Holbrook St Michaels 2 Linby Colliery Welfare 2

Saturday 29th September 2012
Holbrook St Michaels 2 Linby Colliery Welfare 2
Windsor Foodservice Central Midlands League Black Dragon South
At: Holbrook Park
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Admission: none; Programme: £1 (28 pages)
Weather: sunny spells
Attendance: 30 (headcount)
Duration: first-half: 50:05; second-half: 48:20

Holbrook St Michaels moved up into the Central Midlands League from the Midland Regional Alliance during the summer at the same time as Linby Colliery did the same from the Nottinghamshire Senior League. Both met at Holbrook Park today for the first time in a league game and shared the points; the second half was highly entertaining in contrast to a largely unforgettable first half.

One thing I particularly like when visiting clubs I’m not familiar with is a club history printed in the programme. Holbrook certainly did this and added more information about the area and the nearby hall on whose land I believe the ground is located.

Around 100 years ago, a team called Holbrook Swifts was successful in league and cup games, and it is believed that this team changed its name to ‘Holbrook St Michaels; in 1912. While the early history unclear, what is know for sure (as the minute books survive) is that in early 1932 the local vicar, Rev. Sides, formed a team named after the village church of St Michael to play in the Belper Sunday School League. Holbrook St Michaels moved to their present ground, Holbrook Park, in 1936, where they have played continuously apart from a short period during World War Two. The lengthy list of honours includes the Derby Sunday School League, Derby Senior League and Midland Regional Alliance Premier Division (2003/04) as well as Derby Sunday School Intermediate Cup, Belper Nursing Charity Cup and Belper Jubilee Cup.

Bringing the history bang up to date, Holbrook St Michaels took the bold step to join the Central Midlands League during the summer despite finishing 14th in the Midland Regional Alliance Premier Division table last season, and, to quote the programme, ‘are under no illusions as to the challenges ahead’. ‘From Sunday School football in Edwardian to the Central Midlands League, our footballing journey continues’.

The ground was straightforward to find on the road from Duffield via the village of Makeney and Red Lane.

Fellow hopper Keith from Hammersmith had already arrived and full marks to the man for walking several miles from Duffield railway station to the ground. I’d rarely spoken to Keith, a regular on the Mid-Wales Hops, so it was good to have a chat. Before kick-off, we were joined by ‘Cannock Rob’ who is always a pleasure to meet up with.

Dark clouds hovering to the west of the ground moved away before kick-off so Holbrook (in amber and black) got the game underway attacking the Makeney Road end in the first half.

Linby took the lead with just 100 seconds on the clock. Holbrook goalkeeper Lee Stringer got his hand to Matt Murphy's initial shot from the right. However, the ball ran free and Martin Burke bundled it over the line at close range (not Damian Mann as I originally thought). At the time, all I cared for what the fact that a goal had been scored to extended my run without a 0-0 a step nearer the desired century.

With the visitors comfortable with their advantage, Holbrook needed to up their game and one of their defenders agreed: “Raise it, everyone of you”.

Yet, Linby almost scored a second goal in the 19th minute. Mann delivered a free-kick into the area from the left and unchallenged Ashley Winfield sent a first-time header over the bar from just eight yards out.

“Massive let off”.

Linby kept on creating chances and just after the half-hour mark, Lee Stringer tipped a 20-yard shot from Arron Ryan over the bar. Before the interval, Mann dribbled past a couple of defenders before shooting wide.

The early exchanges at the start of the second half told up two things: Holbrook were looking for improvement in their first-half performance and Linby were looking to hold on to their lead.

Improve they certainly did as Holbrook quickly created a couple of decent chances. Dan Sharp sent a free-kick over the bar from fully 35 yards out and Linby goalkeeper Jack Harvey was forced to make a brave save at the feet of Jamie Stewart.

Holbrook bagged an equaliser around the mid-point of the second half, a few minutes after Mann put the ball in the back on the home net, only to be thwarted by a raised offside flag.

In the 66th minute, Luke Tozar, on the left, played a diagonal ball to the far post which was knocked back by Phil Carson for Sharp to fire home from six yards out (photo right). No doubt, this equaliser was deserved on the balance of the second-half play.

