Saturday, 29 April 2017

Maltby Main 1 v Handsworth Parramore 3 -NCEL Prem

Saturday 29th April 2017
Toolstation NCEL Premier Division
at Muglet Lane, Maltby
Maltby Main (1) 1
Keegan Burton 41
Handsworth Parramore (2) 3
Alex Rippon 35
Aaron Moxam 43, 55 pen
Admission £5. Programme £1.50. Attendance 138
A few additional pictures: click HERE
On the day that Penistone Church confirmed their Premier Division status with a 4-2 win at Grimsby Borough, in the play off final, meaning that they will be promoted along with champions Hall Road Ranger and runners up Pontefract Collieries; Handsworth Parramore took up four car parking spaces with their fancy team transporter, as the 'culture club' arrived at Muglet Lane to see out the season at the home of the NCEL's very own crazy gang: Maltby Main FC.
In the event, the Ambers win, on an immaculate carpet like surface, that has been well worth the whole of the princely sum of £14.82 that has been invested in keeping it in such good shape all season, saw them finish the season with a run of five consecutive wins, while, to their immense credit in such a competitive league, the Miners slumped to what was only their first defeat in eight games.
Mr Mills misunderstanding what the phrase 'dog grooming' means
Handsworth, who were fancied by many, before the outset of the season, myself included, as the main threat to Cleethorpe's title aspirations, finished the season in fourth place, some 25 points behind the Owls.
Maltby, having flirted briefly in an unwanted tryst with the clubs at the bottom end of the table, pulled themselves away from the drop zone with a vast improvement in results since the turn of the year and ended up in 14th, seven places and fourteen places behind last season's impressive finish.
As a cursory glance back through any number of posts on this here blog, will confirm that I'm crap at making predictions, I will nonetheless be sticking my fifty pence (each way) on both of these sides finishing higher in the table next season, than they did this one. With Parramore probably being there or thereabouts, in the running for the single promotion spot to the Northern Premier League and the Miners making steady and sustainable progress in  the top half of the table.
The way to conquer the NCEL Premier Division, is to treat her like the 'lived in' and vastly experienced promiscuous woman that she is.
There is little point in wooing her, courting her, showering her with gifts and diamonds and respectively letting her dictate the pace at which your relationship develops and then fannying around laying down the corn, before embarking on a demur and gentle approach to the act of love making.
The NCEL isn't a lady, she doesn't make love, she frowns upon foreplay and niceties, she's been around and the only approach that will see you bossing this brassy broad, is to be up and raring to go from day one, ramming it home on all fronts and smashing her back doors in, if needs be.
Spank her ass hard and keep your arsenal primed from day one and get off to a flying start, while your peers are still asking her mates for her phone number.
Faint heart and floppy parts will never win over a real woman.
Holding hands across the table, while wining and dining the apple of your eye, is going to get you absolutely nowhere, not while the big guns have been firing from day one and have probably been doing the apple of your eye over the bonnet of your car, while you nip into the florists to buy her roses.
Get stuck in, keep the tempo going... and thank me later when you have reached your zenith, while other wannabe suitors have missed the ride of a lifetime.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail n' all that. Stock upon the stud spray!
If, just if, heaven really is a place on earth, then surely Belinda Carlisle must've visited Muglet Lane on an  overcast and ever so slightly chilly Saturday afternoon, when she was inspired to write that infuriatingly catchy, chart topping pop ballad.
As an aside, did anybody else notice that the crafty bitch also used virtually the same hook and tune on that other record 'We dream the same same dreams'.
Getting paid twice for the same job, no wonder she can afford to leave the light on... nice work if you can get it!
The air raid sirens sounded and Frankie Goes to Hollywood's  "When two tribes go to war" boomed out over the public address system (or it probably would've done if somebody hadn't nicked the super woofer speakers from off the main stand roof, to fit into the the back of his Ford Capri), both teams shook hands, while dead eyeing each other and hissing "I'm going to fookin' have you!" under their collective breaths... the match officials crossed their chest and looked to the heavens for guidance, but mostly foe help! And a most eye catching, beautifully presented and aesthetically appealing game of Association football, between two renowned exponents of the dribbling code ensued, on a surface that even the head groundsman on the centre court at Wimbledon would've gone weak at the kness had a wank about, such is it's geometrically perfect, lovingly manicured surface and gleaming white straight(ish) lines.
Both defences put in their gum shields and fronted up for what promised to be a challenging ninety minutes of rough and tumble, with occasional outbreaks of football... and they pretty much dominated the opening exchanges.
Dean Smith, Keegan Burton and Steve Hopewell battered away at Handsworth's back doors, but hadn't quite applied enough lubricant to their forward thrusts, to actually make any telling kind of penetration as of yet.
Kinnel! This blog is going all Mills & Boon meets fifty shades of Maltby. This is what happens when I take a blue tablet to overcome my writers block.
