League Cup Preliminary Round
16/08/22 - North Gawber Colliery vs Wombwell Town
The League Cup Preliminary Round gave the newly promoted Wellers a taste of what to expect in the forthcoming CSL Premier League as they travelled to long established side North Gawber.
An incredibly dry pitch probably didn't suit either team's style of play and it resulted in a lot of long balls and up in the air challenges, which the home side faired better in given their overall height advantage.
A long range effort early in the game gave debut keeper Lewis French the simple task of collecting the ball. The former Emley keeper not really troubled.
Another debutante, Luke Micklethwaite, saw his first game cut short after 15 minutes when his own tackle to clear the ball saw the former Athersley Rec midfielder in a lot of pain with a foot injury.
The best chance of the opening exchanges fell to Jordan Cooper on 19 minutes after the ball fell behind him following a mis-clearance by Lewis Elsworth which bounced off keeper Sam Muxlow. Cooper tried an audacious back heel flick, but Muxlow was able to smother the ball.
Two minutes later and captain Eddie Agnew broke free down the left win and his shot just inside the area could only find the side netting.
The only other effort of note in the first half saw Will Harling drill the ball wide from outside the area just as the clock ticked to 45 minutes.
Half Time: NGC 0, WTFC 0..
North Gawber seemed to find an extra gear in the final third as the game progressed and made hopeful shouts for a penalty on 56 minutes, which were waved away by referee Carl Gibson. The Wellers played on and at the other end Jordan Cooper could only shoot wide on the counter attack.
On 58 minutes the substitute for Micklethwaite, Bailey Wilson, also had to be replaced due to injury, so Joe Griggs came on to make his debut.
With pressure mounting on the Wellers defence French was forced into a save on 65 minutes with a shot from the left wing, and the parried effort was tucked in at close range with the offside flag being raised immediately.
A minute later and North Gawber's Kai Hancock, who made a brief appearance for the Wellers during the short lived 2020/21 season, was booked for a high challenge on Jordan Cooper, which could have resulted in a straight red on another day.
With ten minutes to go the deadlock was broken as Luke Marsden fired in a magnificent shot from outside the area, which no keeper would be able to save.
It looked as though the Wellers would not progress to the first round, but with three minutes to go the ball was worked down the left and found Jordan Cooper in the area and able to play the ball across goal for substitute Joe Griggs to smash into the net at the far post to equalise.
A late North Gawber free kick was fired wide to deny them a late winning goal and the game went to penalties.
The home side missed their first, second and fourth penalty with the woodwork being struck twice and French saving the second, while the Wellers saw Joe Griggs and Jordan Cooper score either side of Eddie Agnew's saved effort. Will Harling then had his penalty saved, but Gareth McDermott scored the decisive penalty to take Wombwell Town through.
North Gawber Colliery 1
(L. Marsden, 80)
Wombwell Town 1
(J. Griggs, 87)
Wombwell Town win 3-2 on penalties
1. Lewis French
2. Jake Padgett
3. Gareth McDermott
4. Will Harling
5. James Copley
6. Alf Thompson
7. Luke Micklethwaite
8. Brodie Cooper
9. Eddie Agnew (Captain)
10. Jordan Cooper
11. Luke Haslam
12. Bailey Wilson (Micklethwaite, 15)
14. Joe Griggs (Wilson, 58)
15. Josh Glynn
16. Josh Dixon
17. Samir Arrian
Wellers Man of the Match