Okay, you may have noticed the lack of updates recently, but this has been down to personal circumstances, and I've only been to some local games at grounds I've already covered since my visit to Ossett Albion, hence the lack of posts.
Yesterday was National Non League Day and I was at my local ground for the visit of Handsworth. The new boys from Sheffield had a very good first season in the NCEL last season finishing fourth and were only two points behind Barton who secured the second promotion spot on the last day of the season. They have started off well this season, although strangely all their games before today have been at home. Their record is four wins and their one loss coming against Worksop Parramore who currently lead the league on goal difference.
The game starts in glorious sunshine and there are a good number of visiting fans here. The game goes wrong from the start for Boro' with a controversial sending off after 10 minutes. Handsworth's Lee Hill made a strong run after a through ball, seemingly handling the ball to control it to those of us at this end and along the side, and was then brought down by Pearson. To everyone's astonishment the referee produced a red card, taking no notice of the fact that two Boro' defenders were coming across to cover. Obviously I saw this through Boro tinted glasses but it seemed a harsh decision.
Handsworth took full advantage of their one man advantage and all the action was in the Boro half. The young winger Carter Mpwaya, making his first team debut, was beginning to cause Boro's defence problems and he was to have an impressive game. After creating a number of chances the breakthrough came after 23 minutes for Handsworth when a 20 yard screamer from Lee Hill found the Boro net.
Handsworth were now fully in control of the game with Boro finding it difficult to make any headway going forward and the visitors continued to create chances. The inevitable second goal came from the penalty spot on 32 minutes after Bates was fouled in the box. A cool finish by Cockerhill saw Fenty in the Boro goal go the wrong way to make it 2-0.
The second half saw Boro playing much better and Nathan Emson forced Handsworth keeper Herriott to make a good save from his effort. It looked like Boro may pull one back as they continued to make chances. This good work was undone on 60 minutes when Cockerhill latched onto a clearance from his keeper, shrugged off the Boro defenders and calmly slotted the ball past Fenty to make it 3-0.
Three minutes later the impressive Mpwaya was subbed and got a well deserve round of applause from both sets of fans for his performance. If Boro thought that that was the end of a Handsworth youngster causing them problems then they were mistaken. Alex Torr was his replacement and he was to score the best goal of the game. A Handsworth cross evaded everyone, but Torr picked up the ball out wide on the right. Showing great skill he got himself turned so that he was facing the defender, cut inside and then unleashed a curling shot that finished in the top left hand corner of the goal.
To be fair the scoreline could have been greater as the post was hit on at least two occasions and Miles Fenty pulled off several good saves. The final whistle sounded and Handsworth celebrated a good win. It was a very good performance from Handsworth, they look a good bet to improve on last season and I wish them all the best- apart from the return game of course!
There are more pictures of the action and the fans here.
Grimsby Borough 0-4 Handsworth