Saturday, 5 April 2014

Worksop Town 1 - 3 Rushall Olympic - Northern Premier League

 Finally got to have a look at Mark Shaw`s Worksop and Rushall all on the same day.

It`s not hard to see why Worksop have scored so many…and on the other hand have conceded quite a few as well, when they go forward, they go forward in numbers, thus leaving themselves a tad too over-exposed at the back for me. Having said that it makes for great entertainment. Muldoon, Higginson and Denton were on-fire in the opening spell.

Rushall, on the other hand are a well-crafted side, a massive defensive unit in Palmer and the ever impressive Dacres. They break hard and fast through Obeng and the Mercurial `Stan the Man` Mugisha. “What a breath of fresh air this Lad is for the lovers of a good wing attacker”.

The fans were right about the Ref today, Smithy has been on the scene for years…usually pottering about in the Ncel, and Tbh that`s about his level. He was poor with a Capital `P` today throughout for both sides.

Worksop were indeed `Prolific` going forward, and despite finding themselves trailing to Mugisha`s 11th minute opener they threw the `Kitchen Sink` at Olympic, and on any other given day would probably have gone into the interval 3-1 up…but it just wasn`t falling for them, hindered by the incompetent `Man in Black`.

Fully charged by their first half efforts…Worksop`s second half couldn`t have got off to a worse start as the visitors double their tally in the second minute of the re-start via James Dance.

Worksop finally made a reply through the unusually quiet Mettam after some excellent work by Muldoon within ten minutes of Rushall`s second.

Full credit to the visitors though, they rode the storm and played a very good game which despite finding themselves a man down after Palmer`s dismissal early on in the second half looked no weaker than the team with 11 men.

Mugisha was rampant when the opportunity arose and killed the game with another fine finish with twenty minutes remaining and if not the awareness of Worksop`s excellent right-back (Pursehouse), he probably would have a lot more joy down the left flank.

Worksop remained proud in possession to the final whistle and looked to be on the ascendancy through the introduction of the lively Jamie Jackson, but on the day Rushall had got it all covered.

A thoroughly entertaining game, perhaps I caught Worksop on an `off day`, but there`s no disputing Rushall`s credentials in this campaign, they`ve more than held their own again against the teams above them and proudly boast doing the double over `Table Topping` Chorley.

Good Luck to both Clubs in their push for Promotion.

Having now taken a look at all the contenders for promotion, I’d still probably` Have a Bob` on the team who have impressed me the most to date…. Fc United of Manchester. 

But it`s far from over yet..!!

Teams : Worksop - Stewart, Pursehouse, Roe, Clay, Quinn, Burgin, Muldoon, Clarke, Denton,, Mettam, Higginson . Subs - Thomas, Salt, Burrell, Roe, Garnett, Jackson

Rushall - Gemmell, Turner, Wood, Caines, Smith, Dacres. Palmer, Dance, Obeng, Spencer, Mugisha. Subs - Martin, Craddock, Adebola, Daniel, Spink

Admission £10

Attendance - 387

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Ilkeston Fc 3 - 3 Fc United of Manchester

Despite torrential rain on Friday Night and a spell of further rain on Saturday morning; full credit to the Groundsmen at the New Manor Ground for getting this game on albeit not being passed fit until mid-day, but come kick off it looked in pretty good nick.

The first half took a little time to warm up, FCUM passed the ball around well for the first twenty minutes and held the bulk of possession, Ilkeston slowly eased their way into the game and started to share the game with the visitors but in all honestly the game was screaming out for a goal. 

It took until the 39th minute for the afore mentioned goal to materialise through some excellent build up play from Wolfenden, Byrne and Daniels who took an excellent strike to put the visitors in front at the interval.

Kev Wilson`s half time team-talk had really got his Robin`s flying from the off, Waite and Alexander provided some great width for Matt Richards and James Reid to work off and within three minutes of the re-start the game was all square from Reid`s back-heeler.

The equaliser really threw the game wide open, scintillating end-to-end stuff from both sides, Reid missed an absolute sitter after Chey Alexander had left his marker for dead down the right wing, providing a peach of a cross into the area.

