Espial 2-3 Worksop Town U19s
Tigers Claw Back From Behind In Heated Contest
An eventful tie was played out at the Chesterfield Panther Rugby Club. Goals, penalty misses, red cards, fights. This game had it all!
Espial opened the scoring three minutes into the game. Tom Alcock managed to poke the ball past the keeper as miscommunication between Jake Woodward and Blake Blythe allowed the Espial striker to do so. Matters got worse for the Tigers as Captain Blythe had to come off as he jarred his knee in the build up to the goal.
Due to the low amount of players that the Tigers had at their disposal for this game, usual keeper Callum Fielding was played up front and was one of the standout players in the fixture. He almost converted Luke Smith’s free-kick but Fielding saw his header loop just over the bar.
Luke Smith was the catalyst to all the Tigers’ attacks. He cut open the Espial backline with a beautiful ball through to Igor Mlynarski who advanced towards goal before seeing his shot parried wide by Ethan Marsh.
On twenty-five minutes, Town failed to equalise from the spot. Callum Clark was dismissed for saving Luke Blacks certain goal with his hand on the line. Will Sutton stepped up but curled his effort wide of the target.
Mlynarski was denied once again minutes later. Chad Wooton sent a perfectly weighted ball over the top for Mlynarski to latch on to. Igor’s first touch set himself up for a half-volley which he executed perfectly but saw his attempt saved by the feet of Marsh.
The Tigers equalised on the half hour mark. Luke Black sent in an accurate cross into the middle for Callum Fielding who glanced his header beyond the reach of Marsh.
Kiyan Morris almost restored Espial’s one goal lead moments after the Tigers levelled. Chad Wooton headed Stewart’s corner out to only Morris who volleyed it just inches wide of the post.
Fielding almost bagged his brace as the first half was coming to a close. Mlynarski slotted in Black down the wing, Luke Black out-paced Jepson before floating the ball into the box for Fielding who saw his header land straight into the keepers hands.
The half-time whistle went with both sides tied at 1-1.
The second half exploded with action. Worksop were awarded another penalty four minutes after the break. Black toyed with his marker before sharply turning into the box but was brought down by Jepson. Black took the spot-kick but saw his effort pushed wide by Marsh.
Town should have taken the lead in the fifty-fourth minute of the game. Fielding weaved his way into the box before unselfishly squaring the ball for Black. The ball bobbled up as it reached Black as he hit his shot from close range over the bar.
Several minutes later, Fielding almost put the Tigers ahead. Fielding picked up Smiths through-ball and burst towards goal. He fired a thunderous shot towards the top corner that unfortunately just went wide of the upright.
Just after the hour mark, Espial retook the lead. Kiyan Morris darted down the left before whipping in a ball that went unchallenged until Harry James rocketed his shot into the far corner of the net.
Worksop almost instantly evened the game up. Will Sutton cut across his marker and swung in a ball towards the back stick where Luke Smith nodded the ball over the bar.
Both teams then had a player dismissed each with fifteen minutes of normal time remaining. Kiyan Morris picked up the ball which had gone out for a throw in to delay Worksop from restarting play. Larder went to get it off the Espial winger but Morris threw the ball into Kieran’s face which started a brawl. When things calmed down, the referee sent Luke Black and Morris off for violent conduct.
The Tigers had two good chances to score. Firstly, Mlynarski cut in from the right and curled an effort that looked to be nestling into the top corner however Ethan Marsh somehow managed to tip the shot over the bar. From the resulting corner, Kieran Larder saw his volley land on the roof of the net.
Worksop’s pressure paid off as in the eighty-eighth minute they equalised in spectacular fashion. Sol Williams found himself in acres of space just inside the oppositions half. Williams was about to pump it into the box until he took a touch and hammered the ball into the top right corner from thirty yards out.
Jake Woodward then made a fine save to keep Worksop in the tie. Harry James smashed a shot goal-wards but Woodward dove and pushed it over with his fingertips.
Worksop won the game in the second minute of injury time. Smith turned his marker and fired towards goal but again the keeper saved it with his feet. The ball deflected out to Igor on the edge of the box who set himself before driving the ball towards goal which took a slight deflection on its way in.
The referee brought proceedings to an end to give Worksop Town the three points they deserved.
STAR MAN: Ben Cook
Most of the plaudits will go to our attacking outlet however I’m going to give it to centre-half Ben Cook. Cook was a rock at the back, he won everything in the air and when in possession of the ball he put his foot on it and opted to play it out from the back other than hoof it upfield showing great composure. He also made some vital challenges to keep out Espial at times, especially at the end as he was needed to stop the home side countering as they looked to win the game which they did.
Attendance: Approximately 30
Goals: Alcock (3’), James (62’); Fielding (31’), Williams (88’), Mlynarski (90+2’)
Lineup: Woodward, Williams, Larder, Boyd (Blakemore), Blythe (Wooton), Cook, Sutton, Smith, Black, Fielding, Mlynarski