The festivities over with for another year, but some things still remained over the holiday period, a smattering of non-league footballing action delivering presents (or pieces of coal if your side lost) to their loving, endearing supporters, who’ve been there through thick and thin.
In Nottinghamshire, over said holiday season, it was the season, near a dozen games taking place which included wins from Worksop Town (they’re doing well aren’t they), Newark & Sherwood United (didn’t stop delivering goals), Newark Town, and Retford United (flying high still).
So, day-by-day over the holiday period, let’s take you back to the night before Christmas, and the Central Midlands Premier North, where Ryan Hindley’s high-fliers, Retford United, made the trip to South Yorkshire to face third place Dinnington Town on CHRISTMAS EVE.
Looking to put their previous draw (2-2 at home to Harworth Colliery) behind them, and return to winning ways, the Badgers, opening an eleven-point gap at the top of the table, eventually eased to a 3-1 victory.
Goals from Jonathan Froggatt (eleven in fifteen), and an injury-time, Mark West penalty, saw the visitors go in with a two-goal interval cushion; although Bradley Sedgewick pulled one back after the break, a second for West, his fifth of the season, with eight minutes remaining, sealed the points.
Victory meant that the Badgers head into 2023 unbeaten in the league, with fourteen wins and a draw, and still in the County Cup following walkover wins against AFC Top Valley and Awsworth Villa; they’ll begin the new year with a hefty four, road trips, as they travel to Harworth Colliery, AFC Phoenix, Dearne & District, and SJR Worksop, to come in January.
BOXING DAY would see a good, half dozen matches played, across Nottinghamshire, Basford United dropping points in front of a 1,000 strong crowd at Ilkeston Town in the Southern League Central, Anthony Dwyer having put the visitors a goal up with twenty minutes remaining, the hosts snatching an equaliser at the death.
In the Northern Premier League East, Worksop Town equalled a club record of EIGHTEEN straight league wins when increasing their advantage at the top of the table to an impressive, fourteen points.
The Tigers, in a local derby away to Carlton Town, found themselves easing to a 3-0 win as Liam Hughes scored twice, either side of a James Hanson goal, to send the away fans wild.
A seventeenth, yes 17th, clean-sheet for Tigers shot-stopper, Sebastian Malkowski, ably assisted by a strong, back-line, has seen Craig Parry’s side build from the back, in devastating fashion, and Carlton, like all others this season, had no answer.
Both sides had players who’d played for the other in the starting elevens, ex-Tiger, Lawrence Gorman in the home defence, and former-Miller, Terry Hawkridge, pulling the strings in midfield for the visitors.
The opening goal came via Hughes, who else, he completing a beautiful move which featured both Jay Rollins and Aleksandrs Starcenko, the Tigers striker slotting home his first of the afternoon, before Hanson added the games’ second just after the half hour for a comfortable, interval lead.
Hawkridge, who else, provided an inch-perfect delivery for Hughes who, having chested the ball down, plays the ball to Hanson who calmly slots the ball past Mikey Emery in the home goal; the home ‘keeper would be seen to pull off a fine, double-save at the end of the first however, Jack Broadhead hitting a half-volley which was saved by Emery’s legs then, with the follow-up, a header by Hanson is well-claimed.
The Tigers would see a goal disallowed for a late, offside call, early in the second, before Hughes grabbed his second, and his sides’ third, ten minutes later; taking advantage of confusion in the home defence, chased the ball down and put the ball away to wrap up the points with thirty remaining.
Emery, he’d keep the score down as the visitors continued to assert their dominance, whilst defeat for the Millers would see them slip to eighteenth in the table heading into the second half of the season.
CARLTON TOWN – Mikey Emery, Khyle Sargent, Niall Hylton, Lawrence Gorman, Dan Brown, Jared Holmes, Niall Davie, Kyle Dixon, Brad Wells (Aaron Opoku, 46), Nat Watson (Kyle Tomlin, 69), Alex Howes (Lewis Durow, 62)
WORKSOP TOWN – Sebastian Malkowski, Deegan Atherton, Josh Wilde, Sam Wedgebury, Hamza Bencherif, Terry Hawkridge, Aleksadrs Starcenko, James Hanson (Liam Hardy, 68), Liam Hughes (Luke Hall, 71), Jay Rollins (Tuvenga Kuleya, 77), Jack Broadhead
Other Boxing Day fixtures would come in the United Counties League, a number of Notts clubs in action as three, local outfits, finish 2022 in the Premier North top ten after all three collected victories.
Newark & Sherwood United (6) are the leaders of that contingent and gave their fans plenty to cheer when home to Selston (20), romping to an 8-1 win; two goals to the good at the break, the Highwaymen saw that of Luke White bag a hat-trick, Kian Sketchley a brace, as well as goals from Ainsley Finney, James Gardner and substitute, Kieran Cummings, the visitors netting a consolation via Sean Gregory.
Kimberley Miners Welfare (7) are a point further back after they made hard work of a clash with visiting Eastwood CFC (17), goalless at the interval, the hosts took the lead via Tom Jones with Louis Czerwak equalising minutes later but, with the game seemingly heading for a draw, Jordan Smith grabbed the winner with eight minutes remaining.
Sherwood Colliery (9) meanwhile won 2-0 away to AFC Mansfield (18) thanks to goals from Jamie York and first-half sub, Gareth Curtis, whilst in Division One Newark Town enjoyed a 4-2, come-from-behind win, away to Southwell City.
Victory for visiting Newark saw them move third in the division with their fifteenth win (and four draws) from twenty-five league outings, to move within thirteen of runaway leaders Aylestone Park (sides around them have games in hand).
The hosts would net through Oliver McCourt and Liam Moran, but finished with ten men following the dismissal of Blair Bryant, the visiting capitalised and took all three points thanks to a brace from Jack Beckett, and one apiece by George Asplin and Jackson Buckthorp.
THE DAY AFTER BOXING DAY saw more to come as four, further games were played, the two, Notts clubs in the Northern Counties East League seeing action as both Ollerton Town, home to Rossington Main, and Retford, welcoming Harrogate RA, were held to draws.
Ollerton, they led midway through the second period via Adam Scott’s goal but only got a point when Ross Hannah equalised in the last minute, whilst Retford, they came from two-down to earn a share of the spoils, their visitors taking a two-goal, interval lead before second half efforts from Haydn Goddard, and an Alex Wonham spot-kick, snatched a point.
Meanwhile, back in the UCL1, Clipstone (7) defeated visiting Rainworth Miners Welfare (14) 4-1, and Radford (6) lost to their visitors, Dunkirk (8) 2-1, in the late kick-off, Luke Walker scored twice in Clipstone’s win whilst Max Taylor’s brace settled their game in favour of Dunkirk, his second coming ten minutes from time.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @Papapix Basford’s Anthony Dwyer celebrates against Ilkeston.