Wednesday, 26 April 2017

FC Bolsover 5 v Clay Cross Town 1 - CMFL North

Wednesday 26th April 2017
Central Midlands League (North)
at Langwith Road, Shirebrook Town FC
FC Bolsover (3) 5
Josh Parfitt 4, 70
Josh Thomas 20, 73
Josh Scully 29
Clay Cross Town (1) 1
Ant Lynam 27
Admission £3. Attendance 248
When we arrived at ROOK TOWN ALL CLUB, via the 'Curry Night' at the Alders in Ollerton, mein fuhrer and I found parking to be at a premium around the ground and all of the programmes were sold out too, due to the massive local interest in this potentially title deciding derby match.
The scene was set thus: a Clay Cross Town win tonight, or even a draw, meant that they would be crowned as CMFL North champions.
But a victory for FC Bolsover, would see them climb to within just one point of tonight's opponents in the table, meaning that the title race was going right down to the wire on Saturday, when the Millers travel to Collingham and 'FCB' entertain Phoenix FC at Langwith Road.
In the event, the visitors misfired on the night, in front of a large and expectant crowd of 248, while 'Boza' grasped the opportunity to close the gap to just one point, with a demonstration of incisive and quality finishing.
And while the home side will be floating into Saturday's game on the back of a wave of euphoria, the Millers will need to put the disappointment of tonight's display to the back of their minds with immediate effect and focus on the job in hand, as they strive to mount a very tricky final hurdle at Station Road.
So given the layout of the league table after tonight's result, there's no pressure on the Millers at all, as the destiny of a whole year's work goes down to the final ninety minutes of the season.
Not much anyway!
Collingham themselves face a re-arranged game at Harworth Colliery tomorrow night, but the early kick off time of 7.15PM will prevent our attendance at that one, which is a shame because it would've been good to catch up with quite a few people I know who are involve with both teams.
You certainly wouldn't have guessed that the Millers were about to be subjected to a high scoring reversal, when they came out of the traps quickly at the outset of the game and Callum Lytham was unlucky to see the his angled shot deflect wide if the left hand upright.
But in the fourth minute the home side launched their first attack and Josh Parfitt broke free through a gaping hole in the visitors defence and lobbed the ball over Charlie Clayton, who had been left with no option but to charge forward from his line, and it bounced up into the roof of the net, to give Bolsover the lead.
The game ensued at a cracking pace and as the ball fizzed about there were several players who could count themselves lucky that the match referee Ian Jackson isn't get the eyes in the back of his head installed under he is promoted up the refereeing ranks next season.
The frantic tempo of the game seemed to be suiting Bolsover far better than it was the league leaders, who would've benefited from slowing things down a bit and taking a bit more time on the ball, as several rushed passes never reached their intended destination and possession was squandered far too easily at times.
But by the time that they had settled in and got their bearings properly, Bolsover had already scored again, when Josh Thomas diverted the ball past Clayton with a clever flick of his heel at the near post from Josh Scully's free kick.
Ant Lynam brought the Millers back into the game, when he spanked a low free kick into the bottom corner of the hosts net, that took the slightest deflection en route to Ryan Hopkins' goal, but it was going in anyway.
Watch out! Scully's going to... err, too late, 3-1!
But two minutes later, Josh Scully restored his sides two goal cushion, when he 'lumped' a long range free kick straight into the top left hand corner, that Clayton had no hope whatsoever of getting near to.
HT: FC Bolsover 3 v Clay Cross Town 1
'Cross' rallied from the restart, with Ryan Ordidge narrowly failing to get a touch onto a right wing delivery, while Lytham was just inches away from reaching Josh Brown's defence splitting through ball, but Hopkins was alert to the danger and sprinted out to get there first.
And when Lytham went shoulder to shoulder with Ross Murcott, trying to get a his shot away inside the area, the ever reliable defender forced him wide and the ball bulged the wrong side of the side netting.
The visitors hopes of a comeback began to evaporate in the seventieth minute, when Parfitt picked the ball up in line with the Langwith Road tea hut on the right hand side of the pitch and tried his luck from long range and the ball bobbled unkindly in front of Clayton and ended up going in for Bolsover's fourth via the foot of the post.
I don't know if the same conditions still apply, but when Worksop Town Under 19s used to play at Shirebrook, we used to tell the players to shoot from roughly the same place that Parfitt had scored from, because on of the floodlights on the halfway line would always be pointing right in the goalkeepers face from behind the attacking player and would make the ball invisible to him for a vital split second or two. It might explain why Parfitt had just made it 4-1.
Three minutes later, the title race was blown wide open as Josh Thomas timed his run to receive a knock over the Millers defence, between them and Clayton and really couldn't miss with such a close range chance.
In a moment that encapsulated Clay Cross Town's miserable night, Lee Clay smashed the ball towards Bolsover's momentarily unguarded goal, after Hopkins had punched left his six yard box to punch the ball away, but it struck his team mate Ant Lynam, who took the sting out of Clay's effort and the home side cleared their lines.
Despite finishing the game with a flurry of activity around the Bolsover area, the Millers had effectively left it too late to be able to change the inevitable outcome now, as Clay went close again from Brown's delivery.
FT: Bolsover 5 v Clay Cross Town 1
It was nice to catch up with Gillian and Jim Watters tonight, who we haven't seen for ages... and of course, around two hundred other people who gravitate around the same geographical sphere we do and are bound to all end up in the same place on nights like this.
It is a shame for Clay Cross that Ryan Bates was out injured and Ryan Watters is away making great strides in is career with the marines, because Bates is nearly as good a footballer as his sister these days, while Watters could always be relied upon to find some way of salvaging games late in  the day.
But I was genuinely being impartial tonight, because I have friends on and off the pitch at 'Boza' and 'Cross'. So good luck to both teams on Saturday, what a nail biting finale to the season, it is going to be.