Now in the ascendency, Sharp ran to the end of the Linby area and saw his shot tipped over by Harvey who, a few minutes later, kept out a long-range effort hit by Shane Piggott.

In a contrast to the first half, chance after chance kept on being created. Holbrook’s Stringer made impressive saves to keep out shots from Winfield and Jonathon Dakers.

It was Holbrook who made the next breakthrough by taking the lead in the 79th minute. A free-kick by Dave Marlow delivered into the area from half-way looped into the air off Tozar and dropped into the net.

Linby had time to respond and grabbed a point with an 83rd-minute equaliser. Mann drove home a low angled shot from the left into the net via the far right-hand post.

Judging by some of the comments made at the end of the game, Linby goalkeeper Jack Harvey would have scooped the Man of the Match award, had one been presented.

With the train back to Derby from Duffield timed at 17:02, I gave Keith a lift but a degree of bad luck meant he missed it by minutes. On the positive side, I discovered the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway which runs diesel and steam trains to and from Ravenstor near Wirksworth.

Holbrook St Michaels (amber with black sleeves / black / amber): 1. Lee Stringer, 2. Tarik Harvey (capt), 3. Craig Haynes, 4. Andy Symcox, 5. Charlie Holness, 6. Luke Tozar, 7. Shane Piggott, 8. Lewis Mason, 9. Dan Sharp, 10. Jamie Stewart, 11. Josh Morrins. Subs: 12. Phil Carson (for Symcox, 53), 14. Johnathon Pearce (for Mason, 38), 15. Alex Nix (not used).

Linby Colliery Welfare (red/red/red): 1. Jack Harvey, 2. Dave Marlow, 3. Tom Coupe, 4. Duncan Paterson, 5. Matt Ball, 6. Ashley Winfield, 7. Simon Marlow (capt), 8. Arron Ryan, 9. Matt Murphy, 10. Damian Mann, 11. Martin Burke. Subs: 12. Jonathon Dakers (for Burke, 62), 14. Charlie Niblett (not used), 15. Jeremy Millensted (for Coupe, 84).

Referee: Gareth Davis.
Assistants: Dave Williams and Wayne Porter.

0-1 Damian Mann (2)
1-1 Dan Sharp (66)
2-1 Luke Tozar (79)
2-2 Damian Mann (82)

Holbrook: Luke Tozar (YC, 19), Johnathon Pearce (YC, 41), Dan Sharp (YC, 41), Jamie Stewart (YC, 74)
Linby: none

Central Midlands League (CML) South Division
Belper United – 27/12/11 v Nottingham United (CML South)
Bilborough Pelican – TO DO
Blackwell MW – 9/5/91 v Lincoln Moorlands (CML Premier Division)
Blidworth Welfare – 13/5/08 v Calverton MW (CML Premier Division)
Calverton MW – 28/12/09 v Newark Town (CML Supreme Division)
Clifton All Whites – 15/5/04 v Notts Police (Notts Alliance Senior Division)
Holbrook St Michaels – 29/9/12 v Linby Colliery Welfare (CML South)
Hucknall Town AFC (club) – 29/12/10 v Harworth CI (League Cup First Round)
Hucknall Town AFC (ground) – 13/11/93 Hucknall Town v Eccleshill United (NCEL Premier Division)
Linby Colliery Welfare – 14/11/09 v Clifton (Notts Senior League)
Mickleover Royals (club) – TO DO
Mickleover Royals (ground) – 8/1/05 Mickleover Sports v Eccleshill United (NCEL Premier Division)
Newark Town – TO DO
Nottingham United (club) – 27/10/10 v South Normanton Athletic (CML Premier Division)
Nottingham United (ground) – TO DO
Pinxton – 31/1/09 v Rolls Royce Leisure (CML Supreme Division)
Real Unted (club) – TO DO
Real United (ground) – 14/8/10 Gedling Town v Boston Town (FA Cup)
South Normanton Athletic – 17/4/95 v Priory Eastwood (CML Supreme Division)
Southwell City – 6/11/10 v Parkhouse (CML Supreme Division)
Sutton Town AFC – 1/11/05 v Maltby Miners Welfare (NCEL Premier Division)