Three points, four goals scored, seventh in the table, it’s going reasonably well at Kimberley Miners Welfare thus far this campaign, more having just enjoyed their longest trip of the season, a four-and-a-half hour, near 175-mile round-trip to Wisbech Town.
The United Counties Premier North encounter, between sides at opposite ends of the table, was played in front of more than a hundred spectators, and would see the visitors, who led at the break, run out as 4-2 winners.
Although Kimbo travelled minus coach Reece Limbert, and physio Dom Wheatley, they were afforded the bonus of their chairman, Neil Johnson, travelling, due to the Reserves’ having their match postponed due to the weather.
A few tweaks were made to the side that saw off the challenge of Belper United the previous week, and the trip to Wisbech was made worthwhile, quickly, when the opening goal arrived inside the first five minutes.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better start really,” began joint-manager, Graham Furnell.
“Kai Moore latched onto a ball down the line from Sam Brown, held off his man, before crossing it for the perfectly-timed run from Nathan Banton, he finishing well inside five minutes.
“We had chances to double that lead, Brown getting his head onto the ball and looping it to the back post, somehow though, their ‘keeper blocked the shot off Moore from point-blank.
“Another chance was carved after great work down the left, before a fizzing, low cross, saw both James Shaw and Tom Jones take a swing at.”
Kimberley did head towards the interval on the back of a scare, Tom Eccleshall going down following a heavy challenge and aggravating a muscle problem in his lower back from earlier in the season.
That, alongside the missed chances, added to the frustrations at the feet of Furnell, and fellow manager, Ant Ward, at the interval, although defensively, the management were happy.
Training routines were paying off for the Notts side, and they just needed to continue building on that during what became, a busy, second half, and doubled the lead immediately after the restart.
“Just like the first, we came out the traps flying in the second and doubled our lead just minutes in, and again after Shaw and Eccleshall had linked up well,” continued Furnell.
“A clever cut back from the by-line was met by a perfectly timed run from Jones, he finishing from ten yards out.
“We quickly added a third, on 53, which saw the move begin with a superb tackle on the edge of our box by Ryan Wheatley; Jones picked up the loose ball before releasing a sublime pass, with the outside of his boot, into the path of the onrushing Shaw, forty yards from goal.
“He kept the chasing defender at bay before being brought down by the onrushing ‘keeper for as clear-cut penalty you’ll ever see.”
The incident quickly escalated to which the eventuality saw the home captain, Kegan Everington, seeing red for dissent, Shaw though, he kept his nerve and dispatched the eventual, spot-kick, seemingly putting Kimbo out-of-sight, with a three-goal lead.
Eccleshall was brought off after his earlier knock, being replaced by Louis Nicholson but the result was a change in flow which the hosts took advantage of, Wisbech sub, George Karl-Heinz Zuerner, pulling one back with a little over twenty remaining.
This afforded the hosts fresh impetus and they pushed for a second, Danny Rigley keeping them at bay, Wisbech nearly getting it on occasion before another visiting sub, Aaron Coyle, on for George Atwal, finished off a great run from Jones to restore the three-goal advantage.
“This should have been the signal for us to shut up shop, and see out the final five minutes of the game,” admitted Furnell.
“We needed to keep the ball and be seen to further frustrate our hosts, but sadly not as another piece of indecision gifted them another goal, again by Zuerner, with a few minutes remaining.
“There was plenty of positives for us to take from the game though, but we have to be able to maintain our concentration for the full ninety, and cut out conceding those sloppy goals.”
Now though, with their seventeenth league fixture behind them (nine wins, four draws), its onto, maybe, pushing towards third place – just three points split third place Quorn, and eighth place Heanor Town, as Kimbo welcome joint-bottom Heather St. John’s to The Stag on Saturday (3 December).
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*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @KimberleyMWFC Goalscorer Nathan Banton (right centre) in action at Wisbech.