Blidworth v Kimberley might not sound too attractive a fixture, especially with Welfare 4th from bottom of the table and the Stags rooted firmly in last place - but we've heard good reports of how Kimberley have been playing, and we have seen Blidworth twice already this season, so know what they are capable of. We thought this fixture might produce a few goals, although it transpired that at half time we were wondering if we were going to see only our third 0-0 of the season !!
Kimberley are currently without a regular 1st team keeper, and their vastly experienced Manager Paul Rawden had to take up the gloves. Paul will admit he's a few pounds heavier than is ideal for a keeper, but needs must, as they say.....
Kimberley's no. 10, Leverton saw his 5th minute effort cannon off the Blidworth crossbar with keeper Fisher well beaten. At the other end, Roberts fired just wide from 15 yards with Rawdon well beaten.....
Blidworth's next chance also fell to Roberts - he was played in superbly by Bollington, but his firece drive was deflected wide by Kimberley centre-back Mee. From the corner, Rawden palmed away, but only to Bollington who watched in anguish as his terrific shot crashed off the bar and out for a goal-kick. Leverton had another chance to put the Stags in front on 29, but his shot across Fisher was just wide of the mark. Welfare should have gone ahead in the 32nd minute, Marsh's corner from the right headed over from close range by Tagg when it looked easier to score. Whitworth and Best combined well down the right on 38, but Crowder failed to connect with the full-backs fine cross and the half ended goal-less. H-T 0-0
The home team began the second period on the front foot and after a couple of corners forced the save of the game from Rawden. Armstrong fired a neat cross to the far post and Best met it with a perfect header. Looked a goal all the way, but Rawden somehow got down and palmed the effort away - brilliant stop from the stand-in keeper - for a big lad he got down very quickly -- took a bit longer to get back up, mind you!!
Kimberley killed all our fears of a 0-0 on the hour - Ahmed's ball down the left collected by Steve Rudge who squeezed it past Fisher from the edge of the box to give the visitors the lead against the run of play. Not content with being a goal up, the Stags went looking for a second - and Ahmed almost gave it to them - only a good save from Fisher thwarting the midfielder. Kimberley should have concentrated more on their defending though, rather than going for more goals, because they left themselves somewhat exposed at the back, and when Rawden pushed away a long range shot on 65, there were no defenders were on hand to clear, leaving Crowder free to lash the ball home from 8 yards.
Armstrong put the Welfare ahead just four minutes later, and 60 seconds after that, Marsh fired home a free-kick from 20 yards to make it 3-1. Ahmed volleyed the ball into the roof of his own net on 81 to make it 4-1, then substitute Robley fired home the fifth from close range. Marsh added Blidworth's 6th right on full time. F-T 6-1
Strange how a 0-0 can turn into a 6-1 goal feast...Kimberley didn't deserve to be on the wrong end of a thrashing, but after scoring they got a little excited, and instead of concentrating on defending their lead, they tried to increase it.... and this cost them dearly.
Credit to Blidworth though, going a goal down gave them a right good kick up the backside and in the end they were deserving winners.
Referee Mr. Maltby got bit of stick, but seemed to do alright we've seen him a few times now and always seems to do ok -- officiates with a smile on his face. Assistant Ref Mr. Hardy is not a young man, but kept up with play just fine...he can probably run a bit quicker than me!!
Stood with Sutton Town AFC Manager Danny Bryant for the final 20 minutes - had a general chat about the recent events at the Fieldings. Danny was not too forthcoming, but did say that he now has some positive backing and has a few more backroom staff, and he is really looking forward to the rest of the CMLS season.
Tuesday -- Rainworth MW v Brighouse or Forest Town v Sutton Town AFC