Kimberley Miners Welfare 1 Selston 0

Tuesday 9th April 2013
A evening with a difference as I saw one and a half games without watching any of the 7-45 pm kick-off I’d originally set out to watch. I arrived at Digby Street later than the scheduled start time but around 15 minutes before the actual kick-off time. So instead of a brief stop to take some photos, I ended up watching a full 80-minute match which Kimberley MW won with a single goal scored by Jake Fisher during the second half. Then on the way home, I took a detour at Uttoxeter to catch the last 40 or so minutes at Hillsfield where Rocester suffered a disappointing 2-1 defeat at the hands of Westfields.

Kimberley Miners Welfare 1 Selston 0
Precision Nottinghamshire Senior League Senior Division
At: Digby Street, off Eastwood Road
Kick-off: 6-00 pm (scheduled); 6.26 pm (actual)
Admission: none; Programmes: none
Weather: dry, cold wind

During the afternoon, Plan A (Kimberley Miners Welfare v Selston followed by most of Basford United v Borrowash Victoria) became Plan B (a quick stop at the Digby Street ground followed by a full 90 minutes at Basford United) with a later than planned departure from home. Delays on the way made it harder to reach Kimberley in plenty of time before 6 pm so I'd settled for an unpressured drive to Basford . However, driving up the track at the end of Digby Street to the ground at around 6-10 pm, I could see that players warming up and immediately had a choice. Should I stay to watch the whole match as it was clear that the game was going to kick-off late?

The decision came with a dilemma. The ground will feature on the Notts Senior League Bonanza in 11 days time though I don’t know what I’m doing on Saturday 20th April so played safe and stayed at Digby Street. Tonight's visitors, Selston, will also host a Bonanza game as well.

Before continuing, I ought to mention the games that will feature on the inaugural NSL Bonanza, which is being enthusiastically organised by Rob Hornby:

Friday 19th April
Magdala Amateurs v Bilborough Town (6-30 pm)
Saturday 20th April
Selston v Wollaton (10-10 am)
Underwood Villa v West Bridgford (12-45 pm)
Awsworth Villa v Cotgrave (3-30 pm)
Kimberley MW v Keyworth United (6-15 pm)

The Digby Street ground is located at the western end of Kimberley close to large retail park, which includes IKEA, and the B6010/A6096 exit off the A610 bypass. It is railed off on all four sides and slopes down to the far right corner in relation to the entrance. The clubhouse included a most-welcome tea bar.

The last time I dipped into the Precision Nottinghamshire Senior League back in October Kimberley Miners Welfare were the visitors at FC Cavaliers for a game which finished 0-0. Back then ‘Kimbo’ were eighth in the table. They went into tonight’s game two places lower in 10th with 27 points from 21 games while visitors Selston stood four positions higher in the 16-team Senior Division table with 34 points from 20 games.

I offer thanks to the home club official for letting me have the Kimberley line-up.

Some 26 minutes after the scheduled kick-off time, Kimberley (in red and black) got the game underway defending the clubhouse end (or north end) in the first half.

The home side made a bright start and went close in the 18th minute when Liam Baker hit the post.

I took around half an hour for the game to really come to life and, from that point onwards, plenty of scoring opportunities were created during the remaining 50 or so minutes.

A 20-yard drive by Asher Phythian forced a diving save out Selston goalkeeper Luke Wigley and Red Wilmott held off the challenge of one of his teammates (true) before firing just wide from outside the area.

A nice move during the closing stages of the first half almost led to a goal for the visitors. Grant Hackett slipped a perfect pass into the area to Richard Barnes on the right who hit a rising first-time snap shot which Matt Walsh did well to stop.

Just before the break, Matt Parratt and Jake Fisher combined to set up a chance for Phythian which Wigley held.

Players continued where they left off at the break and continued to create chances during the second half.

Walsh produced a superb save in the 54th minute to keep his side on level terms. Sean Farnworth played a free-kick into the area from 30 yards out for Tom Smith to get in a header which the Kimberley goalkeeper tipped over the bar.

Kimberley thought they’d taken the lead just before the hour mark. Wilmott fed Simon Hutchinson on the right who closed low into the six-yard box where Leon Roberts fired home. But the assistant raised his flag and said that “far guy with the gloves on” was offside, i.e. Roberts.

The only goal of the game came in the 66th minute. An initial shot from Wilmott wasn’t cleared by the Selston defence and Fisher fired home the loose ball to put Kimberley in front.

The Kimberley bench kept on encouraging their side from the technical area and wanting the workrate to be maintain right up to the final whistle.

“If we lose the ball we have got to get it back”

“We’ve got to work harder”

The players in red and black did just that as Selston mounted a late bid for an equaliser. Walsh did well to leave his line and narrow the angle before Dominic Carragher shot just wide of the right-hand post. In stoppage time, Daniel Severn fired low across the face of goal.

Kimberley’s hard work paid off as they kept a clean sheet to record a narrow 1-0 victory and move up in the top half of the table. Since the game, the record of Clifton has been expunged leaving just 15 teams completing the season.

Heading back home, I called in at the familiar venue that is Hillfield, home of Baker Joiner Midland Alliance side Rocester. When I arrived around five minutes into the second half of the 8 pm kick-off, I found out from Dan Bishop that the score was 1-1; Rocester had taken an early lead but visitors Westfields had equalised shortly before half-time. The night ended in disappointment for the Romans as Jamie Cuss scored a second-half winner for the visitors; attendance 41.

Basford recorded 13th consecutive league victory – 2-0 against Borrowash Victoria – and need just five points from their remaining four games to win the East Midlands Counties League title. No doubt I’ll get the opportunity to visit Greenwich Avenue next season, probably in either the Midland Alliance or Northern Counties East League.

Despite missing out on meeting ‘On the Road Malc’ at Basford, I enjoyed my visit to Kimberley and I’m sure the 150+ groundhoppers will do so as well in 11 days time.

Kimberley Miners Welfare (red and black stripes / white / white): 1. Matt Walsh, 2. Red Wilmott, 3. Andrew Tinsley, 4. Matt Parratt, 5. Liam Baker (capt), 6. Asher Phythian, 7. Leon Roberts, 8. Simon Hutchinson, 9. Jake Fisher, 10. Danny Chaplin, 11. Karl Beecham. Subs: 12. Tony Harbould (for Baker, 67), 14. Alex Sheffield (for Phythian, 55), 15. Michael Murphy (not used), 16. Tom Whittingham (for Chaplin, 62). Manager: G. Hulley.

Selston (yellow/yellow/yellow): 1. Luke Wigley, 2. Grant Hackett, 3. Josh Gregory, 4. Gareth Ellis, 5. Sean Farnworth, 6. Dave Spencer, 7. Tom Smith, 8. Dominic Carragher (capt), 9. Richard Barnes, 10. Dominic Airey, 11. Daniel Severn. Subs: 12. Tim Moore (not used), 14. Nick Olden (not used), 15. Jake Spencer (not used), 16. Ryan Bower (for Ellis, 78). Manager: Andy Haslam.

Referee: David Hague.
Assistants: John Middleton and David Hale.

Attendance: 20 (headcount)

Duration (40): first-half: 40:39; second-half: 42:17

1-0 Jake Fisher (66)

Cards: none