The hundred point barrier has been reached for United Counties Division One leaders, Kimberley Miners Welfare, following a titanic, top-of-the-table clash, away to second place Hinckley, on Saturday afternoon.
Not only did the Nottinghamshire side come out on top of what was a five-goal thriller, fans would witness a captains’ performance for the ages as Sam Brown bagged a brace for the title contenders in the 3-2 win.
It would be the Kimberley captain who’d open the scoring in the first half, his goal coming early on after the hosts failed to deal with a corner, and Brown lashed home; after the break, it all went a little goal crazy, as both sides shared four.
On the hour, and with Luis Rose having beaten the offside trap, his squared ball was slotted home by Sacha Markelic, he registering his fourteenth, in nineteen games; however the two goal advantage didn’t last for long as a free-kick, from distance, by Joe Cairns, nestled nicely in the corner.
Hinckley would then be seen to have a goal disallowed for hand-ball with fifteen remaining, before the Rose-Brown connection paid dividends for the visitors, just minutes later, Rose’s cross being met by Brown who found himself beating through a crowd to grab the decisive third.
The hosts made for an interesting finale though, grabbing a second, thanks to Ryan Harkins’ header, in the closing minutes when a set-piece was put into the box; Kimberley though, they held on for the win, and a vital three points.
With one hand seemingly on the trophy, and four games remaining, Kimberley lined up as follows – Danny Rigley, Lewis Partridge, Tom Eccleshall, Jordan Wheatley, Sam Brown, Ryan Wheatley, Sacha Markelic, Michael Pearson, Luis Rose, Aarron Coyle, Nathan Banton
Elsewhere in the United Counties Division One, Radford kept their play-off dreams intact with a 3-1 win away to Kirby Muxloe, all four goals coming in the opening forty-five.
Connor Moore would be seen to open the scoring inside twenty minutes, catching the home ‘keeper off-guard from fully thirty yards out, within ten minutes the lead was doubled, Michael Fitzhugh’s corner finding Jevin Seaton free in the box, and he proceeded to notch his eleventh of the campaign.
Kyle Tott would be seen to pull a goal back for the hosts just after the half hour mark, but their joy was short-lived when Fitzhugh registered himself, a deflected free-kick rolling past a helpless, home ‘keeper.
Gedling Miners Welfare fell to defeat by the odd-goal-in-five when home to St Andrews, Niall Hylton and Paolp Pilero with the hosts’ goals; West Bridgford picked up a victory when home to Saffron Dynamo, the hosts pushing for a mid-table finish, Louis Nicholson with the games’ only goal early in the first half; and promotion chasing Hucknall Town suffered badly when away to Aylestone Park, the hosts leapfrogging their opponents into fifth, with a more than comfortable, 6-1 win as Aaron Preston grabbed three.
Sam Harbottle and Scott Litchfield would be on the scoresheet for Dunkirk however they crashed to a 4-2 defeat at home to Barrow Town, and Clifton All Whites were held to a 1-1 draw on the road at Harrowby United.
Higher up the non-league pyramid, Basford United would find themselves held to a goalless draw when away to Whitby Town in the Northern Premier League Premier, and ten-man Worksop fell to a 3-0 loss in the north-east when at Shildon in the NPL East Division, they netting through Dean Thexton, Kurt Matthews and Billy Greulich-Smith.
Carlton Town were the only winners in the upper echelons, they seeing off visitors Chasetown 2-0, in the NPL Midlands, late goals coming from Aaron Opoku and Aaron O’Connor.
Lowly Eastwood CFC would lose a seven-goal thriller in the last minutes, in the United Counties Premier when at home to top ten side, Skegness Town.
A poor start from the Notts side would see them two-down inside ten minutes, Jonathan Lockie snatching the opening after five, Jordan Smith with the second shortly after, Lockie key in both when intercepting back-passes.
Goals from Ayleal Dill, and Kamari Wilson, midway through the first half, looked to have tied proceedings at twos apiece at the break, however a corner from the visitors was headed home by Ben Davison.
After five in the first, there was no time for breathing, further goals being added in the second as well, Jacob Sturgess levelling for the hosts shortly after the restart, heading home a corner from Joe Harrison, however, a late curler, from distance, by the visitors’ Jamie Potts netting from twenty-five yards out, snatching a 4-3 win.
Lining up for the hosts in the seven-goal thriller would be – Warren Squires, Callum Jones, Ellis Chambers, Victor Lusuku, Louis Anthony, Jacob Sturgess, Kyle Wrenn, Joe Harrison. Ayleal Dill, Kamari Wilson, Ben Henderson
There would also be home defeats for Newark and Selston, against Long Eaton United and Quorn respectively; Joshua Lawe netted for Newark against leaders Long Eaton, and Jake Payling registered for Selston in their loss to Quorn.
There was mixed fortunes in the Northern Counties Eastern League, AFC Mansfield drawing 2-2 at home to Staveley, and Sherwood Colliery won 2-0 at Athersley Recreation in the Premier, whilst in Division One Rainworth won 3-1 at Glasshoughton Welfare, Ollerton drew a local affair with Shirebrook Town, and Retford were felled 4-1 away to Harrogate.
Retford United stretched their current unbeaten run to six games, claiming a 6-1 win away to AFC Bentley as Mark West and Aaron Fell both bagged braces, Charlie Baird and Liam Frost also netting.
Victory sees them lead the CML Premier, on goal-difference, from Newark Town and Club Thorne Colliery, with sides having games in hand on the ‘leaders’ – in the win, West, with that brace, took his tally to forty for the season (in just thirty-three games), and Fell’s brace pushed him onto seventeen in twenty-seven.
Now the question is, for the run-in – who’s ready for it? We at the Nottingham Sport are!!
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @KimberleyMWFC celebrations as Kimberley Miners Welfare beat title rivals Hinckley.