Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Yorkshire Main 5-1 Bentley Colliery

Thankfully due to our yearly Boxing Day drinking session, i missed Lincoln's defeat at the hands of Grimsby in the Lincolnshire derby. So my first football fix of the holiday period was the Central Midlands league northern division match between Doncaster rivals Yorkshire Main FC and Bentley Colliery FC. (Step 7)
This season has been a tough one for the Central Midlands league as a whole. The league went through a restructuring process in the summer, changing from having a supreme and premier division  to a geographically based northern and southern division. It is fair to say that this change didn't please quite a number of clubs. Especially those on the border line. One of the main arguments for this change in structure was to try and reduce travelling cost for the clubs and although this is true in the southern section many clubs in the northern section have had an increase in travelling costs.  On the field there has been some one sided scorelines due to the fact that teams are placed in respective divisions due to location rather than ability.
A number of sides from the southern division have folded throughout the campaign and recently Hutton Cranswick from the north also decided to call it a day. Never the less the league soldiers on. It may take a year or two for the new system to bed in so lets hope that no more clubs go to the wall and the league gets back on its feet. This is the starting point for clubs in the pyramid and an essential part of grass roots football.  I enjoy watching the game at this level. I couldn't watch it ever week but its nice to take in every once in a while.
Last season was one of the most successful in Yorkshire Main's long history as they captured the Floodlit cup, the Doncaster FA challenge cup, the League cup, and the Central midlands premier division title. With having such a fine season last time out its hardly surprising that they are once again challenging for honours this season. Before kick off they sat in third place in the Northern Division three points behind leaders Dronfield Town (although the leaders do have two games in hand) The visitors Bentley Colliery were eleventh place in the standings.
Admission was £3 which included a programme which was pretty decent and had plenty of stats and stuff in it. The clubhouse entrance is just to right of where the gate money is collected. The walls in the clubhouse are covered with old team pictures and old match reports from the clubs early days in the 30's, right the way through to the clubs record breaking season last year. Club badges are available at the bar for a very reasonable £2 along with a range of hot drinks, chocolate bars, and cold sandwiches. Over the course of the day i tried a tea and an oxtail soup and both were spot on. (50p each)
After a nice cup of tea we ventured outside for the 2.00pm kick off. The ground is a tad on the basic side but does at least have two small covered stands along each sideline. There isn't any hard standing behind each goal and there isn't a great deal of room behind the goalline and the fence. However the club has come up with a novel and cheap way of stopping the ball bursting on the spikes on the fence. If you have any spare tin cans then just let the club now. I am sure they will take them off your hands.
We stood on the far touchline to where the clubhouse/changing room and got a decent enough view of the action on the pitch. Not that there was much action in the first half to report on. The pitch was quite boggy and didn't really help either side play passing football. Of the two sides Main probably shaded it but fluffed whatever chances came their way. I had a quid on the raffle but i haven't a clue if i won or not as i didn't hear the PA announce the winning numbers.
ht 0-0
Thankfully the second half was much better than the first. Main scored with the first attack of the match and this opened the game up. There is a slight slope on the pitch and Main made the most of these by running at the Bentley defence at every opportunity. The goal just after half time seemed to take the wind out of the visitors sails, and their work rate dropped from that in the first half. Main continued to make chances as they did in the first half but the difference was this time they took them, and raced into a three goal lead. Bentley did however give themselves a glimmer of hope when they scored them from close range following a corner. This goal did seem to wake them up a tad and they went on to have their best spell of the game.
Bentley nearly got another goal from a corner but a great clearance on the line by a Main defender thwarted them. Looking back on it that was the turning point of the game. Had it gone in then it was very much game on. As so often happens in football Main went down the other end and killed the game off when they added a fourth. They added a fifth late on which was by far the best goal of the game when the Main number 9 broke free down the left and scored with a great chip from the edge of the area.
FT 5-1
I really enjoyed this day out and although the ground may be a tad run down in places its quite homely and is what grass roots football is all about. The league leaders Dronfield drew so this win for Yorkshire Main closed the gap at the top of the table. Exciting times indeed in the Central Midlands Northern division.

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