Welfare Going Strong In League & Cup

The games, they’re coming thick and fast in the early throes of the 2022-23 season, just ask Kimberley Miners Welfare joint-manager, Graham Furnell, he, and Ant Ward, have already seen their side, last seasons United Counties Division One champions, through some eight matches.

Five of those eight have come in the league, two FA Cup, and one FA Vase, by the time next Tuesday (6 September) has been-and-gone, that total will be at ten after a the next round of the FA Cup (away to Atherstone Town), and a League Cup clash (home to Blidworth Welfare).

They’ve just had a quick turnaround as well, Saturday gone saw Kimberley host local rivals, Hucknall Town, in the Vase, before a Bank Holiday Monday trip to Belper United – they’re doing alright though, six wins and two losses from eight, and twenty-one goals scored is testament to that.

“Hosting neighbours Hucknall Town in the FA Vase, they’re a team we know well, and, with the recent additions they’ve made, would be seen as a threat in the final third,” began Furnell, looking back on the weekend’s action.

“We also welcomed a couple of new faces into our squad, with Tom Hilton, and ‘keeper Harvey Woodward (our third already this season), joining on loan from Ilkeston Town, and Dylan Fitzpatrick, whose been training with the squad for a few weeks now.”

Hucknall though, as was expected really for the management team, changes needed to be made, five of them all-told, with the visitors applying pressure, and enforcing errors in the Kimbo side, from the outset, Hucknall’s front three of Kieran Knight, Craig Westcarr, and Morgan Bell, a constant threat.

It would be James Shaw however who’d open the scoring, for Kimberley, just after the half hour, with a deflected effort from twenty yards, affording an interval lead, before upping the game upon the restart, much to the delight of Furnell, Ward et al.

Josh Barr-Rostron however, added to the lengthening list of injuries, coming off with twenty remaining, with Nathan Banton and Matthew Dickinson coming on for the closing stages.

“(Matt) Dickinson, he’d stepped up from our reserves and didn’t look out of place,” added Furnell.

“In fact, within minutes of coming on, he beat his man down the right and put in the ball for another of our younger players, Louis Nicholson, to score his first for the club, and putting us two up.

“From that point on, we had complete control, and dominated possession, before another quick, counter-attack, by Banton, saw him fouled in the box and Shaw stepped up to convert from the spot.”

Cup progress, confirmed, there was no rest for the wicked however, Kimberley knowing they’d be in action on the Bank Holiday Monday as well, they facing a trip to Belper in the league, coming from a goal down at the break to snatch all three points.

With the goalkeeper conundrum still a major issue for Kimberley, Matty White was drafted in from Shepshed Dynamo to fill the chasm that it is their last line, whilst Tom Jones (not that one) and the returning Ryan Whitehurst, was added to the starting line-up.

Belper netted within five minutes of kick-off, sticking Kimbo on the back-foot from the off, but their patience, it eventually paid dividends, even if they did have to wait until the second period to turn matters into their favour.

“(At the interval, we told them) don’t panic, be patient, but move the ball quicker when possible, and be confident of turning things round,” explained Furnell, of the half-time team-talk against Belper.

“We were quickly back on level terms when another corner, and Sam Brown would beat Curtis Hall to the ball, nodding home the equaliser from close range.

“A rare mistake from the Belper ‘keeper saw him come out his box to contest a ball, which he perhaps didn’t need to; some quick thinking from Shaw saw him win the ball and lob the stranded ‘keeper, putting us 2-1 up.”

Kimberley continued to make chances in the closing stages of the game, looking to kill it off, but to no avail; a win is a win though and afterwards, he afforded some insight into what this Kimberley side is doing, or capable of doing.

“To those just looking at the final score, they’d think it was a tight affair, but those at the game would have seen a different story as we dominated possession and created numerous chances, whereas Belper scored with what was their only shot on target in the first half, and were very  limited in the second as well,” explored Furnell.

Now though, it’s all eyes on Saturday, and Atherstone Town away, in the FA Cup, Kimberley looking at a continuation of their history-making season.

“We don’t really know much about our opponents other than they also play at Step Five like us,” explained Furnell.

“But, in the previous two rounds, they have knocked out two very good, Step Four sides, in Gresley, and Leek Town, the latter being a 5-1 romp away at Leek.

“On the other hand they will have some knowledge on us having recently added the former Hinckley boss to their staff, and after taking us up to the final few games in our pursuit of the league last season.

“We know that Atherstone is a difficult place to go to, and they have very good numbers in the crowd, but we’ll go with a game-plan that will be fine-tuned on Thursday, and with confidence and belief that we can make a real game of it and try to extend our already record-breaking run in the FA Cup.

“Then we’ve another, quick turnaround, as next Tuesday we host Blidworth Welfare in the League Cup, a club which we also have good connections with.”

In what is a busy, so far record-breaking season at The Stag, keep up-to-date with all things Kimberley MW via their Twitter https://twitter.com/KimberleyMWFC

*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).

*Main image @KimberleyMWFC James Shaw scores from the spot against Hucknall.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *