Thursday, 20 July 2017

Maltby Main Reserves 3 v Wombwell Main 2 - PSF

Thursday 20th July 2017
at Muglet Lane, Maltby
Pre Season Friendly
Maltby Main Res (0) 3
Kane Gough 47
Jamie Austin 70
Jacob McGowan 85
Wombwell Main (1) 2
Jordan Beardsley

Not really so much of game to blog about... but more of a meet and great, familiarising myself with the Maltby reserve team and their coaches, putting names to faces and scattering the seeds for what will become: regular updated coverage, insight, interviews, opinion and reportage of the Sheffield & Hallamshire County Senior League Division Two: Maltby 'stiffs', this coming season.
Since 1998, this evenings opponents have spent a total of eighteen out of nineteen years in the Premier Division of the S&HCSL and they proved to be formidable opposition.
I certainly saw enough tonight to tempt me to get across to Hough Lane over the course of the forthcoming campaign to see how they're shaping up.
Having told the Miners lads to get ready to be prepared to be up against it from the off, the expression on a few faces was priceless when the visitors scored from their second left wing cross into the Maltby six yard box, inside the first minute, when Jordan Beardsley reached the ball with a stooping header and diverted it just inside the right hand upright.
Maltby rallied and took the game to their visitors, with a game plan built on a strong work ethic, which bodes well for when they are called upon to slot in with the first team, in what is a very competitive NCEL Premier Division, littered with a good number of wily journeyman who would relish the opportunity rough up any aspiring young prospect who is trying to establish himself at a higher level. Two of these lads, namely Jack Hood and Jack Greeves, did well against Frickley Athletic at the weekend and rode a few full blooded challenges.
The visitors were still a solitary goal ahead at the break... and as the game resumed I confidently announced that I was going to the end of the ground that Maltby were attacking to get photos of their goals.
I wish I'd put a bleedin' tenner on it.
While I was still walking round to a position inline with the goal, Kane Gough stabbed home the equaliser from just inside the Wombwell area two minutes after the restart.
All of my well intentioned half time rhetoric about the results of pre season games and development/feeder team games in general not actually meaning very much, was forgotten in an instant, as I triumphantly punched the air and allowed myself the luxury of a right chuffing big raucous cheer.
But hey! Note to self, get a grip, the 'development is ALWAYS & ALL WAYS the priority and preparation is the key' mantra has stood the test of time and should be implemented thoroughly at all times... especially when that bloody Giorgio Williams as just gone and put Wombwell back in front.
But, within a minute, my application of that ethos and those ethics is all up in the air again, when Jamie Austin dinks an absolute beaut of chip over Wombwell's last defender and keeper.
Hmm... winning not important you say?
"C'mon Maltby, keep pressing we can win this f***er!"
From the bench, a small, petite even, young man called Patrik Pecha enters the fray, much the excitement of a group of his friends and relative who have travelled to Muglet Lane.
Connor Gregg has been enjoying a battle of brawn and endeavour against the visiting defence, but Pecha provides all sorts of problems for the Wombwell players to unravel. 
Once he gets possession, he's away like Speedy Gonzales and it's almost as though the ball is attached to his foot as he dribbles in a maze like fashion around opposition players and team mates alike, eventually releasing a pass across the face of the visitors goal after he has completed approximately seven laps of the pitch at full tilt with virtually all of the other players trying to keep up with him (believe me, that is only a slight exaggeration too).
And after he's worn everybody out, Jacob McGowan bundled the ball over the line by the left hand post, after Austin had rolled the ball past the Wombwell keeper as he advanced towards him to narrow the angle.
The reaction of James Liversidge behind the goal, captured in the photo above, kind of suggests that he doesn't actually buy into the 'results don't matter in these sort of games' angle.
Wombwell had played well and it must be said their management, staff and players were friendly and good natured from the moment they arrived at the ground until they headed back towards Barnsley, it had been an absolute pleasure to host them. 
And they even went halves on the referees fee.
So OK, it was only a friendly, arranged for both teams to build their match fitness... and a cursory look over the players who want to be a part of this desirable team, at the little football club with a big heart, for the coming season. There were no prizes and definitely no room for gloating or bragging rights. But even when the results aren't supposed to matter, that winning feeling is still very uplifting and damn good stuff.
Thanks to Wombwell Main for the part they played in a great game of football... and thanks to Andy King and Co. for being so welcoming towards this set in his ways big lump. 
Well done most of all, tot he young Maltby lads, for keeping plugging away right until the very end, against a team who no doubt have it in their arsenal, to blow away most teams who ply their trade in the second division.
Now get them nets and posts fetched in!