As with the previous weekend, non-league football both in Nottinghamshire, and across the UK as a whole, was decimated by the cold, winter snap, with our non-league scene seeing around half a dozen games played, right the way down to the Nottinghamshire Senior League Division Two.
Worksop got their top-of-the-table clash on, a tight, end-to-end battle with second place Stockton Town, the hosts battling hard for not only a 1-0 win, but a result which saw them extend their incredible winning sequence to some seventeen matches, and move eleven points clear for added measure.
It was to be a game that was goalless at the interval, and which saw hot-shot Tigers striker, Liam Hughes, miss a spot-kick twenty minutes into the second period, before making up for it a little over ten minutes later with the only goal of the game, his sixteenth of the season.
Prior to the game, the table-toppers announced the month-long loan signing of Bobby Faulkner from Doncaster Rovers, and the extension of Tayonga Kuleya’s stay at the Windsor Foodservice Stadium, the former being immediately thrust into his debut by home gaffer, Craig Parry.
Both sides created chances throughout the game, Stockton ‘keeper, Patrick Boyes, doing well to stem the Tigers attack which, in the first half alone, included a pair of goal-bound headers from Hughes; meanwhile, Kevin Hayes and Michael Roberts had chances for the visitors, the two sides, somehow, level at 0-0 at the break.
Dan McWilliams would foil a one-two attack between Aleksandrs Starcenko, and Hughes, early in the second, before Hardy sees an effort fly wide of Boyes’ goal; a deflected, headed effort from Tom Coulthard is saved well by Sebastian Malkowski in the Tigers goal before the penalty is awarded, and missed.
Lewis King’s slide-tackle on Hall is adjudged to have been a foul and the spot-kick awarded, however, Hughes’ effort is well-saved by Boyes to keep the scores level; then, after several chances going both ways, the deadlock was finally broken.
A low cross into the box by Luke Hall, who’d only been brought on for Hardy fifteen minutes earlier, and finds Hughes, the Tigers hit-man proceeding to fire a left-footed effort into the top corner; Boyes though, he’d find himself being called into action on a few more occasions as the game ebbed towards its conclusion, saving from both Hughes, and Starcenko, as the hosts claimed yet another win.
WORKSOP TOWN – Sebastian Malkowski, Deegan Atherton, Josh Wilde, Sam Wedgebury, Josh Wilde, Hamza Bencherif, Bobby Faulkner, Terry Hawkridge, Aleksandrs Starcenko, Liam Hardy (Luke Hall, 62), Liam Hughes, Jay Rollins (Tavonga Kuleya, 78)
Of the dozen or so games that were scheduled across the United Counties Premier and Division One (Notts only), only two went ahead which involved Notts clubs, lowly Eastwood CFC earning a battling, goalless draw at home to Sleaford Town in the Premier Division (ADD EXTRA INFO).
Meanwhile, in Division One, there was a local derby played out as Newark Town welcomed Gedling Miners Welfare, the hosts battling to a hard-fought, 2-0 win.
As the tie looked to be heading for a goalless, first half, despite the chances on goal, the deadlock was finally snapped on the stroke of half-time after Louis Richardson, in the visiting goal, had saved from a George Asplin effort, affording the hosts a corner.
Asplin would himself take the set-piece and it would find Alex Hales, he not wasting a second in pouncing and firing home the opener before, fifteen minutes into the second, Asplin would find the net himself, both doubling Town’s lead, and all-but sealing the three points.
It was a victory that saw them maintain their play-off spot, in fourth place, but some thirteen points off leaders Aylestone Park, Town are also four points ahead of the chasing pack, but played a good four-to-five games more than the sides beneath, four from Notts in Hucknall Town, Radford, Clipstone and Dunkirk.
NEWARK TOWN – Harry Chapman, Tristan Drummond (Andrew Tsolakis, 87), Jordan Haywood (Ben Sharpe, 75), Jackson Buckthorp, Luke Andersen, Matthew Clarke, Jack Beckett, Alex Hales, Rhys Harbottle (Lucus Cotterill, 71), James Lloyd, George Asplin (Joe Aitken, 79)
GEDLING MINERS WELFARE – Louis Richardson, Sol Miller, Paolo Piliero, Danny Dixon (Kyme Mason, 66), Jahren Barrow, Ross McCaughey (Exauce Nsiala, 80), Josh Thornton, Kieran Harrison, Courtney Hastings, Tyrell Shannon-Lewis, Greg Tempest
Other than that, the remaining games to be played came in the Notts Seniors League, with two games in their Premier Division, and one in each of Division One and Division Two going ahead.
The Premier Division saw both second place Woodthorpe Park Rangers, and third place Keyworth United, pick up the points with home wins over Cotgrave, and Aslockton & Orston, respectively, the division currently led by Sandiacre Town who, although lead on goal-difference, have games in hand on those beneath them.
Woodthorpe moved into second with a 4-2 home win, whilst Keyworth hit third following a 7-0 home routing of their visitors, the top five in the division being split by just four points, the top eight by nine, with Stapleford Town, the last of those, having enough games in hand to (winning permitting) move top themselves.
Division One saw East Leake Robins jump into third place with a 7-0 home rout of their own, they taking care of seventh-bottom Bestwood Colliery thanks to a four-goal salvo from Mason Ball, bringing his total to nineteen goals in fifteen games thus far, and moved them within touching distance, with games in hand, of the top two of Meden Vale Colts and Southwell City Reserves.
The only other games played, in Division Two of the NSL, would see West Bridgford Colts IIIs romp to a 7-0 home win of their own, against South Notts, as Kayne Crofts bagged a hat-trick, and Rushcliffe edged their hosts, Phoenix Top Spot, 3-2.
WBCs thumping of the leaders saw them move into third place, within a point, as all sides beneath the top side have at least five games in hand, whilst lowly Rushcliffe, they saw their win open some breathing space on bottom club Calverton Miners Welfare.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @worksoptownfc Liam Hughes netted the winning goal for Worksop.