Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Gedling MW 3-3 Dunkirk FC

Tuesday 31st July - pre-season friendly at Plains Road - kick off 7:45pm

Look forward to our trips to see the Miners - this was our first view of their new improved squad, and they gave their Midland Football Alliance visitors a decent workout.

Tony Hay gave me a sneak preview of their new programme cover - last season they picked up the EMCL best programme award, but although it was a fair effort, to be honest there were a few better. I suppose that without knowing the actual criteria for winning the award, I shouldn't comment, but if I were Blackwell's programme editor, I reckon would have been a bit miffed..... 

We weren't too sure of many of the GMW squad, but their starting eleven was detailed by Mr. Hay.

Walker, Mazarno, Hore, Bradley, Hall, Gee, Whitt, Wells K, Stanley, Brookes, Simms. Watkinson, Wells B, Heath, Pass were among the Welfare subs.

Dunkirk had a few known faces, but for the most part we resorted to using their numbers as reference. The first half belonged to the visitors - they absolutely battered the Welfare goal, and but for three of four "worldies" from Lance Walker, Dunkirk could have been out of sight at the break.  A stonewall penalty when Walker clearly impeded a Dunkirk striker was waved away by Referee Nigel Prost - although on form, Walker would probably have saved it! H-T 0-0.


Whatever the Gedling players had in their drinks during the break, I want a lorry load please! They were 3-0 up within 12 minutes of the restart.

The first was a wonder strike from Kieren Wells on 47.  The young striker collected the ball right on the corner of the box, and controlled calmly before firing a 22 yard cracker past James Mountain.  We've seen some great goals this pre-season  - although Kev actually missed this one - he was otherwise indisposed.

The next goal was a treat.  Sam Simms played a peach of a through ball to Ashley Whitt, and the former Radcliffe man took the ball in his stride and hammered it home.   It was 3-0 seconds later, although whether the 40+ yard looper from Danny Gee was a genuine strike on goal only he knows - anyway the ball caught Mountain off his line and sailed into the net - they all count, so they say....

Dunkirk weren't giving up though, and on 69 when a Gedling attack broke down, the ball went all the way back up the pitch and Alex Haughton raced into the box and fired across Rhys Watkinson - the replacement keeper's first touch was to pick the ball out of the net!

With three to go, Jay Lee Hodgson was on hand to fire the loose ball into the net after Watkinson had failed to hold a firece drive, then right on 90 minutes, Dunkirk's no. 5 flew forward and hammered the ball across the box to the far stick where Jordan Alls was waiting to slide home. F-T 3-3  What a second half that was!!!!!!

Admission £4 ! Although value for money = 10/10
Attendance ( Fred Kirkbytown H/C ) 80

JayLee looking mean and moody!!!!

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Hucknall Town 0-5 Matlock Town

Saturday 28th July 2012 -- pre-season friendly at Watnall Road... 

 From Hucknall's point of view this should read pre-season "VERY" friendly, as the Yellows gave their Evo-Stik Premier opponents far too much time, space and respect for this to be classed as just an ordinary pre-season friendly. 

The Gladiators were far too good in all departments for Hucknall, although they were gifted a couple of goals  due to some poor defending. Add to this that the final two goals were a bit special and would have graced any game, and the Hucknall faithful maybe shouldn't read too much into this result. 

 Joe Leesley should have opened the scoring for Matlock in just the second minute, but he headed over from close range after Liam Garner had headed a ball into the box back across goal. Two minutes later the home team were let off the hook again when a James Lukic header from a free-kick flew just wide. 

 Brad Grayson lasted only 14 minutes for Matlock, but his replacement, Lee Ellington, made his mark on the game immediately, powering home a header after being left completely unmarked in front of goal. 

Hucknall's first real chance came on 28, Garner steering the ball just wide of the far post after he was picked out by a cross from the right by Karl Slack. Julian Topliss had a decent chance to level in the 34th minute, but he missed the target after being played in on goal by Slack. 

Kyle Ludlow was withdrawn on 38 and was replaced by Rob Palin. Chris Baugh took up a more advanced position, but Palin was caught cold and allowed the ball to be crossed into the area. Jason Fisher got fingertips to the ball, but it eventually fell to Ryan Hindley who gleefully hammered home from close range. A bit harsh on the home team, but any lack of concentration against a team of this ability will always be punished. H-T 0-2 

Brett Marshall kept his squad on the pitch for the half -time team say the air was blue would be something of an understatement!!!! One main criticism overheard was the lack of closing down. It was noticeable how good Matlock were at getting in the Hucknall players' faces as soon as they had the ball - something sadly lacking from the Yellows. 

