FC Cavaliers 0 Kimberley Miners Welfare 0

Saturday 20th October 2012
FC Cavaliers 0 Kimberley Miners Welfare 0
Precision Nottinghamshire Senior League Senior Division
At: Carrington Sports Ground, Mapperley Park Drive, Nottingham
Kick-off: 2-30 pm
Admission: none; Programme: none
Weather: sunny
Attendance: 12 (headcount)
Duration: first-half: 46:25; second-half: 45:23

Needing to be in Nottingham at lunchtime today, my attention turned to the Nottinghamshire Senior League in search of a ground I’d not previously visited. And, as luck would have it, FC Cavaliers’ Carrington Sports Ground off Mapperley Park Drive was less than two miles from the precise part of the city I needed to be in. They faced Kimberley Miners Welfare in a Senior Division fixture and despite finishing goalless, this feisty contest proved to be a good choice. We had two disallowed goals, a missed penalty, a sending off and several decent saves, not forgetting the friendliness of the welcome I received.

The Precision Nottinghamshire Senior League was formed at the start of the 2004/05 season and today it boasts a top Senior Division with 16 clubs and lower Divisions One and Two. FC Cavaliers, under their previous name of Caribbean Cavaliers, were Senior Division champions in 2007/08 and last season finished runners-up to Bulwell. Previously, I’d seen Linby Colliery Welfare host Clifton in the competition almost three years ago in November 2009.

The Carrington Sports Ground was easily found just off the A60. Travelling north away from the city centre on Mansfield Road, turn right into Mapperley Park Drive, just after passing St John’s Church, then first right into Alverstone Road to the ground. It is a large playing field which caters for cricket and football, with the main football pitch at the far southern end running lengthways, roped off down the touchlines. A bank provided a higher vantage point behind the goal at the east end.

I must say I received a really warm and friendly welcome on arrival at the ground around 40 minutes before kick-off. Line-ups for both sides were easily obtained and a home club official tempted me into having a Caribbean pasty for lunch from the tea bar inside the pavilion. FC Cavaliers don’t issue programmes at the moment but this may not be the case in future.

Going into the game in 5th position, FC Cavaliers (15 points from 8 games) had suffered just one league defeat – 4-2 at home in early September to leaders Bulwell who still retained a 100% record from eight games.

There was some kind of symmetry to Kimberley Miners Welfare’s record of four wins and four defeats. They stood in 8th position with 12 points from 8 games.

Last Saturday, FC Cavaliers drew 2-2 at home to Clifton at the same time as Kimberley lost 4-1 at Ruddington Village.

I forgot to mention that the usual Saturday kick-off time in the Notts Senior League during October is 2-30 pm though next week's fixtures appear to kick-off at 2-00 pm.

FC Cavaliers (in green and black) got the game underway defending the aforementioned ‘bank end’ in the first half. Despite plenty of positive intentions, the first chance didn’t come until the 9th minute when Andre Koziello drove just over the bar from fully 30 yards out.

The home side were awarded a penalty a minute later when Kimberley’s goalkeeper Matt Walsh brought down Vladimia Farrell inside the area. Chris Joseph sent Walsh the wrong way but the ball ended up the wrong side of the right-hand post (photo right).

Goalscoring opportunities started to be created more frequently and a nice move from the home side ended with Ricky Cross firing into the sidenetting. Just after the midpoint of the first half, Karl Beecham crossed deep into the Cavaliers area where Gavin Powell headed wide.

Eventually on the half-hour mark, FC Cavaliers had the ball in the back of the net, only to be ruled offside. Jayford Henry ran on to a defence-splitting throughball from Farrell and confidently sent a first-time shot past Walsh. However, celebrations were cut short as the assistant had raised his flag with the comment “when the ball was played”, confirming Henry was offside when Farrell released his pass.

The same assistant was centre stage againseven minutes later when Cavaliers through they'd ‘scored’ for a second time. He spotted that Ricky Cross controlled Henry’s deep ball from the right with his hand before Stefan Cross fired home.

Kimberley were reduced to ten men in the 39th minute when Beecham received a straight red card for a challenge on Koziello around the half-way line. A few minutes later, as they walked past me on the way to the clubhouse, a couple of spectators asked for my view on the sending off. I tried to ‘sit on the fence’ with my opinion, without knowing at the time that the league’s Referees’ Secretary was stood close by! However, privately I thought the sending off was a correct decision by the referee.

Now a man down, the visitors almost scored just before the interval. Cavaliers defender Andrew Danylyzyn sliced a clearance towards his own goal and David Martt produced a diving one-handed save to keep the ball out.

The referee had a chat with both captains before the start of the second half of what was a really feisty contest.

Both goalkeepers produced a decent save each during the opening nine minutes of the second half. Martt turned round a right-foot shot from Jake Fisher at the expense of a corner (photo right), then Walsh dived to his left to keep out a far-post header from Joseph.

With Cavaliers in the ascendency, Henry hit a 25-yard shot from the right of the ‘D’ which flew wide of the far post. Substitute Damion Powell hit the post and Walsh again excelled with a diving save to stop Henry’s 25-yard free-kick.

However, Kimberley weren’t out of it and, before Powell’s near miss, Alex Sheffield drove low just wide of the target past the diving Martt.

Controversy reigned again in the closing stages. Reece Powell brought down Damion Powell inside the area but the referee waived play on even though both myself and the person stood next to wondered if the close-by assistant had tried to indicate a penalty. We’ll never know.

Cavaliers created one last chance to break the deadlock moments before the final whistle. Henry did well to get into the area and fed Marcus Anthony who fired straight at Walsh (photo right).

To be honest, it doesn’t matter anymore that there weren’t any goals after my long run without a 0-0 ended 11 days ago at Sutton Coldfield Town. I made my way to the car after the final whistle with memories of a keenly-contested game and really friendly club officials from both sides.

Other commitments permitting, I hope to visit Kimberley’s Digby Street ground in April next year when they host the final match of the inaugural Notts Senior League Bonanza.

FC Cavaliers (green/black/green): 1. David Martt, 2. Marcus Anthony, 3. Ashley McPherson, 4. Robert Faulkner, 5. Andrew Danylyzyn, 6. Stefan Cross, 7. Jayford Henry (capt), 8. Winnie Brown, 9. Ricky Cross, 10. Chris Joseph, 11. Vladimia Farrell. Subs: 12. Orlando Grindley (for Joseph, 67), 14. Jack Barnes (for Ricky Cross 67), 15. Shane Turner (not used), 16. Israel Swaby (not used), 17. Damion Powell (for Farrell, 61). Manager Everton Richards.

Kimberley Miners Welfare (red and black stripes / white / white): 1. Matt Walsh, 2. Alex Sheffield, 3. Reece Powell, 4. Matt Barrett, 5. Danny Chaplin, 6. Michael Murphy (capt), 7. Karl Beecham, 8. Andre Koziello, 9. Jake Fisher, 10. Red Willmot, 17. Gavin Powell. Subs: 12. Leon Roberts (for Fisher, 67), 14. Andrew Tinsley (not used), 15. Tom Tearney (not used). Manager G. Hulley.

Referee: Greg Stuart.
Assistants: David Johnson and Michael Allen.

Goals: none

FC Cavaliers: Jayford Henry (YC, 23), Winnie Brown (YC, 35)
Kimberley MW: Karl Beecham (RC, 39), Michael Murphy (YC, 78)