Saturday, 1 July 2017

Hemsworth Miners Welfare 4 v Willington Quay Saints 0 - PSF

Saturday 1st July
Pre season friendly
at the Yorkshire NuBuilds Stadium, Fitzwilliam (Pitch 2)
Hemsworth Miners Welfare (3) 4
Richard Collier 31
Chris Ovington 38, 39
Charlie Stewart 63
Willington Quay Saints (0) 0
Admission free
Let the warm up games, that key part of the preparation for what promises to be an absorbing forthcoming season, commence.
It is no time time at all since the 2016-17 campaign was wound up.
In fact it was only just over two weeks since the France v England international friendly match was played at the Stade de France... an anti climax of a game, where video assisted refereeing provided more talking points than a prosaic performance by yet another 'transitional' and 'work in progress' English national team, who once again looked much better on paper than than they actually did on grass, as per usual... and officially bought the curtain down on last term.
But enough of that there international football stuff, until September 4th at least when I am off to Wembley, in the sprawling metropolis of London, where they make the telly n' that, to watch England take on Slovakia... and let's get this party started with something of a far more grassroots nature, than all of that overpaid and overpriced corporate stuff.
You might ask the question: is July 1st a bit too soon to be playing/watching pre-season games?
But, that would only be a rhetorical enquiry, because I'm quite sure that everybody present tonight, including the players; in actual fact, especially the players, already knows full well that it is actually far too early, never mind a bit.
As football as a metaphor for methadone goes however, these sort of games are the perfect tonic to keep a gathering of sad anorak addicts (just like me) ticking over, until they can get hold of their next proper fix any time soon.
One of he protocols of 'reporting on/blogging about' pre-season games, is being respectful to clubs (and individuals) who might be playing "trialists".
Though I feel compelled to add that I don't necessarily mean either of this afternoon's respective sides when I say that.
The minutiae and specifics are an essential facet of any proper match coverage during the season itself, when teams are doing it for real, there could be a myriad of reasons for not declaring all of their players identities and preferring them not to be photographed at this time of year. And the vast majority of that logic has no sinister overtones whatsoever, as people try to play their cards close to their chest, while preparing for another season of the greatest game in the world.
Hence, I haven't included team line ups, just the names of the goalscorers as clarified by the home side's manager Wayne Benn.
Thanks for your help, assistance and friendly co-operation Wayne.
Your input is greatly appreciated.
Wallsend based Willington Quay Saints, play in Division 2 of the the Northern Alliance, which they joined from the Tyneside Amateur League, in 2007.
Last season they finished in a respectable fifth position.
The Saints spent two seasons in Division 1 of the Northern Alliance in 2012-13 and 2013-14, but were relegated back to Division 2, having struggled to make an impact in the 'top flight'.
Hemsworth Miners Welfare were formed in 1981 and began life in the Bentley League, before becoming members of the NCEL First Division in 2008 via stints in the Doncaster & District Senior League and West Riding Amateur League.
The Wells, were promoted to the NCEL Premier Division, when they won the First Division title at the end of the 2015-16 season and achieved a top nine finish during their inaugural season at the highest level of the non league pyramid that the club has ever played at.
Some historical research pertaining to the two areas which today's teams represent, using the time honoured method of leaving no stone left unturned, that some people also call: a quick cut and paste job from Wikipedia; unearths the following information:
And they're off.Welcome to the new season.
Hemsworth is name-checked in Domesday Book, a weighty tome that was commissioned in 1085 by William the Conqueror. Back in 'yon days of olde, when knights were bold, the town was still called Hamelsworde.
Mr Robert Holgate, a native of Hemsworth, born in 1481, was consecrated as Archbishop of York in January 1545.
Fitzwilliam Main was the original name of Hemsworth Colliery which was shut down in 1969. Kinsley Drift Mine was opened on the site of the old Hemsworth Colliery in 1977 but sadly that was also closed in 1986, around the same down as the nearby Nostell and South Kirkby Collieries.
On the face of it, the area looks to finally be making some kind of recovery from the the 1980's when it suffered more than most when that evil and spiteful bitch Margaret Thatcher was the worst Prime Minister that the country has ever had, thus far anyway.
Robert Stephenson, (who is not to be confused with the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson (note the different spelling of his surname. D'oh! Stupid!), who amongst other notable journals wrote: Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Treasure Island, and is also credited with inventing the sleeping bag) was born in Willington Quay in 1803, as the only son of George Stephenson, AKA the 'Father of Railways'.