The Ambers countered after seeing off Maltby's early attacking threat and their captain (and all round decent bloke) Connor Smythe, spanked the ball narrowly over the crossbar from twenty five yards.
Smythe hurried back and was well placed to clear when Hopewell nodded Burton's knock forward down into the path of Lewis Bemrose.
Hopewell threatened the visitors goal again as he broke in through the right channel, but the Parramore mascot got the ball away... err, hang on a minute while I get my glasses... it was actually Richard Tootle, but given his diminutive stature it was an easy mistake to make on part.
There was a massive roar of anticipation from the packed to capacity Maltby kop, as Spencer Fearn unleashed the Miners secret weapon... a long throw in from Nicky Darker! I bet none of you Handsworth lot were expecting that were you? The home side's captain launched the ball towards Dean Smith arriving at the back stick, but his downwards header was well held by Gary Stevens.
Five wins in a row and still a grumpy f*cker!
The NCEL Premier Division's top scorer Aaron Moxam saw a slight gap in Maltby's armoury and stuck the ball from fifteen yards out, but Danny Patterson took the sting out of shot with a slight touch while Jamie Bailey got down to his right to turn the ball round the upright.
Bemrose nudged the ball forward for Burton to run onto, but as he raced for the ball, shoulder to shoulder with Ben Starosa, the two of them collided and went to ground and the referee awarded a free kick to Handsworth, in spite of some hopeful penalty appeals from the home side.
Tootle launched a long ball that landed in front of Joe Thornton, but as it bounced up perfectly off of the carpet like pitch, the usually reliable front man inexplicably directed the ball high and wide.
Preparing to bowl from the Pavilion end
Meanwhile, at the other end, Burton, who has been a revelation since he arrived at Maltby on a work experience from Sheffield United, headed the ball inches wide of the upright as Josh Hemmingway picked the lively forward player out with a well delivered ball from out on the right.
Thornton was full of running today and upon arriving on the edge of the Miners area he unselfishly knocked a pass sideways to Harry Bamforth, but the ball, yet again, sat up unkindly at the last second and the interim assistant first team manager's far more talented talented son put his shot past the wrong side of the upright.
Hopewell and Josh Nodder were chipping away at Handsworth's stubborn defence from wide positions, but weren't getting the rub of the green and as another attacking move broke down, Stuart Ludlam launched a lengthy to Moxam, but Reece Wesley calmly stood his ground and authoritatively cushioned to ball back to Bailey with a well placed header, that suggested that he didn't feel under any pressure at all, not even in the slightest, with the league's most prolific striker breathing down his neck.
I'm probably forbidden from saying who I voted personally in the secret ballot for the committee's player of the season, but if I'm allowed to drop a bijou clue into the mix, the guy has got the same initials as me ;-)
With thirty five minutes on the clock, Danny Buttle stroked a low cross towards the near post from out on the left and Alex Rippon steered the ball past Bailey from close range to put the visitors ahead.
Rippon, marking his one hundredth game for the Ambers, then pointed to the sky, by way of a poignant tribute to Nigel #Nige Goodinson.
For the benefit of those of you who don't know, Nige was a stalwart and cornerstone of Handsworth football, known and respected throughout the local football community, who sadly passed away earlier this week.
I shall respectfully mention the unique tribute that was paid to him at Muglet Lane today, at the appropriate moment in this overview of the days events.
Buttle delivered another testing cross into the Miners six yard box, but Darker headed clear and the home side picked up some momentum into the opposition's half.
With the Handsworth defence backing away and waiting for Maltby to try and find a way through them again, with a defiance that called out "Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough!", Hopewell rolled the ball to his left to Burton, who unleashed an unstoppable twenty five yard strike into the corner of Stevens' net.
What a quality finish!
If a Brazilian had scored that in a major tournament, the TV companies would be repeating that time and time again, while asking: what the funking hell is David Luiz doing in Maltby?
Probably comparing hair styling products with Danny Patterson, I would have thought.
The last time that these two sides met, Aaron Moxam scored twice... and guess what?
He squeezed home the first of today's double through a crowded defence, from the left hand side of the six yard box, after Handsworth had made good use of the best pitch in the NCEL (if not the whole of the known universe) to thread together a string of quick passes down the left flank.
Which meant that, with their new incoming management team, old whatisname and his entourage, watching on from the cricket pitch side of the ground, the Handsworth caretaker's were quite possibly en route to keeping their 100% win record intact throughout their tenure.
So credit where it is due and well done to all concerned.
The second half, was beginning to get a little bit 'tetchy' as several players from both sides started to go in a little bit late with one or two of their challenges, which I, ever the optimist, put down to a few of the lads being a bit leg weary, having just endured a forty five minute orienteering course at the end of a long and tiring season.
Buttle got past Hemmingway out on the left flank and crossed towards Moxam and Thornton, who would be a handful for anyone at this level, or even in the two leagues above this one; but Wesley isn't just anyone is he? And he comfortably dealt with them both and poured water on the situation with his calm and assured presence.
The bucket is probably useful to stand on at set pieces too.
