by Dave Mackenzie
The reserves made the shortish trip across to Robin Hood country on Saturday and took part in an exciting and enthralling game against Blidworth Welfare.
Blidworth’s pitch looked a picture from the high vantage point of the changing rooms (there are 43 steps down to the pitch). It is a good sized pitch with a lovely lush surface albeit the grass could be doing with a trim.
There was an enforced change before kick off when Bobby Battison pulled up with a groin strain during the warm up. This allowed us to start Mat Fuetardo an ex Chesterfield Academy player as a direct replacement.
The first half was fairly even although we suffered another blow when Elliot Murray landed badly and ‘popped’ his knee. Luckily the team Captain, Gus Williamson was on the bench having himself come back from an ankle injury.
We had the ball in the net twice in the first half but the linesmen deemed players to be offside although the ball had come off the defender in one instance and it would be churlish to claim that it was definitely deliberate.
Towards the end of the half things got a bit tousy and we were on the receiving end of three bookings. The first Surafel Tefera was impeded going passed a player, which meant that the ball ran away and he overstretched, fouling a player.
The second booking was for stupidly running across the ball as a free-kick was being taken, and the third could have been a straight red!!!
Having said that we were on the receiving end of two rash tackles early on that went unbooked!
Tom Smith had to look lively on an occasion to save a header, but apart from that was untroubled.
There wasn’t much goalmouth action at the other end as we were too short with balls over their high backline, or when we did get it right we found their goalkeeper in good form with a couple of really good anticipated clearances.
We were much improved in the second half and had most of the play resulting only in a series of corners and a number of shots that were high or wide and not handsome.
The breakthrough came when a Blidworth defender tried to stop a mazy run by Jude Ayetine, only for the attempted tackle to place the ball neatly to the right of the keeper and just inside the post.
With maybe 12 minutes remaining this should have been the motivation to shut up shop, but unfortunately we lost some of the composure that enabled us to take the lead.
After several attempts to clear failed, Blidworth’s Paul Revuelta took his chance well with a low shot. Worse was to follow as after we failed to clear our lines from a corner and Scott Taylor made a good connection firing the ball low into the right-hand side of our goal.
Blidworth should be congratulated for turning around a game that looked to be out of their grasp after the first goal.
However they may have been helped when the referee stopped a very promising attack to bring back the play to book a player who committed a foul after the pass was made.
Mat received the pass and was unmarked at the left edge of their penalty box).
After the game, the referee said he had to stop the game or he couldn’t book the player – not true. He could have let the move continue and booked the player when the ball next went out of play. We may or may not have scored if advantage had been played but it certainly disadvantaged us!
Next up, we welcome what we hope are a healthy Nottingham side to the Don Amott next Saturday with a 3pm kick off.