It was a close run thing in the NCEL League Cup Third Round tie in New Crofton last night – but when all the dust had settled, Premier Division Handsworth Parramore edged past Division One Nostell Miners Welfare by 4-3 to reach the next round; and both parties saw plenty to please them during a frantic ninety minutes, writes Colin Muncie.
A crowd of 62 saw the home side lead 2-1 t the break. Joe Wood gave Nostell a fifteenth minute advantage, only to see Ollie Fearon equalise almost at once, but a Danny Critchlow penalty after 22 minutes restored the host’s lead. Into the second half, and Jack Owen put Nostell 3-1 up-but Handsworth were by no means finished, and Jake Currie (68 and 75, penalty) and Fearon again (79 minutes) took the Ambers through.
Handsworth Interim Joint Player Manager Steve Istead told TBG that he and colleague Jon Froggatt travelled home with mixed emotions. “It’s always nice to win and to come back from 3-1 down, as it shows good character,” Steve told us. “However – in the first half especially – some of the lads were nowhere near the standards we expect. We gifted them goals with sloppiness and poor decisions – and we can’t afford to do that week in and week out. However in spells we showed real quality – and looked dangerous going forward.”
Steve is optimistic that the injury and availability crisis – which impacted seriously on previous Manager, Jas Colliver’s selection options – are easing. “We will have some bodies coming in over the next couple of weeks which will help our injury crisis,” he reported. “With the new faces and lads returning from injury, it’s going to be great to have some healthy competition for places, something that we haven’t really had since myself and Jon took over.”
Nostell’s Joint Manager, Jason Dodsworth felt his side should have advanced on the night. “I think we let them off the hook,” he told TBG. “I can’t do anything but praise my players tonight, even though we lost the game. We were cruising at 3-1 up and missed a penalty: then an uncharacteristic mistake from our ‘keeper Gary Stevens gifted them a goal, and we were under pressure. Full credit to Handsworth – they took their chances and got the win.”
Jason was delighted by the display from some of his younger charges last evening. “We had really positive performances from the lads from our Under-21’s,” Jason pointed out, “and on another day we might have won that game.”
“All the best to Jon and Steve at Handsworth.”