Within minutes Tom Greaves had the ball in Ilkeston`s net, only to see the linesmans flag aloft for off-side, but his second chance of the half made no mistake in FCUM re-establishing their lead with twenty minutes remaining...only for Reid to blaze down through the centre of the park from the re-start to blast a perfect volley off of Wilson`s cross to claim his second. 

With their tails in the air, Ilkeston were looking the better side as the game entered the final fifteen minutes. A series of decent runs down either wing from Ryan Wilson on the left and Alexander on the right had the visitors defenders well off balance. 

Ilkeston were definitely taking no prisoners at this point and a good spell of pressure provided Joe Maguire with a perfect opportunity from the corner flag, which he duly smashed home, setting the place alight.

With ten minutes left and a few changes for both sides, FCUM start to re-kindle their half and started to look very sharp going forward again. Under pressure but looking as though the clock was going to deny the visitors chance of salvaging a point, but that man Tom Greaves broke free and grabbed just that in the 91st minute.

As good an advert for Non-League football as you could wish for, the second half was as good a forty five minutes of football as I’ve witnessed for a long time.

Credit to both sides for an excellent display in-front of a very appreciative 974 strong crowd.

Admission - £9 :)

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Stocksbridge Park Steels 3 - 4 Scarborough Athletic - FA Trophy 1st Rnd Qly

Amazing that you`ve never visited a ground before, yet find yourself there twice within as many weeks. No disappointment though as Stocksbridge have a fine set-up by anyone`s standards.

Dudsey`s back at the 'Look Local Stadium' to catch up with Rudy Funk and his travelling 'Seadogs' with all the anticipated excitement and intrigue of  the FA Trophy ready to unfold.

Having not seen Scarborough since late August when they lost to 0-1 to Gresley Fc at Queensgate. Since then the reality that life at Step 4 is not going to be quite as easy as first anticipated now seems to be widely accepted by Boro`s Faithful Army, and after a bit of a shaky start they have now hoisted themselves up to mid-table which is commendable given how much more competitive the league has become over the last two seasons.

Stocksbridge, unfortunately seem well down on form this season and now find themselves in the relegation zone, so no-doubt they`ll be looking to kick-start their season and despite being one league higher in the pyramid they`ll know anything is possible in a cup competition and surely nothing will be being taken for-granted.

With time to spare before kick-off, Dudsey samples a 'Steak and Kidney Pie with Peas'...very nice too, I make my way down to pitch-side as the teams are emerging down the steps, Rudy`s beaming as he spots me, he`s always grateful to see an old friend, we share a man-hug and a few words about today`s fixture.

Scarborough got the game of to a brisk start but suffered a quick set-back as Stocksbridge choose to lump the ball over the top towards the towering figure of Brett Bowden-Lovell, sure enough he got his chance, shook off his marker and put 'The Steels' ahead in the sixth minute although Tom Davie had enjoyed a decent couple of chances either side of the opening goal.

Despite finding themselves a goal down so early, Boro`s first twenty minutes was littered with chances but Stocksbridge are a big physical side in defence and seem hard to break down, Peter Davidson is in fine form in the mid-field, distributing some excellent through balls to Davie and Lewis Clarkson..

Having had a few decent attempts thwarted by some decent goalkeeping from Stocksbridge`s No1...Ben Scott, persistence eventually pays off  as Clarkson picks up the ball and makes a mazy run off to the left, he rounds Scott to what looked to be too tight an angle but he still managed to find the target in the twenty sixth minute.

Steels sprung back into life in the final fifteen minutes of the first half as Royles and Knowles create enough space down the right to provide Joynes, Lipka and Stephen Hoyle with some decent crosses as the visitors find themselves having to sustain their lengthiest period of real pressure.

Joe Cracknell is called into action on a couple of occasions as Stocksbridge`s height advantage starts to trouble the Boro defence. Defending in numbers, Scarborough look to be coping pretty well with what`s asked of them, Steel`s are starting to pick up a few corners from the right and it`s from the set-piece that the home-side re-take the lead via Hoyle...2-1 with ten minutes remaining.

The rest of the half is decent end to end stuff, Boro are desperately seeking an equaliser whilst Stocksbridge sense a third goal before the break could potentially kill the tie off  but the remaining period see`s no further goals.

Another quick chat with Rudy prior to the re-start, he`s frustrated to be a goal behind after such a great opening half-hour but he`s resolute there`s definitely something in this game for Scarborough.

