Ollerton Town 1 Kinsley Boys 0

Wednesday 25th February 2009
Ollerton Town 1 Kinsley Boys 0
Abacus Lighting Central Midlands League Buckingham Insurance Supreme Division
At: 'The Lane', Walesby Lane
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Attendance: 70 (headcount)
Weather: cold, dry
Duration: first half: 45:00; second-half 48:30

As my usual Wednesday evening ‘taxi service’ wasn’t required today, I quickly took full advantage of the opportunity and made a last-minute decision to head out to a match. A quick look at The Football Traveller showed this Supreme Division fixture, so I set off after getting directions to the ground.

Ollerton Town’s home, called ‘The Lane’, is actually in New Ollerton, nine or so miles east of Mansfield, just off the A616. At the major roundabout, adjacent to a service station and McDonalds amongst other things, follow A616 in the direction of Ollerton and Newark to the next roundabout. Take the A6075 (Tuxford) and then turn left by the police station, after literally a few yards, into Walesby Lane and the home of Ollerton Town FC is around 1/3 mile on the left just past a school.

There was car parking through the entrance and a large playing field with cricket in front and to the left with the football ground on the right. A pavilion was also on the right at the end of the car park with the pitch stretching lengthways (orientated north-west to south-east) along the far side. There was a brick structure behind the near goal, which provided covered standing, and the dugouts were on halfway on the far side.

Programmes (£1) was sold from in front of the pavilion and before kick-off, I took full advantage of a hot drink.

Ollerton went into the game in 6th position with 38 points from 20 games, and were looking to bounce back from Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Calverton. Visitors Kinsley occupied a midtable position on 29 points from 21 games. Back in October, Ollerton won 3-0 at Kinsley so were looking to complete a ‘double’.

The teams emerged from the changing rooms side-by-side behind the match officials and exchanged fair-play handshakes on the pitch. Though there was the aforementioned covered standing was available, most spectators chose to watch the game, like me, stood on the near touchline next to the cricket pitch as it was a dry but chilly evening.

Visitors Kinsley Boys, who got the game underway attacking the covered end, soon had the ball in the ball of the Ollerton net. However, striker, Mark Whittaker had been flagged offside before firing into the bottom-right corner from the edge of the area. One of the Kinsley defenders was encouraged by his team’s bright start, shouting: “well done yellows, keep it up.”

I decided to have a go on the raffle, 50p per strip, and wondered if my luck would change – alas, it didn’t!

As the first half wore on, Ollerton (Red shirts, black shorts, red/black hooped socks) started to create the bulk of the chances. Just before the half-hour mark, Julian Topliss fired a low shot from 30 yards out which just missed the left-hand post with the keeper scrambling across. But, they should have taken the lead in the 41st minute. Lee Wilson burst down the middle at pace on the break and played the ball forward to Topliss who saw his initial shot blocked by the keeper. The rebound fell to Gavin King who lifted a shot over the bar of an unguarded net from 15 yards out.

The referee’s whistle signalled the end of a first half littered with free-kicks and a retreat back to the clubhouse for a warm, and most welcome, vegetable soup.

Kinsley (yellow shirts, white shorts, yellow socks) almost made Ollerton pay for not turning their ascendency into a goal. Whittaker was put clear in the 65th minute with a defence-splitting pass only for home keeper James Fletcher to race of his line to prevent a shooting chance.

It looked likely that the outcome was going to be a goalless draw until Ollerton found a 90th-minute winner, timed by me at 89 minutes 18 seconds. Wilson crossed into the area from the right and Dean Hankey forced the ball home to earn three valuable points in his side’s quest to overhaul leaders Harworth CI and second-placed Calverton MW.