Eclipsing the achievements of his father. which was no small potatoes in the grand scheme of things, Robert came to be dubbed (unofficially but justifiably) 'The Greatest Engineer of the 19th century'.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel might also have had a reasonable claim to that particular title too, but that wouldn't fit this narrative, so lets bestow the honour of second best on Mr Brunel and move swiftly on.
Stephenson Junior's myriad range of accomplishments and projects across the globe, is far too lengthy and magnificent to list here, a bit like the Royal Border Bridge, AKA the Berwick viaduct, a mightily impressive structure that he oversaw the building of.
His immense contribution to the Industrial Revolution and worldwide engineering, is worthy of further reference. when you have the time.
But I wouldn't even bother with this Isambard character, if I was you.
One of his earliest collaborations, with his almost equally famous dad, saw the building of the Rocket, or Stephenson's Rocket as it became widely known, which wasn't exactly the first ever steam locomotive in the world, but is surely the most elegant and famous.
Willington got the game (and the new season) underway shortly after 2pm and there wasn't really much of a difference between the two sides for the opening half a hour as the June heat and early pre season stamina levels dictated the pace of the game.
Hemsworth set out their stall with a measured and patient approach, spraying passes across the width of the pitch in their own half at a fairly high tempo and building from the back.
It did look for all the world, for a while, as if some of the 'Wells' players were having a private competition to see who could hook the ball the highest over the 'Saints' crossbar and furthest into the surrounding gardens adjacent to the 'bottom pitch', just beyond the main ground, which is where today's game was being played, while Hemsworth's main pitch is receiving some tender, loving care, in preparation for when Barnsley FC visit the Yorkshire NuBuilds Stadium on Tuesday July 11th, for a friendly that kicks off at 7.45pm if you fancy it.
But, after taking a while to find their range, the hosts surged into a three goal lead inside the space of eight minutes, to effectively kill the game off as a contest before the interval.
Richard Collier opened the scoring when he planted the ball just inside the left hand post from the edge of the visitors area and the visitors suddenly found their goal under siege and were undone again just a few minutes later when their keeper should only parry a shot into the path of Chris Ovington who couldn't really miss from the simplest of close range chances. Straight from the restart Willington lost possession and Ovington raced forward and doubled his tally with a well weighted lob over the keeper who was rushing from his line in a vainglorious attempt to salvage the situation.
HT: Wells 3 v Saints 0
It is said, that you can always spot a good referee, when he lets the game flow and you barely notice his presence. Well, it must be said, I would hardly have noticed the man in the middle today if it wasn't for the fact that he was carrying a few extra pounds... I'm sure you'll run them off over the next few weeks Garteth!
As is the norm in these sort of games, there was a whole lot of substituting going on after the break, which broke the flow, for what it was, of the game up a bit during the second forty five minutes, but there were a few eye catching performances from the Hemsworth youngsters who came on, as they used the width of the pitch and no small amount of pace, to try breaking Willington down on the flanks.
On today's showing Hemsworth's development teams must be worth making a trip up to watch later in the season.
The visitors number ten... apologies I didn't catch his name, had a few half decent attempts on goal, but for the most part was restricted to shooting from long distance.
Charlie Stewart lashed home to only goal of the second half from ten yards out, when Willington had struggled to clear a left wing corner, just after the hour mark.
Both sides will have been grateful for the breeze that picked up across the ground later in the game, because although the pitch was in good shape, it can't be much fun running about in that sort of heat.
All in all, a half decent work out for both teams, as they look to peak fitness wise in August.
Results aren't the be all and end all of these sort of games which are all about planning to hit the ground running when the real thing kicks off, but I would imagine that a 4-0 win against a lively visiting side, will still be good for morale at Hemsworth.
FT: Hemsworth Miners Welfare 4 v Willington Quay Saints 0
It was a pleasure to catch up with the staunchly loyal members of the 'Frickley Massive' today, who I spent the afternoon watching the game with and to meet up with Pete and Ged Murden. 
Pete does the photographs for Hemsworth and he is very good at it too, as he his all things media wise when it comes to non league football.
It was highly amusing to see what Ged had adorning the front of his baseball cap... no wonder the old scalawag is always smiling.