Sunday, 13 November 2011

Frome our Correspondent in Barwell

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Saturday 12 November 2011 at Kirkby Road
Barwell 3 Frome Town 1
Southern Premier League (Step 3)
I am visiting Tamworth for family reasons and this is the nearest step 3 game for me today.  #435 on the lifetime list.
This match in one sentence
Great first-half finishing from Barwell won them this match between two otherwise well-matched sides.
So what?
Barwell leapfrog Frome in mid-table on goal difference, but the latter still have a game in hand.
The drama unfolds
Barwell’s Liam Daly clearly had not read the programme editoral (see below) and unleashed a tirade of abuse at the lino within the first minute.  My scene-setter clip is taken from behind the Barwell goalmouth as Frome had the better of the early exchanges.  They used their long-throw weapon courtesy of full-back Josh Brigham.  At the end of the match they could reflect that they used it about 20 times and it got them nothing today.  However, Barwell’s management were not happy with their early defending.  Barwell are in the yellow-and-green.

Liam Castle of Barwell had been the busier keeper at this point.  His opposite number Darren Chitty had merely had to watch a Jamie Towers cross-shot flash wide.  After 13 minutes, and somewhat against the run of play, Barwell took the lead.  A tackle was won in midfield (possibly Scott Hadland?) and the ball tenaciously prodded from a prone position to Jai Stanley.  He contrived a neat pass to Nigel Julien who lashed in a left-foot strike off the right-hand post.  1-0

They added a second on the break two minutes later.  Luke Barlone’s pass to Towers gave him time to finish with a low placed shot.  2-0

Frome were still in the game, and threatening to score themselves, but this was not their day.  On the half-hour mark, Julien and Barlone combined down the right flank, and a magnificent ball across arrived in the penalty area perfectly for Towers, arriving at speed, and he buried a first-time shot into the top corner for the goal of the day.  3-0

The visitors did get one back before the interval as Luke Ballinger smashed a swerving shot into the net after the ball reached him in plenty of space.  3-1 at half-time

Frome may have been wondering whether the footballing gods (if any) had deserted them – and any doubts were removed by the events of the 51st minute.  Liam Daly brought down Matt Smith but Castle blocked the resulting penalty, taken by Brigham.  The rebound fell to Frome’s Ricky Hulbert but it seemed to hit him rather than him hitting it, and it went wide.  That moment could have changed the game.

Liam Castle saves Josh Brigham's penalty kick.
On the hour mark, Frome’s Ben Thomson shot over from a good chance and thoughts of what-might-have-been went through our collective consciousness.  Well, mine, anyway.  After 72 minutes, a tussle between Frome’s Smith and Barwell’s Barlone led to a yellow card for the former.  One can only assume that the ref did not see or chose to ignore the slight kick of retaliation.  It was no more than the sort of thing that has got Beckham and Rooney into trouble in the past, but Barlone was lucky today in my opinion.

The visitors continued to bombard the home penalty area with throws and corners, as shown in these late clips.  Liam Daly had plenty to do defensively.  The home side could not keep the ball and Julien in particular came in for stick from the home supporters, many of whom were receiving incoming messages about the late drama in the Hinckley v Tamworth FA cup tie a few miles down the road.  However, Barwell clung on for a good win. Final Score 3-1

Jamie Towers (Barwell) and an honourable mention for his captain Scott Hadland, whose presence and leadership set the tone for Barwell today.
A snippet from the programme
Ooops - mud spattering of programme in contravention of Hopper Regulations.  Sorry.
From the editorial … I think someone is either mixing up condone and condemn or couldn’t bear to type not in the opening sentence!  Barwell had lost 4-2 at Ossett Town last week in the FA Trophy, finishing the game with eight men (one straight red and two pairs of yellows) plus a red card for the coach.

“Firstly as a club we must condone the actions of various personnel at last weekend’s FA Trophy fixture at Ossett Town.  If we are to progress as a club/team we must endeavour in making sure we give ourselves the best opportunity in achieving that especially on the field of play with 11 men starting and finishing the game.  I along with all the others who watched the game are fully aware that various decisions made were at times not in our favour but most of us have experienced this before and should know how to deal with it!  A player and management meeting took place on Tuesday evening where the above had been discussed.”
What I learned today
Frome Town goalscorer Luke Ballinger is the current England Futsal captain and all-time leading English goalscorer in that form of the game.  Futsal is an indoor five-a-side version of the game but with touchlines rather than boards.  It is played with a smaller ball and the emphasis is on skill and passing.  The –sal in the name comes from the same linguistic roots as salon (and saloon), i.e. room or hall.
What Next?
Watch the @GrahamYapp Twitter feed for announcements!

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