Slack was replaced by Danny Blair at the break, Joel Goodacre took Warren Hatfield's place and Theo Ganderson came on for Jamie Brown as Marshall rang the changes. 

Ellington added his second on the hour - the defending again left a lot to be desired after the young man was allowed to head home after the ball flew loose to the far stick. It was a bit of a scruffy goal, but the next goal was a gem! Ben Algar collected the ball 25 yards from goal and beat everyone in the Hucknall back line with his close control, before gently rolling the ball past Fisher. 

Joe Leesley looks a good centre-forward - a big, bustling player and he can shoot a bit as well. He cut in from the right on 80, got the the corner of the box and unleashed a veritable rocket that was past Fisher before he even smelt it! Applauded by Matlock and Hucknall fans alike -- great tekkers, son!!! F-T 0-5 

First chance we've had to see Referee Harry Hawkins since his promotion - handled the game very well, but the players' attitudes helped tremendously - no nasty challenges of note and no need for serious words or cards of any colour. 

Any Hucknall Town regulars seeing this result will be thinking the worst for the coming season. The Yellows are short of a couple of experienced players, but with a limited budget it is not easy to attract anyone of note.   The club are £200 richer this week - we have committed ourselves to season tickets for the 2012-2013 campaign. We know roughly what to expect, but hey ho - it's only money!!!! 

Admission £5 (team sheet inc) 
Attendance 135

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Basford United 2-2 Carlton Town

Pre-season friendly at Greenwich Avenue -- kick off 7:45pm

The latest game in our pre-season programme saw Basford United (EMCL) take on Carlton Town (Evo-Stik Div 1 South).

No notes, no camera, no programme - but this was a very good game played between two very capable sides.  Basford started with a strong eleven, whilst Carlton had a few of their regular players missing for one reason or another. 

The game was fairly even for the majority of the first period, but after 40 minutes had been played, a spectacular 20+ yard drive from Sam McVicar flew past Curtis MacDonald before the Basford keeper could react. What a strike !!

A minute or so from the restart Basford were level - Jarrod Westcarr turning superbly in the area before smashing the ball past the Carlton keeper.  Aaron Hooton had a chance to put the home team in front on 43, but his spot kick ricocheted off the bar and was eventually cleared. H-T 1-1

McVicar put the Millers back in the lead in the 68th minute, his cracking low drive from the corner of the box flying past the despairing dive of sub keeper Jake Want. 

Another penalty was awarded to Basford with just 4 minutes left on the clock - this time Martin Carruthers made no mistake from the spot. Finished 2-2 and that seemed a fair enough result. Cracking entertainment - and only a couple of quid to get in - but there were still some who chose to watch from the car-park rather than part with their hard-earned!!

Mid-way through the second period, Brian Dennett introduced us to Basford centre-back Joe Pheasant - the former Hucknall Town and Stamford player told us he was enjoying life at Greenwich Avenue, and was impressed with the quality of the current squad. He said that dropping down a couple of steps hasn't been a problem - and is looking forward to cementing his place in the Basford starting eleven.

Attendance 40-50 ..

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Hucknall Tn AFC 4-3 Nottm Forest "Legends"

Wednesday 25th July - played at Watnall Road

Not as many legends as one would have expected, but a team containing Nigel Jemson, Jason Lee, Gary Bull and Chris Freestone should score a few!!!

The Hucknall outfit played two entirely different squads each half, and despite going two down in the first 20 minutes, the home team rallied and came out of the game deserved winners.

The Reds went ahead after just 11 minutes, when Gary Bull slotted past Cooke in the AFC goal. Bull followed this with his second on 18, nodding home after Jason Lee had headed a right wing free-kick back across the goal. 

Ben Middleton reduced the Yellows' arrears soon after, then in the 37th minute from a left side corner, Macauley Barber was left on his own and headed powerfully past Darren Hayes.

Forest retook the lead on 40 - Gary Bull played the ball across the goal to where Chris Freestone was on hand at the far stick to slide home. H-T 2-3

Jamie Brown chipped the Forest keeper from the corner of the box on 63 to restore parity, and the home team took the lead for the first time in the game in the 72nd minute thanks to a direct free-kick from Ben Waplington from the corner of the area. 
F-T 4-3

Decent enough game and "Wish Upon A Star" should have made a few bob.

Admission £3
Attendance 454

Monday, 23 July 2012

Hucknall Tn 0-3 Mansfield Tn

Pre-season game at Watnall Road.

Not much use looking at the team sheet for the Stags starting eleven.  To begin with the players shirts had no numbers - ironic really when the Stags have just announced the actual squad numbers on their website! Recognised a few of the Mansfield starters - Louis Briscoe, Shane Redmond, John Thompson, Anthony Howell - but the rest were unknown to me - a very lapsed Stags fan!!

