Monday, 10 July 2017

Worksop Town 2 v Sheffield Wednesday U23 3 - PSF

Monday 10th July 2017
Pre season friendly
at the Windsor Foodservice Stadium
Worksop Town (1) 2
Jack Hague 42
Kyle Jordan 74
Sheffield Wednesday (2) 3
Deon Moore 25, 45
George Hirst 90 pen
Admission £5. Programme £1.50. Attendance 577
Following on from the Tigers 1-1 draw in their opening friendly at Retford United last Wednesday, tonight marked new(ish) manager Ryan Hindley's home debut (his playing career notwithstanding), on the ground that his uncle Rick Knowles helped to build, back in the days when he was still the Worksop Town chairman.
Sadly, Rick passed away towards the end of last year, but it would be fair to say that before he went, he had lived life to the full.
I wouldn't imagine for one minute that Ryan would mind me saying: that his ambition to build on his uncle's legacy at Worksop Town is right up there at the top of the list of motivating factors, that led him to take the job at Sandy Lane.
With all due respect to his previous club Hallam FC, who have recently instilled a really good management team to replace Hindley, there were overriding factors at play once the Tigers role became available, that meant there would only be one job that he would be doing this coming season.
To all intents and purposes, his return the the club represents a destiny fulfilled.
At least it will, if he is allowed to run the team as he sees fit, without the burden of internal club politics and insufferable interference that certain previous incumbents of the Worksop hot seat have had to endure in recent times.
As 'Massive' himself said in tonight's programme notes: "Remember, this isn't just any club, this is Worksop Town.
I reckon he will make a go of things... and genuinely hope that he does.
Hats off to Holly Hunt and James Brown, for the fantastic job that they have done with the design, concept and content of the new style Worksop Town programme.
The title: THE FOURTH derives from the North Nottinghamshire club, laying claim to the fact that they are the fourth oldest club in the world.
Anybody who thought that the cover title said FC URTH, can join me in the queue for the opticians, because there is  definitely a number 4 located in the circumference of the letter O. Perhaps it would help short sighted old people like me if the 4 was black, but I'm just splitting hairs here, not making any kind of criticism whatsoever.
Tonight's issue was an apparently 'slim line' twenty pages, but still represented good value for money... and, by all accounts, once the season starts for real, this impressive glossy tome will be weightier, not that it necessarily needs to be. 
Hello! Hello! Mansfield reject! Mansfield reject!
Nicky Weaver, former Stags youth team player.
He is now goalkeeping coach for the Owls.
It was a far more convincing performance from Worksop tonight, than their stuttering start to pre-season in the 1-1 draw at Retford United last week, when they had plenty of possession around their local neighbours penalty area, but lacked the sharpness to take advantage, while coming up against some resolute defending and two in form goalkeepers, including Josh Lill of Maltby Main, who had guested for the Badgers during the opening forty five minutes.
Wednesday almost opened the scoring during the opening exchanges, but Fraser Preston rushed his shot from Jack Stobbs right wing delivery and dispatched the ball over the crossbar.
A minutes applause in memory of Bradley Lowery.
A brave young lad  who has captured the hearts of a nation.
Deon Moore was an obvious threat in attack for Wednesday, but Sam Liversidge was making life difficult for the Owls centre forward.
Tom Charlesworth almost picked out Mitch Husbands with a good knock from out on the right, but Connor O'Grady cleared the danger with a towering header.
Moore dropped deep and took up possession of the ball in the middle of the park, before powering forward for thirty yards, before fizzing a crashing shot just wide of the left hand upright.
In the twenty fifth minute, Moore pounced to take advantage of a mix up in the Tigers defence, drew Jon Kennedy from his line and steered the ball into the corner of the net.
The great and good of local football were out in force tonight....
and they bought Dean Bamforth along with them too.
Having allowed Moore the time and space to open the scoring, the home side closed ranks and squeezed the life out of the threat of Wednesday's balls through the channels for Moore to run onto, until half time... well almost!
Steve Woolley put a right wing corner into the Owls six yard box that the visitors scrambled away to safety at the expense of another flag kick, from which Woolley picked out the run of Jack Hague, who leaped, Salmon like to meet the ball head on and bulged the roof of Wednesday's goal from six yards out.
The already enthused home crowd were delighted to be seemingly going in all square at the interval, but as the first half went into stoppage time, Wayne Clarke got a decisive touch inside the Tigers crowded goalmouth, from yet another Stubbs delivery.
HT: Tigers 1 v Owls 2 
The second half substitutes played a pivotal role in the game, with Jordan Hodder doing well to get across Moore as Stubbs repeated his party trick from out wide again straight from the restart.
Stubbs crossed to George Hirst, the son of the former Owls defender David, but Kennedy had the situation covered as the Wednesday youngster headed wide of the target from close range.
Michael Trench, sporting his new shoulder length Tarzan hairstyle, was assigned to keeping Stubbs in check for the remainder of the game, a task that he stuck to honourably while verbally lambasting the match officials at regular intervals, as is his wont.
Michael Cregan (at least I think that is what it says next to his number on the team sheet) broke free into the Tigers goalmouth, but Jed Phillips, who linked up superbly with Liversidge tonight, forced the Owls substitute wide and he shot behind.
Trench was linking up with Adam Scott, another second half addition from the Tigers bench and the live-wire wide attacker got clear with a burst of pace down the left flank, before crossing to Kyle Jordan who took the ball in his stride, before dragging it wide of his marker and planting the ball into the back of the visitors net, with a well struck knock from the edge of the area in  the seventy second minute.
Worksop thoroughly deserved to be on level terms and the 'Tigers Barmy Army' celebrated the second equaliser with a rousing rendition of; "We're going to win the league!!"... no pressure from the weight of expectation on your shoulders there then Mr Hindley.
Kennedy saved with his feet as he went one against one with Hirst and it looked to all intents and purposes, as though this well fought and for long spells evenly matched game (once the home side had got to grips with Wednesday's game plan) was going to finish all square. 
But football doesn't work like that.
In the very last minute of the game, James Murphy (or a.n.other player wearing Murphy's shirt) sprinted into the right hand edge of the Worksop penalty area and went to ground over the attempted challenge of Alex Brown. 
I have worded that last sentence carefully, because the Owls number four didn't take a dive and it would be wrong of me to make such an allegation; but he did make the most of the situation. Brown certainly didn't 'intentionally' foul him, but the referee, Chris Ward, had no option but to award the spot kick that Hirst junior drilled past Kennedy to win the game for Wednesday. 
FT: Worksop Town 2 v Sheffield Wednesday U23 3
Worksop Town lost, but their players learned a hell of a lot about each other in a match situation tonight and were given a good test of their credentials by a decent and very fit young team.
Nobody was ever awarded any silverware for winning games in July.
The work in progress that I referred to after the draw at Cannon Park last week, as reached the next level as the Tigers look to peak at the right time.