Mr Hainsworth gets the action away again, Boro have a great opening twenty minutes as Ryan Williams starts to make his presence felt down the right-flank, Bradshaw finds opportunities arising thick and fast and eventually he manages to find the net just after the hour through some excellent build up play from Davie down the far touch-line.

Boro`s relief is short lived though as Lipka and Hoyle press on from the re-start, with Bowden-Lovell trying to sneak in from the right instead of his usual route through the middle, a miss-timed tackle gifts the home-side a free-kick which is quickly taken and accurately dispatched into Cracknell`s net four minutes after the equaliser, 3-2 to Stocksbridge.

Both sets of supporters are on the edge of their seats as the half enters it`s final third, the game is serious end-to-end stuff with both sides keen to secure the tie, Rudy opts to make a couple of changes to replace tired legs.

Lipka tests Cracknell once again with a decent solo effort, but it`s Williams who takes the game into a frenetic final ten minutes as he get`s himself a well deserved goal and Boro`s third with ten minutes plus stoppages remaining.

With the game slipping towards a re-play, Boro make one more charge towards the far goal, a scuffle in the box see`s the ball hustled towards Ben Scott who manages to collect the ball, the near-side linesman is waving his flag, had the ball crossed the line..?, no...he`s waving for an infringement in the box and Mr Hainsworth points to the spot. Bradshaw picks up the ball, places it on the spot and neatly drills it beyond the keeper as the 'Chanting Seadogs' lift the roof off the stand.

With only extra time to go Boro`s delight looked like being dashed once again, but what looked to be a definite penalty for Stocksbridge was brushed aside by the Ref much to the disgust of the home support and a massive sigh of relief for the visitors, 3-4 at full-time.

Seldomly do you look forward to a game all week and it surpasses all your expectations but this one did, credit to both sides for providing a great afternoon of end-to-end entertainment.Obviously I`m chuffed to bits for Rudy but you couldn`t help but feel for Stocksbridge a little, but`s that`s football and the magic of a Cup-tie.

My Men of the Match - Stocksbridge - Ben Scott (kept them honest in the first half with some fine saves).
Scarborough - Peter Davidson (he stoked Boro`s engine for ninety minutes)

Click Here for Team Sheet and Match Pictures

Attendance - 239 (Looked a lot more to me..!!)

Admission - £8

Prize fund  - £2700

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Shirebrook Town 1 - 2 Shaw Lane Aquaforce

Not the most conventional name for a football club, and not one I was familiar with...but it`s a name on everyone`s lips in the Ncel this season.

Newly promoted from the Sheffield and Hallamshire County Senior League and four points clear at the top of the table ' The Ducks' look to have nestled nicely into Division 1.

Shirebrook currently sit eleven points adrift in seventh spot with three games in hand, so potentially this six pointer could keep 'Town' in with a shout of reaching the top spot should they win all their games in hand, although the likes of Bottesford, Eccleshill and the in-form Cleethorpe`s Town who Dudsey tipped along with Shirebrook to take one of the top three places this season will all have something to say about it..

Coming off the back of a loss and a draw, Shirebrook will be looking for a return to form and hopefully with a few players back from injury the team should be back to full strength, whilst Shaw Lane`s shock defeat in the League Cup against struggling Dronfield and recent draw with Pontefract Collieries might indicate a bit of a wobble.!! 

"What a difference a week makes", a tee-shirt and a fleece as back-up last weekend at it`s turned out to be a bit of a shocker, it`s hat, coat and even the camera is parked up with the wind and driving rain, ironically...." it`s ideal weather for 'Ducks.!! 

Both teams pushed from early on, Aaron Moxam looked to have given Shirebrook the early lead having beat the off-side only to see the linesman`s flog aloft..that was the first of a catalogue of bad decisions today.

Shaw Lane chose to hoof the ball over the top to supply the lightning quick front pairing of Ashley Flynn and Danny Frost who despite their height disadvantage had the towering figures of Ross Henshaw and Steve Wankiewicz in a bit of a spin in the opening period.

Shaw Lane continued to press and looked evermore dangerous, corners were becoming more frequent as they piled on the pressure. A quick break down the right and a decent ball into a crowded box from Mark Whitehouse found Frost who directed the ball towards Joe McCormack who could only look on as the ball crosses the line from off his own defender..Henshaw`s OG  gives the visitors the lead after twenty minutes.

