Saturday, 22 April 2017

Worksop Town 3 v Maltby Main 3 - NCEL Prem

Saturday 22nd April 2017
Toolstation NCEL Premier Division
at the Windsor Foodservice Stadium
Worksop Town (1) 3
Jack Waddle 25
Kyle Jordan 49
Steven Wankiewicz 64
Maltby Main (2) 3
Keegan Burton 9
Reece Wesley 41
Sam Forster 82
Admission £5. Programme £1. Attendance 249
Flickr photo gallery from today's game HERE
WTF is it with WTFC!?
All of the disparate (desperate even) groups, who were tearing the club apart in several different directions a few years ago, all seemed to realise that divided, they would be conquered... and having apparently seen the light, they all joined ranks and came together under the same banner, overcoming considerable odds, to stop a club that was sliding into decline from teetering over the brink into complete and total obscurity. 
Alas, that light was merely shining through a crack in the ubiquitous storm clouds, that it would seem will forever hang menacingly over this football club for all perpetuity.
And the self destructive habits of old, encompassing all of the finger pointing, whispering cliques, misinformation, rampant suspicion and mistrust, myopic stubbornness and uncompromising agendas are back with a vengeance/
Although one could never question the loyalty of their staunch army of supporters, who turn up home and away in vast numbers, that are the envy of all other NCEL clubs and quite a few others who ply their trade in higher leagues, it is the unfathomable, volatile, complex and stubbornly uncompromising psyche and mindset of the opposing factions within that core support, that will inevitably see them turn on each other and tear the club apart from the inside, yet a again, each and every time the next mess seems to be sorted out and the Tigers appear to be setting sail for more tranquil seas.
Stop it FFS! 
Worksop fans, lend me your ear, you are all on the same side, so bury all the petty, personal and spiteful differences, scapegoating and vendettas, cut the crap, accept the obvious facts, realise the true potential that a unified Worksop Town FC has and please: lose the air of entitlement and take and on board what the limitations of the club actually are too. 
You're currently a mid table NCEL team, ground sharing at a rented 'home', but at least you still have a team to support... and things very nearly got a whole lot worse.
It genuinely saddens me that this club has once more, morphed into a multi-headed beast, whose many angry faces are arguing among themselves and biting each other, instead of gelling together with a shared purpose to (in the first instance) stabilise the club and then attempt to take it forward in the future.
Nobody could ever accuse the Tigers supporters of not caring, but to my way of thinking (not that anybody should give a flying one what I think... and I generally only have a 53% pass rate with my assumptions anyway), that obvious passion turns all too quickly, into volatility and even anger, under the slightest of perceived differences of opinion. 
Not all Worksop fans are like any of the objective and subjective views detailed above however, it's only the majority of them, most of the time..
Joy Division's front man Ian Curtis knew exactly what he was talking about when he wrote: "Love will tear us apart", some 37 years ago, before he committed suicide.
Hey! Look everybody, it's my extremely handsome
old pal, Craig Shithouse. An unsung WTFC hero.
Oh yeah... and there was a cracking, very evenly matched game of football played at Sandy Lane today too.
I have certainly seen Maltby play better than they did today in recent weeks, but they knew what they would be up against and tweaked a game plan accordingly, to cater for working around the opposition they were facing's strengths and weaknesses... and to cater for a few enforced selection choices and options as the treatment table at Muglet Lane threatens to buckle under the strain.
Three goals apiece, a point each and a sixth game on the knock, in an impressive unbeaten run for the Miners, while Worksop picked up their first point since the 25th March, when they were held to a 1-1 draw against Staveley, before losing their next four games in a row, seemed to be a universally acclaimed fair result.
Keegan Burton was proving to be a handful for Worksop from the off, causing Julian Lawrence and Jon Kennedy a few problems early on, before narrowly failing to glance Josh Nodder's free kick past the Tigers experienced goalkeeper/manager a couple of minutes in, 
But he did open the scoring in the ninth minute, when he burst free on the right flank, leaving any potential suitors in his wake, before hooking an angled shot over Kennedy that nestled inside the side netting just inside the left hand post.
Jerome Slew advanced on the Maltby goal, but twenty yards from his destination, Reece Wesley nicked the ball off him with a calm, composed and timely interception, before showing a delicate gossamer like touch and cultured array of close control, before caressing the ball forward, away from the danger zone.
Adam Scott enjoyed running at the Maltby defence all afternoon, until Dean Smith brought one of his maze like runs to an abrupt halt inside the final ten minutes, with a well executed, firm yet (borderline) fair assassination attempt twenty yards from the visitors goal.
Jack Waddle, whose dad played the best football of a fairly distinguished career at Worksop, nudged home an equalising goal from close range, after Craig Mitchell had struggled to clear the ball in the Maltby six yards as it bounced up awkwardly off the late season surface.
Adam Scott skimmed a shot over the bar, after making a forty yard run that had the home crowd purring with approval and the same player picked out Slew with a left wing delivery, but the Tigers number 9 missed an absolute sitter.
Jordan Hodder fouled Keegan Burton just outside the Worksop area... and I mean just, everybody could see the white dust of the eighteen yard line, but having slammed his initial free kick into the Tigers defensive wall, Hodder couldn't get enough purchase on his second attempt from the rebound.
