Toolstation NCEL Division One - Game 12
26/09/23 - Wombwell Town vs Shirebrook Town
Arguably the biggest game of the season saw league leaders Wombwell Town face 6th place Shirebrook Town - a team who weren't expecting to be at the top vs a team who were considered pre-season favourites by many.
Despite a headed effort off the crossbar by Gavin Allott following Callum Walton's right hand side free-kick, the first half was devoid of many clear cut chances.
Nathan Watson had the best effort for the visitors half way through the open 45, with his effort from the right of the penalty box flashing across goal and wide without causing too many eyebrows.
Both teams lost a player in the final five minutes as a late challenge by Adam Kimberley on Gadhafi Kiwanuka left its mark on the Wellers man. Kiwanuka was ok to continue, however Kimberley twisted his knee in the tackle and was replaced after being shown the yellow card. At the same time Wombwell's Eddie Agnew also departed the game with Brad Kerr replacing him.
Half Time: WTFC 0, STFC 0.
The game came to life six minutes into the second half with Shirebrook coming close from their own right wing free kick. In an almost carbon copy of Allott's effort in the first half the free kick was headed towards goal, only to hit the post and cleared off the line by the feet of keeper Jono Davis.
On the hour Allott was put through into the final 8 yards from a chipped Kane Reece pass, but the marksman with 14 goals already this season could only hit the frame of the goal for a second time with his left footed effort.
The Wellers have become used to the long throw of Owen Sykes creating chances and it was the same on 65 minutes when the opening goal finally came.
The throw itself was cleared back out to Walton who laid off the pass back to Sykes. The left backs delivery into the box was flicked up by Owen Birks who then positioned himself for a follow-up to put the ball over Warren Squires and into the net. It isn't often you get the assist for your own goal!
Five minutes later though and parity was restored. A free kick on the left wing was played deep into the box with Captain Rikki Paylor pushed out of the way by Ash Grayson who headed back across goal for Kieren Watson to volley in after Joe Parkin missed his chance to connect with the ball.
It took just another five minutes for the Wellers to regain the lead as a flick onto Allott in the box saw the striker control the ball past defenders to out-fox the defence and supply to the ball to Reece who was poorly marked by the penalty spot and the first time finish beat Squires.
Shirebrook almost made it 2-2 a few minutes later as Grayson's header at the left hand post was stopped by Davis who then cleared for a corner with his legs before Parkin was able to pounce on the loose ball.
Four minutes into added time the final goal secured the points for the home side as Gadhafi Kiwanuka floated a ball into the box from the left and found the head of Reece who flick put the ball in off the left hand post for his third goal in three games.
The cushion eased the pressure for the remaining four minutes of added time before Wombwell Town could celebrate the win, however no trophies are handed out for beating individual teams in a league game.
Wombwell Town - 3
Owen Birks 65
Kane Reece 75, 90+4
Shirebrook Town - 1
Kieren Watson 70
Player of the Match