Church Warsop 1 Pinxton 0

Monday 2nd May 2011
Church Warsop 1 Pinxton 0
Abacus Lighting Central Midlands League Buckingham Insurance Supreme Division
At: The Alley, Wood Lane
Kick-off: 2-00 pm
Admission: £3; Programme: none
Attendance: 40 (headcount)
Weather: Sunny, strong cold wind
Duration: first-half: 47:20; second-half: 47:32

Kick-off had been put back to two o’clock and no programme, the familiar and welcoming face that is Rob Hornby told me as I arrived at The Alley. He also gave me some tips on the best places to park. I suppose I expected no programme but the put-back kick-off time had good and bad points. Good in the sense that I had time to visit the old ground of Welbeck Welfare and the village of Church Warsop itself, bad that I’d miss the last 15 minutes of the first half and half an hour of the second half at Kirkby Town on my way home. The lack of programme didn’t bother me, unlike some others who headed elsewhere with the ‘bad’ news.

Church Warsop village in Nottinghamshire is a few miles east of Shirebrook and around five miles north of Mansfield. It was built in the 1930s by the Staveley Coal and Iron Company to house colliery workers and their families who worked at the nearby Warsop Colliery. The football club joined the Central Midlands League in 2008 and last season, 2009/10, won the Premier Division by a massive 10 points to gain a place in the Supreme Division. But joy turned to nightmare as off-the-field problems led to the title-winning side going elsewhere.

I’m pleased I had time to briefly visit nearby Welbeck Welfare’s old ground at Medan Vale, though alas the backdrop that was the Welbeck Colliery has now been demolished. Looking at Google Streetview, I can see why the ground found its way onto other travellers’ favourite grounds list. With time on my hands, St Peter and St Paul Church was also well worth a visit. A couple of information boards provided plenty of interesting information and facts about the church, mining and the local area. A church has stood on the site for about 1000 years and mining in the 1930s resulted in the church showing cracks with a real danger of falling down.

Back to the ground and during my ‘sightseeing’ tour, a few familiar faces had arrived. Some subsequently headed for Ollerton before returning for Welbeck’s 5 pm kick-off at The Alley. Unlike Church Warsop, Welbeck were producing a programme with a print run of just 20 copies!

The pitch (orientated just about west–east) was fully railed off with a small area of covered standing near the dugouts. It was enclosed with tall concrete fence panels and the changing rooms were located outside the perimeter.

Looking at the league table (teams play 34 games), Pinxton (3rd position with 75 points from 32 games) could finish no lower than first and had an outside chance of catching Blidworth Welfare (79 points from 31 games) the team immediately above them to snatch runners-up spot. Church Warsop (15th position with 25 points from 32 games) stood fourth from bottom with no chance of moving up or down. Could Pinxton heep pressure on Blidworth with a win at The Alley?

After the teams changed ends, Pinxton (wearing white shirts with black sleeves, black shorts and socks) got the game underway attacking down the slight slope into the strong wind and defending the changing rooms end. The hard dry pitch combined with the aforementioned pitch wasn’t conducive for entertaining football. Perhaps the best chance of the first half came fell to Pinxton’s Frazer Thomas who saw a deflected shot parried by Warsop keeper Craig Tansley.

After the break, Pinxton applied pressure with Thomas again going close to breaking the deadlock. However, it was Church Warsop (wearing all navy blue) who had the ball in the back of the net in the 63rd minute. Liam Marsden headed home Robert Camm’s cross only to see the goal struck off by a raised flag for offside. While there was nothing controversial about the disallowed goal, there perhaps was surrounding the goal that was to settle the game in Warsop’s favour. Jamie Renshaw was harshly adjudged (by the nearby assistant) to have handled Adrian Smith’s cross in the area and Craig Cantrell converted the resulting penalty in the 73rd minute.

Sadly, Church Warsop will be folding at the end of this season and Nottingham United are reportedly taking up residence at The Alley next season.

At full time I made my way to the Summit Centre to catch the last 13 minutes of Kirkby Town v Dronfield Town, which finished 3-1 to Kirkby – it would have been 15 or 16 minutes had I not been held up at a level crossing! All four goals had been scored by the time I’d arrived and it was good to spend some time in the company of Malcolm Storer (a pleasure to give an APTCOO donation), Kev Goodman, ‘Pontecarlo’ (aka Eddie Fogden) and ‘FredKirkbyTown’.

Church Warsop (navy blue / navy blue / navy blue): 1. Craig Tansley, 2. Adrian Smith, 3. Liam Middleton, 4. Craig Charlesworth, 5. Brett Crew, 6. Robert Camm, 7. Sam Ward, 8. Craig Cantrell, 9. Lee Eason (capt), 10. Liam Marsden, 11. Jordan Claxton. Subs: 14. Luke Cower (for Crew, 71), 15. Alex Marsh (not used), 19. Richard Preston (not used).

Pinxton (white shirts with black sleeves / black / black): 1. Dave McCarthy, 2. Josh Parker, 3. Ryan Kerlin, 4. Joe Riley, 5. Jamie Renshaw, 6. Liam Collins, 7. Frazer Thomas (capt), 8. Sam Hutsby, 9. Blake Vincent, 10. Martin Jones, 11. Martin Newman. Subs: 14. Jay Cooper (for Newman, 48), 15. Lewis Fantom (for Hutsby, 55), 17. Rory Davis (for Kerlin, 79).

Referee: Stephen Hall.
Assistants: Gareth Carlile and Martin Jones.

1-0 Craig Cantrell (73 pen)