Wesley, Maltby's defensive mainstay, dedicated a goal that he scored against Retford United last week, to me, in my absence on the occasion of my birthday celebration in that there London.
But today he went one better and treated me to one in person, when just before half time, the Tigers defence did a passable impression of a Sunshine Busload of special needs kids chasing a balloon around on a windy beach from Lewis Bemrose's long throw in and allowed 'Wes' the time and space to slot the ball past Kennedy with a well executed and quite divine left footed finish.
Fancy awarding me with the accolade of a goal dedication just 48 hours before I submitted my vote for the Maltby Main committee members player of the season ;-)
HT: Worksop Town 1 v Maltby Main 2
The second half was just four minutes old when Worksop turned up mob handed and Kyle Jordan levelled up the score with a great hooked shot from just outside the Miners area.
It was a great strike and there would've been very little that Matby's evergreen goalie Jamie Bailey could've done about it as the ball dipped narrowly beneath his crossbar, just a split second after he'd seen it coming.
Straight from the restart, Bemrose shot straight at Kennedy, who has been dealing with long range efforts straight at him like that since he began his career at Worksop Town in his teens, when all the photos were still black and white and nobody in the outside world would've known that he was playing in a most unbecoming bright pink shirt.
There was almost an unsightly furore in front of the main stand, on the only five yard strip of the pitch that isn't completely obscured from view by the multitude of girders holding the roof up, when the Tigers Leon Loftus started bickering with Maltby's Danny Patterson, over who had the nicest hairstyle... at least I think that's what I overheard.
For purposes of clarification, Patterson's demi-wave, held in place by whole tub of VO5 Extreme Styling Clay, is far more becoming for a man of his age than the full on bubble perm sported by Loftus, which in reality serves as warning to everybody about having a DIY perm at home, using the cheap option from Home Bargains unisex range. Hopefully for Loftus' sake, it will grow out soon.
Waddle, Slew and Scott were upping the ante for Worksop, but Richard Adams was patrolling the edge of the visitors area, like an immovable steel 'No Entry' door, while if any Worksop player got a sniff of an opening, Smith, Patterson and Wesley were all over them like a really bad nettle rash.
Alas, the Maltby defence's resistance wobbled momentarily and Steve Wankiewicz towered above them and powerfully headed the ball past Bailey to put the Tigers in front for the first time.
When Iwas working with Worksop Under 19s, all those years ago, Wankiewicz, was nicknamed Cat. Not because of his undoubted agility, but because he used to stay out all night and piss just about anywhere. The last time I was involved with a team who played against him, he scored then too... You can stop that lark Wankie!
As Adam Scott saw his shot turned away by Bailey and subsequently cleared by Wesley, the Maltby Youth Casuals (pictured above) began to chant "When the going gets tough, the tough get going!"
At the outset of this season, Maltby might now have caved in and lost the game now, but the recent transformation is clear for all to see.
Patterson lofted a great weighted ball forward to Smith, who was unlucky to see his flicked header turned over the bar by Kennedy.
Either way, 'Kendo' gathered Jordan Snodin's resulting corner as he plucked the ball out of the air.
Hopewell and Nodder were probing the Tigers final third (not a bestiality euphemism as it happens), but Vankervich (spelt Wankiewicz) was having a good game at the back for Worksop.
Maltby didn't deserve to lose this game, but with time running out, as Kennedy saved from Sam Forster it was obvious that it was going to need something special to get any change out of the home defence, who were by now defending like, errr... tigers.
But in the 82nd minute, Forster, who had been kidding us on and merely testing his range, 'did a Keegan Burton', when he charged forward on the right and struck an unstoppable diagonal shot across Kennedy that nestled sweetly into the net.
The crazy gang of the NCEL, were on their way to taking a point against a big fish that is currently swimming in the NCEL's itsy bitsy pond and it was the very least that they deserved too.
And that my dear reader (I know you're still out there, thanks for tuning in again pal), is how the second leg of my very enjoyable day of watching football came to a satisfactory ending, in the resplendent North Nottinghamshie sun.
FT: Worksop Town 3 v Maltby Main 3
Next weekend, both of these clubs play their final games of the 2016-17 season, when Worksop face Thackley at Sandy Lane, while Maltby welcome Handsworth Parramore to Muglet Lane.
If you've got a couple of hours and five pounds to spare next Saturday afternoon, you could do a lot worse than make your way over to either of these mouth watering prospects of games, if you're in the area.
Thanks to Chris Randall and Johnny Marsden, for your generosity of spirit today, your kindness is greatly appreciated. 
It was, as always, a great pleasure to catch up with the many friends I have at both clubs and several neutrals of my aquaintance who were at the game today too.
In closing, I suppose I really ought to mention, that the Mansfield Town U18 team, won their league title earlier today, it is their second consecutive such triumph... and that the suits at the Stags have invited me to stay on at the club indefinitely, which I am very happy to do, as well as putting in a bit of time to assist, where and when I can, at Maltby Main FC.
WTFC sweeper system. While you lot are buggering off
home for your chippy tea, these lads are still hard at work