With the rain becoming increasingly heavier, the toll of it on the game was becoming more apparent..mis-timed tackles and wayward clearances turned what should have been a decent game into a bit of a washout to be honest.

Shirebrook broke as the opportunity arose and managed to square the game as Moxam once again went on a charge, only on this occasion the ball came into contact with his hand more than it did his feet as dropped in from over his shoulder, with neither the liner or Ref managing to spot the infringement he lobbed the ball into the far goal...the visitors are incensed as the goal to is allowed to stand.

Frost takes a knock just after the re-start and is struggling to shake it off by the looks of it, nevertheless Shaw Lane once again start to apply a fair bit of pressure as the half comes to a close and just as the crowd start to head in the direction of the tea-hut...Whitehouse once again delivers another dangerous ball into the box from the right again, only for it to be assisted over the line again by Henshaw.

Martin Chester blows the whistle and is immediately surrounded by Shaw Lane`s players and Staff regarding Moxam`s equaliser, as for goals...that was it for today.

Frost failed to return to the pitch after the interval and as far as Shaw Lane was concerned his absence really changed the face of the game, Shirebrook had the better of the play as Cobley, Bacon, Wilstshire and Moxam pushed for an equaliser, whilst after the disappointment of his two OG`s, Henshaw had a great second half, missing nothing in the air.

'The Ducks' should have put the game to bed as their best chance in the second half was put well wide from close range as Flynn failed to hit an open net with McCormack already beaten.

Realising that their chances were becoming farther and fewer, Shaw Lane`s Keeper decided to reduce the game to an absolute farce, fair dues to the lad....he`d got the Ref in his pocket after he failed to hurry him on with a few goal-kicks but feigning injury, encouraging other team members to go down for treatment and stopping play to ask him to check the ball on half a dozen occasions really spoiled it for me. 

So it finished up 1-2 in a very niggly affair which was spoiled not so much by the weather but by the antics of a few and a sheer lack of discipline from a very poor set of Officials, tbh as a neutral it was a very disappointing episode from what had the makings of a decent fixture and probably a day that Shirebrook will probably want to forget quickly, two own goals and severely let down from the men in black.

On the other hand, it`s not hard to see why Shaw Lane are where they are in the league, from what they showed in the first half, they are a decent footballing side and have a fire in their belly with a desire to win at any cost and up until the time wasting shenanigans they had won me over. 

Sometimes you do have to win ugly...not too sure it should be that ugly though..!!

My Man of the Match - Mr Martin Chester, an award winning performance Sir..??

Attendance - 161 

Admission £4

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Stocksbridge Park Steels 2 - 3 Ilkeston Fc

I`ve been meaning to catch up with Kevin Wilson`s Ilkeston side this season and decided to take a look at them on-the-road and when it comes to undiscovered treasures...Dudsey`s proper found one today.

Bracken Moor Lane or the 'Look Local Stadium' as it`s now known is as picture perfect a Stadium as you could wish to watch a game of football with a playing surface like a Bowling Green..!!

This place is full of charm and character and although it`s only three sided, the back drop scenery more than makes up for that. The main stand is as good a vantage point as I`ve come across, the seats are all hand made wooden slatted, painted in the Yellow and Blue of 'The Steels'....nothing like the pre-moulded plastic we all park our bum`s on nowadays.

No accuracy bonus today for the Met Office, it`s nowhere near as nice a day as they`ve been selling us all week, nevertheless it`s dry and quite mild.

Stockbridge get the game rolling and make a run in from the right, Aaron Webster and Jamie Knowles get into a bit of a wrestle from the eighteen yard box to the bye-line ending up with Stockbridge`s No 8 on the deck, the Ref points towards the spot although it looked like 'six of one and half-a-dozen of the other' to me.

Nathan Joynes steps up to take the kick and easily places the ball beyond Lloyd Allinson to give the home-side the perfect start after just three minutes.

Ilkeston dusted themselves down and headed deep into 'Steels' half from the re-start, Kane Richards drops lucky on the right hand side of the box as a mix up between defender and keeper allow the nimble footed 'Robin' to sneak the ball beyond Jack Ward...1-1 after ten minutes.