Hucknall were as per the team sheet, and all the players listed were given time on the pitch, as boss Brett Marshall rang the changes after the break.

Keeper Jason Fisher wasn't wearing a hat even though he was staring straight into the sun - and the young man almost paid dearly when a thunderous Hutchinson strike crashed against his knees early doors. Clearly blinded by the low sun, Fisher soon called for his cap.

Mansfield dominated the first 20 minutes or so, but Hucknall gradually got their game together and created a couple of chances - Karl Slack should have done better from 18 yards on 40, but he fired well over.  Mansfield took the lead in the dying seconds of the half, when Briscoe played in Howell, who ran into the box before neatly chipping Fisher.  H-T 0-1

Had a nice chat with photographer Dan Westwell who was at the game with his family. As he was not actually working, Dan paid to get in. Well done, Dan - I know some others who would have used their name and position to get in for nowt...

Rob Waite and Mick Cooke joined us for the second half - great banter... although most of the abuse and piss taking was aimed at yours truly for some reason.  Mel Furness had started it earlier by asking if they had let me in as a concession for £2 ... then when Dan was aiming his stonking great camera at me, he said he didn't see Rob who was standing behind me!  He was wearing a bright red tee-shirt! And is not exactly a lamp-post....!!!!!  God damn it!!!!

The Dynamic Trio!!!
Stags scored one minute after the restart - a cracker from young trialist Ryan McGorrigan, who controlled the ball superbly, before flicking it up and volleying past Fisher.  Cracking effort!

Hucknall contained their professional opponents for the rest of the half, but were undone right at the death, when they allowed a simple ball to go all the way across the goal, trialist McGorrigan had the simple task of stabbing home his second of the night. F-T 0-3

Admission £5
Programme £0.50
Attendance 385

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Basford Utd 6-2 Shepshed Dynamo

Pre-season friendly played at a very sunny, and very warm Greenwich Avenue.

Didn't predict that result when selecting this game! After Basford had slaughtered Pinxton, then struggled against Blidworth in their previous two games, this was an intriguing fixture, to say the least....

Didn't know too much about Chris White's Shepshed team - but quite a few of the Basford starting eleven were at Greenwich Avenue last season.

United : Jake Want, Ben Moore, Joe Pheasant, Martin Holt, Martin Lench, Theo Smith, Tian Walton, Darren Garmston, Jarrod Westcarr, Carl Westcarr, Aiden Brady.   Bench:  Martin Carruthers, Craig Armstrong, Curtis McDonald, Tommy Kemp, Ashley Dyce, Wayne Jones (apologies if I missed anyone)!!

Shepshed were lead by Rob McCormick, and we also recognised Tris Whitman and Justin Jenkins - but that's about it!

Nice to be in bright sunshine - hopefully something we will have to get used to in the near future, if the weather forecasters have it right...we'll see.

I actually took a few notes during the game - the operative word being "few"! But we met Basford's top blogger Pete Ray during the break : his report and pics will be found on his superb Non-League Bodging blog.  

The first half hour saw Basford doing most of the attacking, but on 33 a needless trip on the corner of the Basford penalty area gave Dynamo a free-kick - and Kieron Walker punished the error in full by firing the ball home off the inside of the far stick.

The lead lasted barely two minutes though. After a free kick in to the box at the other end of the pitch was collected well by Carl Westcarr, the striker turned and volleyed past the Shepshed keeper - great technique from "Westy".  H-T 1-1

Changes were made by both teams throughout the second period, and the game became a little disjointed for a while.  We had to wait until the 71st minute for the next goal, and it came from Martin Carruthers who rounded the keeper before slotting home, after Joe Pheasant's ball from the back had ricocheted into his path.  

Again the lead lasted barely two minutes - Shepshed's skipper Rob McCormick's spectacular overhead kick looping over Curtis McDonald. The big keepers first action after coming on was to pick the ball out of the net!

McCormick was forced to retire from the action soon after, and his presence was sorely missed as United went on the rampage in the final 15 minutes.

The home team went back in front after 76 minutes. When Aaron Hooton's shot crashed off the bar, the rebound was hammered at goal by Carruthers, but his effort was well blocked by the keeper. Unfortunately for Dynamo, Tommy Kemp was on hand to volley home the loose ball.   On 86, Hooton saw his shot blocked, but Ashley Dyce was quickly onto the rebound, and smashed it gleefully home.

Hooton then made it 5-2 in the final minute when he chipped the keeper from the edge of the box after he was played in from the back. 

Jarrod Westcarr hammered in the final nail in Dynamo's coffin just seconds later - more good play from Hooton and Carruthers setting up the chance.  F-T 6-2

Admission £2
Attendance - head counted 70

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Linby CW 0-4 Hucknall Town

Wednesday 18th July ko 7pm  -- played at Church Lane, Linby.

