It was a massive afternoon at the Victoria Pleasure Grounds yesterday; and when the dust had settled, the Vikings of Goole AFC had retained their Premier Division status at the expense of Hall Road Rangers. A massive crowd watched the game, and the Bootiful Game sent roving reporter and pie connoisseur Steve Hewitt to Marcus Street to cover the relegation decider. Here’s Steve’s report… (Main photograph by Darren Thompson)
Northern Counties East League Premier Division 27th April 2019.
Goole AFC 2 ( Carl Stewart 19, 69)
Hall Road Rangers 1 ( Josh Ward 33)
On an emotional day Goole secured their status in the top flight of the Northern Counties East League in front of a bumper crowd of 384. There was no admission charge to the game either, with the club accepting a donation instead, a nice gesture.
The wet and windy conditions at the start saw both sides start off nervously and with so much depending on the outcome, the tension could be felt around the ground.
As time passed the game became like a cup-tie and on 19 minutes Goole took the lead. A ball in to the penalty area found Carl Stewart who scored from inside the six-yard box.
At this stage Goole started to have more of the possession and looked in control. Hall Road Rangers didn’t sit back and their patience was rewarded on 33 minutes. Josh Ward shot from 20 yards and the ball went in via the underside of the crossbar. On the stroke of half-time another long-range effort from Carl Stewart was well saved by Graeme Anderson in the visitors’ goal.
The second-half saw Hall Road Rangers start off well and James Nichols had a chance on 48 minutes, but after a fine run into the penalty area his shot was off target. He also had a similar chance on 60 minutes, but his shot was again wide of the goal. With other scores filtering through, it became obvious that a victory was needed for Goole to stay up.
With 69 minutes played the home fans were rewarded for all their vocal support. Carl Stewart ran onto a through ball and slotted the ball home. Goole still pressed forward looking for another goal without success. In stoppage time, Josh Ward had an opportunity to spoil the party but his shot was well wide.
The final whistle signalled scenes of delight from the home crowd.