Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Maltby Main 3 v Cleethorpes Town 0 - NCEL Prem

Tonight's game was initially a sombre occasion for Maltby Main Football Club and probably couldn't have come at a worse time for the first team manager Spencer Fearn, whose father sadly passed away yesterday.
All of our thoughts are with you Spen mate and if you need anything doing, anything at all, just shout up.
You've got enough on your plate at present and there are plenty of willing and able bodies around, who wouldn't hesitate to share the burden of all of the jobs that you do at and for the club.
Rest in Peace - Roger Fearn
A minute's applause in memory of and by way of tribute to Mr Roger Fearn, was observed prior to the game.
The Cleethorpes travelling support deserve a mention for the respectful way that they responded to the nights events and the circumstances that surrounded them.
The mutual respect shared between the two clubs on many levels tonight, was a credit to all concerned as the NCEL non league football family shared each others grief and triumphs.
Upon arrival at the ground, Cleethorpes Town were presented with a specially made cake, baked by the Maltby Main Welfare Officer, Donna Fielding, to mark their achievement of having reached Wembley in the FA Vase Final.
It was a honour to be involved in tonight's inter club friendship, which carried on via social media until well after my bed time. 
I hope that the camaraderie went some way towards offering a small amount of comfort to the Maltby Main manager.
Incidentally, Darrell on the right hand side of the cake picture, really is that big, so bear that in mind if you're ever tempted to visit Muglet Lane and chuck you're weight about. 
It's a one for all, all for one kind of club.
The kitchen minions.
Wednesday 29th march 2017
Toolstation NCEL Premier Division
at Muglet Lane, Maltby, S66 7JQ
Maltby Main (2) 3
Ryan Carroll 10
Steve Hopewell 38
Keegan Burton 48
Cleethorpes Town (0) 0
Admission £5. Programme £1.50. Attendance 141
I'm going to Wem-ber-lee.,, via the train from East Retford upon Idle, on Sunday May 21st, to back Cleethorpes Town in their bid to win the FA Vase against South Shields of the Northern League, on 'Non League Finals Day'.
Whatever will be, will be n' all that.
I'll also be watching Macclesfield Town v York City, who will be vying for the FA Trophy, later the same afternoon.
Apparently, the 12.15pm and 4.15pm staggered kick off times aren't to everybody's liking, but you can't please all of the people, all of the time and if this event is to stay based at Wembley, then I don't actually see what the F.A. could've done any differently.
I'm sure that the majority of players taking part in the final(s) would rather play on the Wembley turf than at any other neutral venue... but everyone is entitled to their opinion.
This humble scribe always enjoys the 'Wembley experience' and I look forward to going back there, time after time.
Tonight's game, will have been an ideal Vase Final preparation for Cleethorpes, given the remarkable similarities between the luxurious facilities and pristine playing surface at he national stadium and the unrivaled comforts afforded to visiting teams and their supporters at Muglet Lane.
The food and drink is much cheaper here though... in fact, I might make myself a bait box up from the tea hut at the Miners last home game of the season, for sustenance, on my 'big game hunting' trip.
Keeping the 141 spectators fed and watered.
What a phuckin' horrible paint scheme though.
The last time that these two sides met, back in September, 'Clee' triumphed 4-0 at their Bradley Road 'home', where they will continue to play, until their proposed future move to the Linden Holmes Club; once it has a NCEL (or indeed a Northern Premier League) ground grading certificate.
'Fortress Maltby', hasn't been a particularly happy hunting ground for the clubs with title aspirations recently, Pickering Town and Bridlington Town both had to be content with a point apiece from closely contested draws against Spencer Fearn's resilient team of all the talents.
No doubt, tonight's result will have sent seismic shock-waves across the whole of the territory covered by the NCEL, but anybody who has watched the Miners in action recently wouldn't have been surprised that they didn't actually lose tonight; but the margin of victory and, in particular, the quality of the finishing for all three goals was something of a (massive) pleasant surprise, for anyone who has the best interests of Maltby Main FC at heart.
Fortress Maltby
It has been apparent for a while, with the way that things have been progressing, someone was going to get a good hiding any time soon, but to actually win so convincingly against the league leaders... that was something special.
On current form, the Miners wouldn't have kicked off tonight languishing in sixteenth place in the table, if they could have sustained a similar run of results earlier in the season, but 'que sera'.
There is a genuine feelgood factor and togetherness around the club at the moment, with some genuinely exciting developments and plans heading towards fruition, being worked towards at a fair old rate of knots behind the scenes. And, if the squad that is being assembled on the pitch during this transitional phase all stay on board. then I boldly predict a top half finish for Maltby next season.
Sustainable growth is the name of the game.
The first opportunity of the night fell to Steve Hopewell, who drilled the ball narrowly over the visitors bar from long range.
Clearly a shoot on sight policy was order of the day, as Hopewell nudged the ball to Ryan Carroll in the tenth minute, on the edge of the Owls area, and he spanked it past Miles Fenty and into the bottom right hand corner.
Keegan Burton won possession of the ball just inside the visitors half and fed it forward to Hopewell, whose thirty five yard pile-driver, skimmed along the wet surface and caused problems for Fenty who managed to hold onto the slippery ball at the second attempt.
Wit woo! Another excuse to photograph the lovely Mrs Patterson
The visitors dusted themselves down and responded to the early doors invasion of Maltby's shock troops and caused the Miners defence a few problems.
Danny Rusling made his first save of the match when Luke Mascall pinged in a shot from twenty five yards from out on the left, but the Maltby keeper got behind it and held onto the ball.
Moments later, 
Brody Robertson headed just wide of the upright, as the champions elect built up a head of steam and moments later Jon Oglesby played who long pass towards Robertson, who nicked it over Rusling on the edge of the area, but could only lookon as the ball ran out of play, on  the wrong side of the right hand upright.