But in the fifty fourth minute, all hell broke loose.
Having dropped deep to win the ball, Buttle played it down the left flank to Smythe, who played two return passes with Moxam, before the prolific striker turned, just inside the Maltby area to, shoot.
But Richard Adams met him head on with a crunching tackle and though he won the ball he followed through and Moxam caught the full brunt of the hefty challenge.
Players from both sides ran across to pull their team mates apart as a few of them began squaring up in response to Adams coming together with Moxam.
And having pointed to the spot the referee booked a player from each side to calm the situation down (well, after a fashion) and Moxam, who thankfully wasn't too badly hurt, got up to convert the penalty.
Arguments raged on, on the touchline, off the pitch, with the supporters from Handsworth demanding to know while Adams was still on the pitch, while some locals were claiming that it shouldn't have been a penalty, because Adams had got the ball before his momentum had carried him forward and he'd clattered into Moxam, a fraction after making the challenge.
It all happened so fast, it must've been a difficult one for the ref to call, and I don't envy his position one bit on this one.
In my opinion (and I'll concede that I am not always correct); the ball was there to go for, but, and it is a big but, in a game with very little riding on it, Adams' challenge was reckless, and anyone who thinks that a penalty wasn't a just and fair outcome, should take a moment to consider just how serious the consequences might have been for Moxam, instead of splitting airs over a rule book technicality.
Football opinions can drive an argumentative wedge between the most amiable of people, but they can also foster some quite remarkable acts of mutual respect, so not wanting to dwell on the above incident a moment longer...
This afternoon at Hillsborough on 58 minutes, the crowd would be joining in a heartfelt minutes applause for their fallen comrade.
So, several days ago, Maltby Main had contacted today's visitors to ask how they would wish to mark the remembrance of Nigel Goodinson, because, with just one game remaining, today would be the only opportunity they would have to celebrate his life on a match day.
And it was mutually agreed, pending the blessing of the match officials, that a signal would be made from the touchline on 58 minutes and on the next stoppage in play,the game would come to a halt for 60 seconds, while the crowd and the players of both teams joined together in a respectful round of applause for Nige.
Maltby were happy to comply and co-operate with this request from the visiting side and following a pre-match consultation with the match officials, it was agreed that this possibly unique act of mutual respect could take place.
Football is only a game, it isn't a matter of life and death, regardless of what you might have heard elsewhere and some things are far more important.
This shared act said more about the camaraderie that exists between the clubs, the players, the officials and the fans, that any crappy pre-match hand shaking ritual ever could... and it was a complete honour to be involved in such a genuine tribute to Nigel Goodinson.
And, if truth be told, the timing, such as it was, gave several of the more fiery competitors an opportunity to take a deep breath, put things in perspective and chill out.
Play restarted, and the humbling experience that both teams had just shared, deemed to inspire a closing half hour of play, where the players were trying to beat each other fairly and squarely, rather than issuing threats of recriminations behind the bike sheds at pay time away from the watchful eyes of the headmaster and teachers.
Nodder's free kick from out on the right was flicked on by Smith and Wesley was inches away from netting from the second ball.
Be it marshalling the defence, manning the barricades in the middle of the park, or weighing in with the goals, Wesley, as per usual was showing a quite remarkable versatility, which can only be beneficial to those playing alongside as he leads by example.
Both managers made changes for the closing stages, as Maltby vied to get back in the game and Parramore pushed on to consolidate their lead.
Buttle, who as per usual was putting in a mammoth effort out on the left, got away again and crossed towards Rippon, but Wesley (who else!?) was back to take the ball off of the Handsworth midfielder cum strikers head, but the loose ball ran to Bamforth, who took it under control, sprinted forward ten yards and smashed a shot towards the bottom right hand corner... and he was only denied a goal by Bailey's bravery and great stop.
It's a team game and on that pretext it would be wrong to single Wesley out as Maltby's man of the match, because everybody has a part to play, but come on you lot, try to keep up with 'Wez' and match his work rate and you'll be firing on all cylinders next season.
Handsworth selected Buttle as their star man and I couldn't argue with that, even though Connor Smythe and Alex Rippon couldn't be far behind him on points.
Smythe might have nicked the accolade off Buttle had his twenty five yard piledriver inside the last five minute, not crashed against the bar.
Right at the death, Buttle dropped a cross into the path of Moxam who hit the ball first time as it bounced up, but uncharacteristically missed an absolute sitter.
Deep into stoppage time, Ollie Lawrence fed the ball through to Burton, who took a leave out of Moxam's book and blazed the last goal attempt of the afternoon into the wild blue yonder.
All in all, a fool blooded NCEL clash that did everything and when the dust settles, the only talking point will rightly be, the incredible shared minute's applause and bond of mutual respect shown by everybody in the ground, in memory of Nigel #Nige Goodinson.
FT: Maltby Main 1 v Handsworth Parramore 3
Enjoy your holidays everyone, it will soon be time for the pre-season friendlies.