Sunday, 6 August 2017

Hallam 3 v Bootle 0 - FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round

Sunday 6th August 2017
FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round
at Sandygate (The Worlds Oldest Football Ground)
Hallam FC (1) 3
Tom Roebuck 43
Sam Fewkes 47
Josh Gibson 83
Bootle FC  (0) 0
Admission £5.Programme £1.50. Attendance 310
Dave Darwent, Elliott Simpson, Billy Wright, Harry Bamforth, Tom Roebuck, Brad Morton ,James Reed (C), Sam Fewkes, Mark west, Andrew Fox, Mitchell Dunne
Subs - Josh Gibson, Danny Flynn, Simon Mirfin, Tom Cropper, Steve Brammer, Ryan Lee, Josh Diggles
Jordan Gidley, Kiearn Brisden, Johnathan Swatton, Steve Hoy, Tony Rendell, Paul Woolcott, Kieran Haligan, Rob , Steve Jones, Rob Madine, Michael Ordish,Ryan Cox
Subs - Jack Leamey, Paul Willis, Connor Millington, Josh Hamilton, Danny O'Conner
Ann Holland, Hallam FC's very own 'wonder woman' has been helping out at the club in various capacities for sixty one years now.
Prior to taking on tea bar duties today in her cabin, which is suitably called 'Ann's', where she worked flat out with her assistant to keep 310 paying spectators fed and watered throughout the afternoon; she had actually been out on the pitch helping to put the goal nets up.
I hereby dedicate this afternoon's convincing win to Ann, not that I'd imagine that she will have seen a great deal of it.
Hallam's management duo of Scott Bates (left) and Steve Whitehead (right) along, with their assistant Reece Eading (the big one in the middle), masterminded this fairly comfortable home win over Bootle; a side who had finished as North West Counties League runners up last season, one place behind champions: Atherton Collieries, who Hallam will now play in the next round, at Sandygate, on Sunday August 20th (when I will be out of the country).
It was a bonus for me personally, that this game was taking place on a Sunday, or I would have had to miss the Countrymen in action (yet again) as they entertained today's opponents from Merseyside, who formed as Langton FC in 1959.
And I am equally happy that they will also be playing Abbey Hey on a Sunday afternoon too.
That's on the 10th September to be precise, in the FA Vase 1st Qualifying Round, the day after I will be on duty at Muglet Lane, for the Maltby Main v Cammell Laird 1907 game in the same competition, a game featuring two sides who were, of course, in FA Cup action against each other just yesterday in a game that was covered HERE on the very blog.
I promise, that that is the full quota of plugs for forthcoming games that you will see on this blog for the remainder of today.
Away day - Boot(le) boys we are here!
Besides having 'The World's Oldest Football Ground', Hallam also have an infamous sloping pitch, which boasts something like a one in four gradient.
The home side's goalkeeper David Darwent was interviewed in the match programme by Glenn Poulton and alluded to how playing on the hilly surface impacts on the way the ball behaves.
Obviously, the more times you play on it ,the better your understanding of how it will the effect the movement and run of the ball will become, but to be fair to Bootle, they seemed to master their crash course in dealing with the ups and downs of Sandygate and took it all in their stride, while knocking the ball around well at times rather than going overly direct when they were attacking downhill after the break.
But in the final analysis, the South Yorkshire side had just that bit more quality in reserve over their visitors to get the job done.
It was the visitors who had the first real shot on goal, but the Bucks number nine, Steve Jones, was thwarted by Darwent's alert reactions.
Andrew Fox went close with a hooked shot for the hosts, before Darwent was called into action again, charging from his line to pluck a bouncing through ball off of the head of PaulWoolcott, the Bootle captain.
Mark West, who put in a lung busting shift before being substituted late in the day, having already done enough damage to the visitors rearguard, was linking up well with Mitch Dunne and keeping Jordan Gidley busy, but the Bucks keeper did well kicking clear when required.
Tony Rendell made two last ditch clearances as Dunne and West continued to torment the visitors, the second of which was off the line, as Dunne nudged the ball past Gidley.
With just two minutes of the first half remaining, Dunne won a free kick for The Second Oldest Team in the World and Harry Bamforth's second touch from a well worked short corner routine found Brad Morton at the back stick, whose knock back across the face of goal was headed home by Tom Roebuck. A proper training ground routine that worked out well if ever there was one.
HT: Countrymen 1 v Bucks 0
Although the visitors were playing with the slope after the break, they soon had a hill to climb, metaphorically speaking, when Dunne laid the ball back towards Sam Fewkes out on the right wing and his dipping delivery towards the far post, crept in just inside the left hand upright and then rolled towards the cricket pitch through a gap in the net, which gave some people in the stand the false impression that Fewkes cross/shot had gone narrowly wide.
Both keepers got a touch, when Darwent went down bravely at the feet of Ryan Cox to smother the ball at one end, while Gidley saved at the other, when Dunne had thrown himself forward to get a connection with his head onto Elliott Simpson's right wing delivery.
James Reed, who had been pivotal to keeping his team's momentum going in midfield alongside Bamforth and Fewkes, where the three of them had worked solidly in tandem, like a colony of industrious beavers (one must always use the correct collective noun at times like these), went close, when Gidley twisted in mid air to tip his long range free kick over the bar.
Bootle went close to halving the arrears, showing that this game was far from over yet, when Ryan Cox headed narrowly wide of the target from Ryan Cox's cross.
Michael Ordish dropped a dipping free kick into the Hallam area and Derwent was forced into pulling off a great stop from Rendell's downward header.
With seven minutes left to go, Josh Gibson all but put the game beyond Bootle's reach with a great finish to make it three nil.
Morton and Roebuck had been solid at the heart of the Hallam defence, giving their side a sturdy foundation to build on.
Cox was stopped in his stride by Roebuck's timely interception, while Morton moved across swiftly to cut our Connor Millington's break down the right flank.
Right at the death, Bamforth bravely put himself between Hamilton and the Hallam goal and took one for the team as the lively Bootle substitute's thumping drive crashed straight into him and that was all there was time for. 
FT: Hallam 3 v Bootle 0
All told, a very good win for Hallam against a useful looking Bootle side, who had more than played their part in a decent afternoon's entertainment.
Good luck to everyone at Sandygate in the next round of the greatest cup tournament in the world.