Robertson went to ground just outside the Maltby area, under a challenge from Richard Adams.
It was an ideal range for Alex Flett to have a go from, but he shot straight at the Miners wall.
The tide began to turn again and Josh Nodder played a low sweeping pass forward for Keegan Burton to run onto, but Fenty ran from his area to meet the ball first and avert the impending danger.
The visitors were quite direct at times, but that kind of stuff is the staple diet of Adams, Dean Smith and Joe Austin, while Reece Wesley stood firm against of Flett and Liam Dickens as they attempted to get the Owls going from the middle of the park.
Jordan Snodin and Shawn Mitchell, teamed up with Josh Nodder to assert themselves in the heart of territorial battle for midfield, which is where the supply line came from for the runners up front.
Mitchell fought (almost literally) his way past three challenges and linked up with Carroll, but Matt Coleman put his foot through the ball as the Maltby striker was about to shoot.
Right on cue, as the noisy Cleethorpes Town travelling support were singing the praises of their excellent left back Peter Winn, Carroll dragged the ball down and 'megged' him, before playing the ball forward to Burton who had strayed offside.
Robertson fell over Dean Smith's foot, but Dickens only found the Maltby wall with the resulting free kick again.
Moments later, Dickens showed his frustration with a challenge on Nodder than earned him a booking and sparked a momentary 'argument' between several players from both teams. The linesman called the referee across and subsequently Smith was booked too, for his alleged part in the aftermath, though I would suggest that it might have actually been a.n.other Maltby player of a similar staure, but who plys his trade at the opposite end of the pitch to Smith, who the referee really should have been talking to. 
But I'm not a grass, so moving swiftly on.
Amazing.They have been here ten minutes and their battle
bus isn't stood on bricks yet and still has all of it's windows.
Maltby must be going soft!
In the thirty eighth minute, Steve Hopewell picked up the ball from a misplaced clearance, motored forward and unleashed an unstoppable shot past Fenty that the Owls keeper could do very little about.
Liam Dickens tried his luck from outside the Miners area, but Smith got his foot in and turned the ball around the post.
Maltby cleared heir lines from the corner and Wesley released Burton with a long ball forward, but Fenty came ten yards out of his area to get rid of the ball.
Moments later, Fenty denied Burton again, when  he pulled of a great save to deny the youngster with his fingertips and as the ball spun away it was just out of reach of both Burton and Hopewell.
On the stroke of half time, Carroll, Nodder, Burton and Hopewell combined to open up the Owls defence and as Fenty got to the ball he appeared to topple Hopewell too as he came into contact with his ankle, but the referee didn't think it was a penalty and to be honest, opinion was divided among the Maltby fans directly behind the goal too.
Yes eagle eyed readers, that is the 'Fiery' Fred Trueman
near the bottom of the second column. The late, great
cricketer is was a Maltby lad and played football here.
The second half was just three minutes old when an attempted clearance from Hopewell's ball into the area fell into the path of Burton and he took it down under control. carried it forward four steps and coolly picked his spot and planted the ball past Fenty like a seasoned pro.
Maltby had switched their shape for the second half and were determined not to sacrifice the advantage they had built up.
Cleethorpes weren't down on the canvas yet, but they had lost their gumshield and were taking a standing count.
Things nearly went from bad to worse for the Owls, when Burton broke forward straight through the middle of their defence and lobbed the ball over Fenty but also cleared the bar.
Fenty as called on again to play the sweeper role as Carroll homed in towards his goal.
Peter Winn cut in from the left flank but his shot across the goal went wide of the right hand post.
Substitutions and another tweak to the home side's system broke up the flow of the game, which was definitely a good thing for the home side as Cleethorpes began to commit numbers forward to chase the game.
With Smith having put everything into a battling display at the back, he was rested, while an eager to please Callum Cheetham came on from the bench to drop into the hole between midfield and what was by now effectively and effective a back three of Adams, Wesley and Austin.
Shawn Mitchell who had run himself into a standstill in the pivotal battle with the Owls midfield, alongside Snodin and Nodder who had both stuck to their desiginated tasks well, was replaced by his brother Craig.
Spencer Fearn had even more tinkering to do when Austin took a knock and had to go of, but he shuffled his pack again and sent substitute Josh Hemingway on into midfield.
Fenty, once again dashed from  his area to clear from Nodder, as Maltby congested the midfield and took it in turns to be the solo runner towards the Owls goal.
Cleethorpes threw everything at the home side as they tried to find a way of salvaging something from the wreckage, but while Maltby experienced a final ten minutes, that in truth probably gave them a taste of what Londoners must have gone through when the Luftwaffe turned up mob handed.
Marc Cooper clipped a good chance over the bar, Rusling was called into action several times, but Maltby toughed it out and refused to be overrun.
Throughout the team, the togetherness, hard graft, determination, some stunning finishing in front of goal... and above all a desire to give their manager a performance to be proud of at this difficult time, saw Maltby through and they deservedly claimed the three points.
FT: Maltby Main 3 v Cleethorpes Town 0
As they left Muglet Lane empty handed, the visitors are still two points ahead at the top of the table with three games in hand and have a FA Vase Final and a Lincolnshire County Cup Final (at Lincoln City FC) to look forward to.
But tonight, they ran into Maltby Main, on a night when the level of team spirit, nee club spirit, was off the scale, as everybody dug in deep and did itfor Spencer Fearn.
Never mind the so called 'Big Society' that the Government speak of... this is the 'Maltby Society' and the words: "We're all in it together!" genuinely mean something here.
Good luck to Cleethorpes Town in their quest for the treble this season.