Awsworth Villa 1-3 Coalville Town XI 12 noon kick-off
Arived at the Shilo just as the teams were entering the playing area. I know all pitches should look good pre-season, but the very pleasant surroundings compliment the superb playing surface no end!
The visitors went back in front with two to play before the break, their number 2 charging down the line before cutting into the box and firing at goal. The Villa keeper did well to block the initial effort, but couldn't hold on and the no.2 ensured ball ended up in the net. H-T 1-2
Coalville no. 10 Mitch Woodbine should have increased Town's lead on 55, but his piledriver from 12 yards crashed onto bar and flew into the woods behind the goal. Took the Villa officials quite a while to find the ball - it must have gone a long way - it was hit that hard!
Woodbine did get on the scoresheet on 61. He collected the ball 25 yards from goal before dancing his way clear of challenges before firing a fierce, low shot just inside the far post. The keeper made a valiant effort to dive and try and get to the ball, but it was superbly placed and he really had no chance. F-T 1-3
Craig Langton's first PSF of the season - very easy afternoon!
Blidworth Welfare 2-3 Newark Town 3:00pm kick-off
Although I was a Blidworth last week, re-visits don't bother me in the slightest, and this fixture gave me a chance to meet up with good friend Richard Lane (formerly "the Wanderer", latterly Newark Town and CMFL press officer).
Julian Joachim was another reason for me to visit the Welfare again - the former Aston Villa star has signed for Newark for 2016-17 season, and even if he only plays an hour in any game, he will be a massive influence, as we witnessed in this game. Even at 41 this is a top, top player.....
The Welfare ground is looking in good fettle, and so is the Blidworth away strip - wow - very fluorescent!!! We had to wait only 11 minutes for JJ to show his class - racing down the line cutting inside before hitting the ball with the outside of his right boot straight to the far post, where Dominic Swingler was waiting to head home one of the easiest chances he will ever get.
Another cross in the 40th minute was converted by the visitors - this time a left side corner nodded home, again at the far stick, by Jamie Lloyd. Newark skipper Luke Parsons tried his luck with a hammer shot from 30 yards as half-time loomed, the effort was only just off target, fizzing past the upright. H-T 0-2
Lloyd converts at the far stick
Joachim ought to have done better when he was gifted the ball by a Welfare defender on 63, but although his shot was on target, it was also straight at the keeper who saved well. Costly miss because just a couple of minutes later, Blidworth were back in the game when Max Curzon took full advantage of some hesitant defending, running into the box before firing past the Newark keeper.
Remember "spot the ball"? Location revealed below
The scores were level on 79 - Tom Blainey breaking a sloppy off-side trap and firing home at the near post. The home team were unable to stay level though - and it was another header, this time superb, towering 90th minute Parson effort from a right wing corner that did for them. F-T 2-3
Great game - cracking afternoon out all in all ! Spent £2, saw two games and nine goals. Looking forward to the coming week - Selston at Teversal, Ilkeston at Carlton and South Normanton Athletic entertain Belper Town......oh yes - spot the ball - there you go...