In a game which was an absolute credit to Hallam, Winterton Rangers and Toolstation NCEL Division One, the Countrymen edged into the Play-Off places last night with a 4-3 win over the men from North Lincolnshire after a fantastic game of football at Sandygate-and the Hallam Management trio were understandably thrilled by the outcome in a game watched by Bootiful Game writer Colin Muncie.
It was end to end stuff from the first whistle in front of the 60-strong crowd at the World’s Oldest Football Ground, with both sides hitting the woodwork in a frantic opening period. Ben Thornton broke the deadlock for the home side after 31 minutes, but within 5 minutes, Luke Anderson had turned the game on its head (33 and 36 minutes), his second goal an absolute top-drawer left foot volley. Mitch Dunne placed home an equaliser for Hallam after 38 minutes to send the crowd off to Anne’s tea bar with plenty to talk about, including a couple of astonishing saves from Winterton’s Dale Coy.
The second half was pretty much like the first, only more so, and Luke Anderson put Rangers ahead five minutes into that second period to complete a stunning hat-trick. Jake Currie levelled from the spot just before the hour mark after Dunne was brought down in the box and Currie showed great calm to find the left hand corner after an extended delay whilst the referee resolved a slight altercation between both groups of players. There were more outstanding saves from both goalkeepers as the two promotion contenders went for a winner; and right on time, Thornton was on hand to score from close range to clinch the three points for Hallam, who go sixth ahead of Rangers on goal difference. It really was tremendous entertainment in S10.
Joint Manager Scott Bates told the Bootiful game “We’re really pleased with the result against a very good Winterton team. It was absolutely no surprise given their league position. We’re so pleased with how our players worked tirelessly, but we’ll stay grounded and move onto Saturday. The lads were buzzing and deservedly so; they all put a good hard shift in”.
“I’m really pleased for them at the minute -they have the bit between their teeth”.
Joint Manager Steven Whitehead thought the crowd got full value for the entrance fee “An absolutely great advertisement for our Division. They came to win, and I thought the game was played in the right way. On a night where it could have gone either way we came out on top, although both their keeper and ours made great saves in the game”.
“On to the next one now and Knaresborough. Bring on Saturday!”
As you’d expect, Dean Bamforth, Hallam’s Assistant Manager, paid a generous tribute to Rob Watson’s team. “What an advert for the league! I thought both teams applied themselves superbly and credit to Rob and his side for playing a huge part in a fantastic game. We’re obviously delighted with the result but the character our lot have shown was immense. Both goalkeepers were outstanding as well”.
“We’ve a long way to go and we’ll look no further than Saturday at the minute.”
Although he was frustrated by the outcome, Winterton Manager Rob Watson was in no doubt about the massive contribution his side had made to a captivating encounter. He told the Bootiful Game “I’m disappointed with the result but not the performance. The lads have had a long run of games in a short time and I feel that made the difference in the end. Credit to Hallam; it was a difficult game for both sides. Both sides battled and no one wanted a point”.
Looking at the bigger picture, Rob feels that his side still have a big shot at the Play-Offs “ We have a tough game Saturday away at Emley and it’s another must win game. Having looked at other sides’ run- ins, I still believe that any team in the top nine could pinch a spot”.
“Points will still be lost and won in the remaining games of the season”.