Despite looking far more comfortable on the ball going forward than Stocksbridge, Ilkeston`s defending left you feeling trouble could be just around the corner on more than one occasion in the opening period. Richards and James Reid are looking dangerous though and have 'Steels` back four entering a busy spell.

Ilkeston`s second came from the set-piece, a short corner played back to Reid is lofted toward the box where Joe Maguire manages to get himself up above the crowd to nod the ball neatly into the net.

Richards (Kane) should have put the first half to bed as Matt Richards threaded him a lovely ball beyond the last defender, with only the keeper to beat, he runs to his left in a bid to round him but Ward is well up for this one a whisks the ball neatly from his feet.

The entertainment value sat just above and behind both dug-out`s is priceless as Kev Wilson and his opposite Darren Schofield scream their frustrations at their players and each other throughout the game, he`s a bit of a comic is Wilson and readily exchanges banter with both sets of supporters.

Still looking in control yet a tad ropey going backwards 'The Robins' are as frustrating as they are creative, a mis-timed tackle outside the area results in Stocksbridge squaring the game as Nick Swirad`s slick header from the free-kick totally wrong foots Allinson, 2-2 with just over five minutes of the first half left.

With no further goals in the first period it`s time to check Twitter for all the half-time results. Dudsey`s well peeved as Amy McDonald`s 'Mister Rock and Roll' is abruptly interrupted in full swing to announce the results of the raffle,  "I love that tune". "Hold on a minute....did he just say 211-215 on the Green Ticket..?, disappointment turns to a wry smile as a lady called Carol confirms I`ve lifted the first prize.  Nice one..!!

Both sides emerge and before the vocal 'Ilson Crew' have had time to finish their beers and make their way down to the far goal, the ball is nestling in the back of it as Danny Gordon has put the visitors back in front immediately from the re-start.

Both sides had plenty of chances in the remainder of the second half, Ilkeston still looked to be in charge for the main but Stockbridge`s attempt to recover a point from the game saw them have their best spell of the game as they pushed the visitors back into their own box for a twitchy last ten minutes, but to no avail as it finishes 2-3 to a relieved Kevin Wilson. Today`s victory now see`s 'The Robins' entering the play off zone of the table.

A cracking afternoon out, a decent game with plenty of goals in a very welcoming and picturesque setting.

My Man of the Match - Kane Richards...this lad never stops.

Click here for Match Pictures

Teams - Stocksbridge : Ward, Royles, Turner, Swirad, Bowden-Lovell, Senior (c), Hamshaw, Knowles, South, Joynes, White. Subs - Akiester, Travis, Bettney, Hoyle, Denton.

Ilkeston : Allinson, Baker, Webster (c), Gordon, Maguire, Storey, Reid, Chettle, Ricketts, K Richards, M Richards. Subs - Wright, Stokes, Adams, Hooton, Williams.

Admission - £8

Attendance - 260

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Staveley Mw 3 - 2 Ashton Athletic - FA Vase 2nd Round Qualifier

With little to cheer about in the league...Dudsey's hoping that Staveley's previous form in the FA Vase would re-appear at Inkersall Road this afternoon. I'm pretty sure there isn't going to be many more Saturday afternoon's like today in 2013, ridiculously warm with a real summer feel about it.

With the turmoil of last season out of the way, the task of rebuilding a squad able of competing in the Ncel Premier Division isn't something you can conjure up overnight, but on this afternoon's showing things are heading in the right direction for Chairman...Terry Damms and Manager Neil Cluxton.

As any Step 5 outfit would, both Staveley and Ashton Athletic would both welcome the financial benefits of a good run in the Vase, the additional funds can impact greatly on how the season pans out come next May. 

There's a few new faces in the Staveley side since I took a look at them pre-season, Jordan Turner who showed great promise in Shirebrook Town's friendlies now partners the very lively Jonathan Wafula, boosted by the towering figure of Nathan Benger offering some great support play. 

An evenly matched start to the game came to an abrupt end as Jas Colliver gifted the ball to Ashton's Ryan Small who made no mistake in capitalising upon his good fortune, beating Laurence Matthewson from close range with seven minutes on the clock.

