Sunday, 20 February 2011

Worksop Town 1 – 1 Halifax Town; 12/02/11.


Yeah, FINALLY. Sorry. I'm going deep into some sort of knuckle-down mode with my university work now and often days go by without this blog crossing my mind. Checking back on here and seeing that the stats are still great, I've got to continue. My town needs me.

Our main strike force (L–R): Vardy, Dean, Holland and Gregory.

Worksop would be, and was, a hard one. Going into the year they were the team closest to our heels, but threw away a few of their games in hand, including a 1–4 home loss to Ossett Town, which was nearly as surprising as if Barclay's were to start paying their taxes. Whatever happened on that day couldn't have been repeated when the champions came to town. By town I don't mean Worksop Town, as they currently groundshare at Retford. And by Retford I mean a bunch of marshy fields outside Retford.

I love the experience of going to these new grounds. Even one-stand parks have charm or things worthy of note. However, Harrogate Railway Athletic the other week had more merit than this place. A rival to AFC Fylde's non-venue, Retford United's Cannon Park has the same flat-pack stand and some corrugated tin going down the hard standing of one goal. Its redeeming feature is a gentle hill behind a decently-sized clubhouse, up which an infinite train of horse vans go. Unlike Fylde's, the pitch is small and monstrously choppy, and so I'm told an improvement from what it was just the week before. Retford United have finished in promotion places for four seasons out of four until a couple of years ago, which is a fair reason for why this place is so tiny. They are currently on their way back down again. Through Retford United, we'll be returning to Cannon Park again.

Bowed Shaymen heads, ashamed by the dull first half.

Worksop have many fans in noticeable scarves which are still swamped by Shaymen, one who staggers out of the club shop some time after kick-off with two full Evo-Stik bags. Perhaps he was stocking up for Christmas 2011, but I'm the one who got the Prescot Cables lapel badge. Things start off all Town attacking before Worksop gain an equal grasp of the game, after which a set piece is met with a Suarez header that strands Hedge. Worksop are up but we maintain a little confidence, or at least enough to try two bicycle kicks à la Wayne Rooney's that day. Obvious influences that didn't give their goalie much of a chance.

Retford will willingly sell that tunnel for just one league point.

To stay in the game Worksop used a fair amount of force, courtesy of their body weights. They held our players back repeatedly when going for headers and hoofed balls into the adjacent marshland, again repeatedly, which made the referee's three added minutes decision seem ludicrous. The physical aspect to the game took us back to last season but to their credit, they gave us no space.

The Cannon Park grandstand.

This made the match exude a feeling similar to that of Clitheroe away last year, coming back from a deficit against a team that gave us no space to turn with the ball. An equaliser wouldn't be a steal though, as we came back in the second half with by far the most attacks. The attacks they had were disconcerting but we survived. We won't survive if Lee Gregory continues to miss efforts from two yards though! A few times, getting a single paw to the ball was all their 'keeper (name still unknown), as Worksop's orange shirts flooded the box with a tried 'n tested 8–1–1 formation and could clear it enough to not have to worry about another Shaymen attack for at least 15 seconds. A penalty shout was turned down when Bower was felled, and you could even hear a faint pained whinnying from a horse that saw it through the windows of a passing horse van. We were awarded with a righteous penalty after a pull in the box, which Baker converted with typical ease and an airborne shot into the left side of the net. That's all we could get, and fair play. It's very likely that Worksop will be fighting in the playoffs and you can take a point at these places. Hopefully we bear another trip back.

Worksop Town 1 – 1 Halifax Town; att. 766
Ground: 1/10
Pitch: 2/10
Programme: 6/10 (Why is there a picture of one of Colwyn Bay's stands on the front of it?)
Talent: N/A
Chips: 5/10


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