The game started off in glorious sunshine, but halfway through the first half the usual picturesque Church Lane setting looked and sounded like it belonged in an old Hammer film.  Thunder and lightning, black skies and the ominous church bells giving it large......nice!!!

Linby have made the move from the NSL into the CML South Division for season 2012-2013, but unless they can sort out flooodlights by the end of season 2013-2014, they will be looking to make the move back to the NSL. The CML have a new rule:  (E) (ii) "teams must have acceptable, permanent floodlights by the day prior to the League AGM following the conclusion of the 2013/14 season".  May seem a bit draconian, but for clubs to progress from step 7, they have to have lights anyway. The NSL have no such stipulation.

Fred Kirkbytown greeted us as we entered the ground - his Ginsters pasty looked to be going down well!! Said a quick hello to Brian Dennett and Brett Marshall, then we took up our position just past the Hucknall dugout - hoping to glean as many names of the Hucknall squad as possible.

These players started : Jason Fisher, Chris Baugh, Corey Nightingale, Jamie Brown, Liam Garner, Scott Wilby, Joel Goodacre, Julian Topliss, Carl Snowden + 2.  Others used -  Steve Carty, James Leggitt, Danny Blair, Warren Hatfield, Rob Palin, Rob Austin, Theo Ganderson, Danny Hayes + 1 unknown.

Kick off

Not a classic first 45, but Linby were more than a match for their Evo-Stik Div 1 South opponents. H-T 0-0

Linby's Damian Mann and Jonathan Dakers

Marshall rang the changes at the break, and Theo Ganderson soon made his mark, opening the scoring three minutes into the second period. The striker was a little fortunate that his tame near post effort slipped under the keepers' body, but that's two in two for the big youngster.

It was 2-0 on 53 - Steve Carty's superb through ball picked out Danny Blair who fired calmly past the home keeper. 

After 71 minutes, Rob Palin played the ball into Blair from the right, and the big man hammered a shot goalwards. The Linby 10 shirt blocked the shot with his hand, giving Referee Liam Jones no option other than to award a penalty. Blair drilled home the spot kick to make it 3-0.

Blair shot blocked -- but where is the keeper going???

Blair makes no mistake from the spot

With 10 to play, Scott Wilby dribbled the ball to the goal-line, then beat his marker, turned and fired home at the near post to add the visitors' fourth.  F-T 0-4

Four-nil was a bit harsh on the home team, but on first view and knowing the CML quite well, the Church Lane outfit should do well in their coming campaign.

Admission £0  -- raffle £1 (no idea who won or what the prize was, but every little helps, doesn't it!)
Attendance -- close to 80-90 estimate

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Teversal 1-2 Matlock Town

Tuesday 17th July 2012 - Pre-season friendly at Carnarvon Street.

Teversal put out a strong team for the visit of Evo-Stik Premier opponents Matlock Town, although they had another squad playing against Glapwell at Sookholme.  Not too sure of the strength of the Gladiators, but they played their part in a very entertaining game.

We met up with friends Phil Mumby, Chris and Carol Daglish inside the ground.  Phil and Carol must have added quite a few pounds to the Teversal coffers - they never stopped supping throughout the game - Carol's hubby Chris was the nominated driver, so he only had coffee - but it was his wallet that was considerably lighter at the end of the evening! It was only £2 admission, but I reckon Chris was short £30-40 by the final whistle!!!!

Chris Marsh is a serial, SERIAL hopper : notice the capitals?. Not only does he travel the country from end to end, he also seems to have the knack of getting all the players names - even in these friendly games that have constant changes of personnel.  My notes were hastily scribbled on the front of the programme - the page of Mr. Marsh's notebook for this game was full. I knew a few of the players, but Chris knew most of them - on both teams! Remarkable....

Matlock took the lead with just 34 seconds played - Ryan Hindley slotting home after being allowed room in the Tevie box.  The Gladiators were made to work hard to hold on to their lead though, and found Teversal no. 9  Shaun Tuton a bit of a handful. 

It was Tuton that brought the scores level on 38, turning neatly in the area and steering the ball home. H-T 1-1

Lewis McMahon ran things from the middle of the park in the first half for the Gladiators, but he was rested at half-time. This seemed to allow the home team to have a little more possession - and they almost went ahead on the hour mark when Dave Cockerill met a superb cross with a header that crashed off the bar before going safe.

McMahon came back on towards the end of the game, and in the 86th minute he grabbed what was to prove the winning goal - finishing off a neat Matlock move.  F-T 1-2

Admission £2
Attendance  - unknown, but I reckon about 70-80