Despite the shock of conceding so early on in the game, Staveley pressed on from the re-start with Josh Scully running the right-flank and causing the visitors a heap of trouble. Turner and Wafula looked dangerous on every break, a constant supply of decent balls in from Scully, Matt Thorpe and Benger gave the front pairing plenty to work with and Turner quickly squared the game within five minutes of Ashton's opener from Jamie Smith`s inch perfect pass.

Scully and Wafula's wide play had the visitor's on the back foot but there seems to be far too much space for Ashton's quick footed No11... Adam Howard, who soon became the chosen route in for the visitors given the amount of room he his creating for himself out on the left wing but after his initial mistake, Colliver and Smith seem to be coping well in defence.

Staveley continued to look dangerous on every break and even though Turner get's caught out with the off-side flag on a few occasions it was a matter of time before he managed to sneak in unhindered behind Paul Casey off Scully's excellent through ball which allows him to cut in and beat Steve Dryden from a decent angle...ten minutes after his first goal.

Whilst the remainder of the half looked to be in Staveley`s control, Ashton didn`t look as though another goal was beyond them and it remained tightly balanced up until the interval, 2-1at half-time.

If there`s ever a good time to get a goal, the opening minutes of the second half for me is as good a time as any and that`s how the second half started for the home-side. A scything tackle just outside the area gave Josh Scully the opportunity to take a pop at Dryden`s goal from an ideally positioned free-kick, with a decent run in from the left of ball, he produces a peach of an in-swinger which nestles into the top right hand corner...3-1.

High on confidence, Staveley continued to stroll into Ashton`s half, usually down the left via Wafula and Turner. With the game seemingly over as far as the visitors were concerned an off the ball incident resulted in a bit of a Melee as players from both sides dived in. Three Red cards are produced by Mr Munday resulting in Ashton`s Edwards and Casey along with Staveley`s Jake Vernon taking an early shower.

At 3-1 up and with an extra pair of legs you would have thought it would be a stroll to the finishing line for Staveley...far from it..!! For whatever reason  the punch-up seems to have given the visitors a new lease of life and after several decent breaks from Howard and Connor Anderson from wide-out left and a series of corners they manage to pull another goal back off of Ryan Small`s head from the set piece.

With a nerve twitching fifteen minutes left to the final whistle, Staveley manage to hold the opposition off and get to the final whistle a goal to the good and with eight hundred quid in the bank.!!

Over the ninety minutes Staveley looked good for the win although Ashton gave it their all after the Melee and could have grabbed a late equaliser. Going forward..I think Mssr`s Turner, Wafula and Scully will no doubt be giving a few more sides the run-around.

My Man of the Match - Hard to call given the talent going forward for Staveley today and an excellent performance by Skipper...Jamie Smith, but for his two well taken has to be Jordan Turner..!!

Click here for Match Pictures

Teams - Staveley Mw : Matthewson, Hague, Trench, Scully, Colliver, Beatson, Smith (c), Thorpe, Benger, Turner, Wafula. Subs : Damms, Vernon, Foyle, Nightingale, Butt.

Ashton Athletic : Dryden, Edwards, Casey, Wood, Rolands, Latham (c), Lawrence-Forbes,Kay, Small, Anderson, Howard. Subs : Hull, Burbidge, Gallaway, Green, Holden

Attendance - 116

Admission - £5

Good luck to Staveley in the next round of the FA Vase and to Ashton Athletic for the remainder of their season.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Dronfield Town 1 - 1 Clipstone Fc

What was forecast to be a pretty dismal day has turned out to be a quite pleasant afternoon at the 'Stonelow Playing Fields' and although Dudsey`s  no stranger to this `Neck of the Woods` I have to admit to never visiting Dronfield Town's ground before.It`s a Majestic little set-up with great potential should they progress even further up the pyramid

Newly promoted as Champions from the Central Midlands North Division last season, they saw off promotion rivals Afc Mansfield with an impressive 24 game winning run and also took the bragging rights by beating them 1-5 in their own back yard.

Since promotion life in the Ncel for Dronfield seems to be something of a 'Baptism of Fire', having only picked up one point from their opening seven league games.

Having dropped the 'Miners Welfare' tag for the 2013/14 season, Clipstone having finished in eleventh position last season seem to have found stability within the Ncel and now have set themselves a realistic target of promotion to the Premier Division, aided by the guidance of Chairman...Brett Marshall who's certainly no stranger as to what's required to achieve great things on a low budget, having took Retford United to the pinnacle of the Ncel in the 2011/12 season.

