Having been beaten by storm Dennis last weekend I was set to see Mansfield Hosiery Mills FC play at Ashland Rovers FC but again heavy rain saw the game postponed after a Saturday morning pitch inspection. So the nearest game that I could guarantee being on was Worksop Town v Sutton Coldfield Town in the Bet Victor Northern Premier South East Division League.
Worksop Town 0 Sutton Coldfield 1
Dark Grey clouds kept skipping by on a cold windy day and the pitch looked good considering the recent terrible weather, perhaps the clue is in the address, sandy Lane.
Worksop lost the toss and played with the wind in the first half and immediately started to dominate the game forcing a string of corners. This didn’t stop Sutton from having goal scoring chances and their more physical play kept them equal to the task.
However it was Worksop who came nearest to scoring as from a breakaway the ball was smashed against the crossbar when a goal looked more likely. Both teams huffed and puffed but could not find the net and the half ended equal,
Sutton now had the wind advantage in the second half and their dominance lead to Edwin Ahenkorah floating a great cross over the advancing keeper to give Ben Usher-Shipway the chance to volley the ball into the net for a 1 nil lead.
On 59 minutes the game changed when James Mutton was sent off for a high tackle on Mathew Sykes. From the sending off Worksop pushed forward taking advantage of their extra man and Sutton appealed vigorously to the referee at every foul and tackle, Despite the onslaught Sutton held out for a deserved win but Worksop should have made more of their opportunities.
The bigger battle.
Worksop now have a bigger battle to win it having been revealed that the club has a £60000 debt to finance that needs finding by the end of February. The owner of the ground, Sandy Lane, Peter Whitehead has covered half of this but has asked the club and fans to find the other £30000. Peter Whitehead has promised to take over the club when the money is raised and he has assured everyone that he has plans and finances in place to secure the future. Peters undoubted business knowledge will be well used if the money can be found.
The players and other staff have taken pay cuts and by the start of Saturdays game £23707.81 had been raised. It does not help that Worksop now have a run of away games that means there will be no football at home for 6 weeks cutting off a vital income stream. The 5th biggest home crowd of the season of 377 seemed hopeful of success and contributed to a bucket collection as you entered the ground.
It would be sad to see Worksop Town reputed to be the 4th oldest club in the country go out of business. There is still time to contribute to the fund via their just giving site https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/worksoptown.
Good luck Worksop Town.
With regards my chip league I was unable to take a picture of them as a phone malfunction froze my camera.
The chips were plentiful, thin, hot, white rather than golden but a creditable score of 68.
N,B, With regards Worksop Town being the 4th oldest club in the country this is disputed by Martin Wesby in his excellent ‘A History of Sheffield Football 1857-1889’. A face off between Martin and Worksop’s club historian could be a match that fans would like to see and raise some much needed funds.
Extra. Worksop Town announced on February 28th that they had reached their target. Amazing effort, another new dawn beckons.