Competition : East Midlands counties League Cup 1/4 final
Venue: The Stag Ground, Kimberley, Notts
Admission: £3.00 concession
Attendance : 68
Kimberley: Bodkin (c), Wrenn, Webster, Dale, Hogg, Williams, Morley, Simmons, Hassall, Smith, Carlile. Subs: Moran, Stevenson, Campbell, Lench, Turner
Dunkirk: Mitchell, Wilcox, Rawdon, Gowing, Moore, Burton, Smithson, Maddison, Lang, Chaplin, Fairclough. Subs: Berridge, Norris, Clark, Robinson.
This game was postponed last week after local Referee Tom Beard gave the pitch the thumbs down. A midday inspection was requested before the re-scheduled game, and on this occasion Mr. Beard deemed the pitch playable.
The pitch was very heavy in places, but I have seen worse recently, and as the game progressed the decision to give the go ahead appeared to be spot on. Maybe after the game was over, Kimberley would think otherwise!!
The first chance of the game fell to Dunkirk’s Tom Maddison in just the second minute, but his effort was well saved by Welfare keeper Shaun Bodkin. Felix Hogg almost conceded on own goal soon after, his inadvertent deflection wrong footing Bodkin but luckily for Hogg the ball flew past the outside of the post.
Paris Simmons had the home team’s first real chance on 20, but Liam Mitchell in the Dunkirk goal made a terrific save to keep out the effort and keep the scores level.
BEN GOWING opened the scoring for the visitors three minutes later, lifting the ball over the outstretched arms of Bodkin from the corner of the box. Ben Fairclough went over in the penalty area on the half hour mark and Referee Mr. Thomas awarded a penalty – looked to be a “soft one” as they say, and when Bodkin dived to his right to save Maddison’s kick, it seemed like justice had been served. H-T 0-1
Another “soft” penalty was given within five minutes of the restart, this time to the home team. Dunkirk’s Will Rawdon appeared to have been pushed in the back by Kimberley’s Adam Morley, but when both players fell to the ground, it was adjudged that Rawdon was actually the culprit and the penalty given. ADAM HASSALL made no mistake from the spot and brought the dreaded extra-time to mind for the first time, even though there was a long way to go before the final whistle.
As it transpired, Dunkirk ought to have put this game to rest before the 90 minutes were up – they had chance after chance, but were guilty of some profligate “finishing” and this, along with some superb saves from Bodkin, saw the game end with the teams level. F-T 1-1
With the temperature hovering around freezing, extra-time was not welcome – brass monkey weather it really was…..
Seven minutes into the first period of extra-time, Dunkirk took the lead through sub ROB NORRIS. A disputed throw in was taken by Lewis Wilcox to Gowing, and the no. 4 fired across the goal to the far stick where Norris was on hand to fire home. H-T 1-2
Kimberley began the final 15 minute period on the front foot, posing the visitors’ defence plenty of problems, but finding the imposing Mitchell not only on top form, but also in super slow motion mode. Every trick in the book was used by the experienced Dunkirk stopper to use up time, and even a caution failed to inject any hurry into the big man.
Dunkirk wrapped the game up with two minutes remaining – Kimberley were over committed up front, and when OLIVER CLARK rounded his marker, he found room to fire low into the bottom corner, thus ending the contest. F-T 1-3
Spent the game in the company of Macca, Pete Chappell and Tony Squires, although Mr. Chappell failed to complete the 120 minutes due to the fact he is a bit nesh…..having said that, it was a bit Baltic at the Stag, and he wasn’t the only spectator who didn’t stay for the duration.