I shouldn’t have said that it was amazing how mild it had been at recent football matches this autumn. My trip to Burnley was wet but Saturday’s visit to Mansfield Woodhouse to see Sherwood Colliery play Knaresborough Town was almost monsoon like. Getting out of the car to avoid puddles was the first hurdle and I made my way through the club house to the ground behind in gloomy light at only just before three in the afternoon. The 50 brave souls were able to take cover under the two covered areas on opposite sides of the pitch.
Sherwood Colliery were reformed in 2008 and they moved into Debdale Park at the same time. Fate took a turn for the better for the club when in 2012 local ex builder Gareth Bull won on Euro millions and he has helped guide the club through successive promotions to now play in the Northern Counties East League Premier Division. However they are developing sustainably and money is not being thrown around for the sake of it. The pitch has been dug out of a hill and is quite flat with a few undulations. The grass is beginning to cut up and there were some mud patches on the sides. The rain just kept falling and the 3.5 degrees felt colder in the breeze.
The opponents Knaresborough Town FC have a long history going back to 1902 and although they have played local Yorkshire Leagues football they are enjoying their highest level of competition having been promoted to The Northern Counties East League Division One in 2012 and to the Premier Division in 2017.
Sherwood Colliery FC 5 Knaresborough Town FC 3
Wood v The Boro Saturday 4th December 2021 Kickoff 3.00 pm
Sherwood dominated the start of the game taking complete control and it was no surprise that they scored first on 20 minutes when Gareth Curtis steadied himself after a blocked shot and shot home from close range. Eight minutes later Ryan Ingram ran onto a through ball and when he reached the penalty spot side footed the ball into the net to the right of the advancing keeper. Another 8 minutes and it was three nil when Will Norcross, who was a skilful dynamo all game, sold the Knaresborough defender a dummy to pass him and pass the ball across the goal for Kiernan Wells to side foot home.
A walk out of the ground to the clubhouse in the pouring rain was greeted by an enormous function room with as many people watching the two TV’s as watching the game. The deccor was plush with a good bar and I ordered my coffee and Chips from a friendly bar staff.
As I sat down for the second half I wandered how many Sherwood would score but Knaresborough seemed to have found some fight and they scored on 57 minutes when Jack Carr scored a classy goal when from the right he turned and kicked the ball across the goalkeeper into the top left hand corner.
Sherwood’s domination was resumed when Charlie Taylor came forward for a corner and dominated the ball to head it into the net. Only three minutes later with the rain still lashing down Carter Widdowson was awarded with a goal after a goalmouth melee which I thought had been helped in by a Knaresborough defender.
Knaresborough had made some substitutions and the rain stopped as they suddenly took control and scored two goals in the last 4 minutes. in fact I felt that if there would have been another 10 minutes they may well have drawn the game. Both goals were scored by Mitchel Hamilton the first following a mistake by the Sherwood keeper and the second right at the end of play.
It was great that there were eight goals as it kept you well entertained in the miserable conditions.
The chips were a good quantity, hot, large, crispy and tasty with a score of 69.