to a Poachers player for complaining: I don't seriously believe that the home crowd could have any complaints about the match officials now. I'll shurrup about that and move on though.
Mitchell's header skimmed over from Cheetham's cross and it could have been game over, but the visitors had a late opportunity to grab apoint, when Barwick struck a long range shot wide of the post.
And that was that... three more points for the resurgent Maltby team, who face Bridlington Town at home next Saturday, while Bottesford entertain Albion Sports at Birch Park.
FT: Maltby Main 1 v Bottesford Town 0
Late change for Maltby Main.
16) Callum Cheetham replaced 10) Ryan Carroll.
Elsewhere, good luck to all of my pals at Cleethorpes Town when they visit Wembley in May for the FA Vase Final, that they reached today by beating Bromsgrove Sporting 1-0 in the second leg of their semi final.
And last but not least:
Many thanks to Elisha Priddle, this afternoon's Maltby Main mascot, for bringing the team good luck. 
Everybody is really pleased to hear that you really enjoyed your day.
And you are welcome back any time... even in that kit!