A bit of a Football Faux Pas this afternoon...both sides struggled to produce the game all in attendance anticipated and although there were brief spells of decent play. Between that and a Ref who would have been more suited to an Under 11's kick-about, he went out of his way to reduce the game to possibly the hardest forty five minutes of football I`ve seen this season.

Dronfield started off quite brightly through some decent play between Nick Horsfield, Dan Wood and Lewis Naylor and looked as though they meant business. Pete Stubley, Kieron Watson and Ian Hillier are trying to make some headway for the visitors but Stuart Hill is doing a sterling job as a makeshift Sweeper, he`s produced a string of finely timed tackles to deny their advances.

After the first twenty minutes the remainder of the first half was played out with both Keeper`s hoofing  it over the top and hoping someone would have the initiative to pick up the scraps. Needless to say it went into the interval 0-0.

Half-Time...and refreshments have to be obtained from Coal Aston`s Cricket Club Tea-Room, with no hot food available it`s a Cheese Sandwich and a Tea, all for the Princely sum of £1.50. It`s turned out to be a glorious afternoon as the sun beats down. Dudsey sits and takes in a couple of overs during the interval, Coal Aston`s second XI are 148 for 4 off of 34 overs.

Back down the steps to the touchline in the hope of a better second half, Dudsey catches Marsh coming out of the changing room...he`s shouted himself horse in his half-time rant at his under performing team.Despite his words of wisdom, Dronfield look the brighter of the two sides in the opening spell.

The Ref is still getting it seriously wrong, the bookings must now have exceeded the corner-count and it seems inevitable that the chance of both teams finishing with eleven men is next to none.

Eventually, the visitors start to find their feet, although a goal from either side still seems a mile away. Dudsey`s having a chat with Mr Clipstone...Barry Clarke, he say`s he feels sorry for anyone who had paid to watch the game today (Cuckoo..."that`s me").

Jokes out of the way it`s starting to look more like a game of football in the second half. Dronfield`s Tom Carnall is having an excellent second half and has missed nothing, he`s virtually managed to stop nearly all of the visitors advances single handed.

Watson finds himself with plenty of space in-front of goal and should have buried it only to lose out with his final touch. Eventually the first inevitable second booking comes as Dronfield`s skipper...Ashley Rawson is given his marching orders. A man to the good, Clipstone start to look the dominant side but Carnall is still hell-bent on keeping the door firmly shut.

Stubley, Watson and Hillier are determined to turn the one man deficit into a result, a quick break from the right finds Stubley heading towards Nick Siddons' goal, only to be up-ended by the No1 shirt, Mr Evans awards the penalty but neither cautions him or even has a word. Rob Paling places the ball on the spot and drills the ball low and hard towards the bottom right-hand corner but Siddons is right on it and makes a fine save.

The game continues to gain some sort of momentum...the home-side are managing to make the odd break and a foray down the left-flank results in Paling clattering into Dronfield`s Callum Mawby, it`s his second yellow and it`s down to ten men for the visitors as well.

Thinking they might have blown their chance with the man advantage, Clipstone get a break and make a charge towards goal and in the dying minutes Watson puts 'The Cobra`s' ahead from Stubley`s well timed ball. Thinking 'Lady Luck' had gifted them with a fortuitous three points the visitors are caught napping from the re-start and in the time it takes Dudsey to Tweet the goal, Dronfield have got the ball in the back of Ed Eley`s net through Mawby... unbelievable,1-1 on practically the last kick of the ball.

Perhap`s it`s been an off-day for both sides but it`s definitely been hard on the eyes this afternoon, a much needed point for Dronfield, no doubt Marsh will be seething that what looked like a definite three points in the dying minutes was squandered so cheaply from the re-start.

My Man of the Match - Tom Carnall (a faultless defending display)

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Teams - Dronfield : Siddons, Hemsley, Butler, Rawson, Carnall, Hill, Whitehead, Mawby, Naylor, Horsfield, Wood. Subs - Gange, Ashton, Roberts, Fordham.

ClipstoneEley, Paling, Shaw, R.Austin, Pride, M.Austin, Hillier, Carty, Watson, Stubley, Millington. Subs : Hales, King, Webster, Allan.

Attendance - 68

Admission - £3