Weekend Round Up - Heartbreak, Promotion, Play-Offs and top 10s!
Friday 21st April Golcar 0-0 Emley AFC - NCEL League Cup Semi-Final
A superb crowd of over 1300 (a club record) saw one of the most amazing penalty shoot outs in league cup history this past Friday night as Golcar secured their spot in the league cup final. The two sides could not be separated after 90 minutes and a further 30 minutes proved fruitless in providing us with a winner.
Spot kicks therefore were the entertainment of the evening and they certainly provided the Friday night drama! Emley scored their first and must have felt the confidence grow as Golcar failed to score with their reply. With Emley missing their fourth spot kick the shootout was at a tie with both clubs stepping up with to the occasion to take the penalties into sudden death.
Emley missed their 14th penalty of the night; opening the door for Golcar to book their place in the final. Golcar converted, winning the shoot-out 13-12; a truly remarkable finish to the semi-final!
image @Golcarunited Twitter
Handsworth 3-3 Winterton Rangers - NCEL League Cup Semi-Final
The Ambers hosted promotion seeking Winterton Rangers at Oliver's Mount on Friday with hopes of reaching the League Cup Final at the forefront of their minds. It was the away team who took the led on the 20th minute but Leon Howarth replied ten minutes later as the Ambers grew into the game. It was Handsworth's Mitchell Dunne who netted next giving them the psychological edge as they went into the half time break.
The equaliser came 9 minutes into the second half and the sides could not be separated prompting the game to go to extra time with the scores at 2-2. Walker scored for Winterton just 2 minutes into extra time but Handsworth showed their resilience and their talisman Dunne got them back into contention with a 110th minute equaliser.
Like the other semi-final, this was to go to penalties. Controversy was the order of the night in Sheffield as a converted Handsworth penalty was judged to be a double hit and Winterton converted four of their five spot kicks to advance to the final.
The referee had originally awarded the goal until confronted by a Winterton player and changed his mind deciding it was a double hit. Many spectators were unsure what had occurred contributing to the sour taste that was felt in what otherwise was a superb semi-final.
The controversial penalty can be seen here: https://twitter.com/Handsworth_FC/status/1649676449736015876/video/1
Saturday 22nd April NCEL Play-Off Final
Rossington Main 3-1 Horbury Town
Rossington celebrated promotion after a superb performance in front of a crowd of 1164 at Oxford Street this weekend. Main man and top scorer Ross Hannah started the party early as he converted a 14 minute penalty sparking scenes of jubilation amongst the Main faithful. Grayson struck 5 minutes from half time as Rossington were on course to end their 32 year stay in NCEL Division one having come so close in the play-offs in the previous season.
The hot heads of Horbury lost their composure before the hour mark prompting the referee to brandish four red cards, three for Horbury and one for Main. Despite being down to 8 men Horbury were able to pull one back but it proved to be a conciliation as Rossington netted in the 70th minute confirming their promotion to the NCEL Premier Division.
With crowds on the rise and Ben Hunter building a resilient, battling team that play good football, it will be great to see how far Rosso can go in the Premier Division next season! Congratulations to Rossington Main FC, YOU ARE GOING UP!
image @RMFC1919 Twitter
Northern Premier League East Division
Bridlington Town 1-0 Stocksbridge Park Steels
Stocksbridge Park Steels finished their season in the play-off places after Dunston were unable to capitalise on a seaside defeat for Steels this weekend. Broadley scored in the 29th minute for Bridlington town meaning that Steels finish in 7th this season, booking an away play-off tie against 2nd place Stockton Town this Tuesday night. Hebburn Town and Long Eaton United contest the other semi-final on the same night.
image @parksteelsfc twitter
Sheffield FC 2-1 Stockton Town Stockton will be hoping to keep their promotion hopes alive with a play-off game at home to Stockbridge Park Steels but it was Sheffield FC who provided the blue-print for their Sheffield neighbours on how to beat the league runners up in their final game of the season. Sheffield scored either side of half time to take 12 points from the last 15 available.
This upturn in form by Ryan Cresswell's side has allowed them to go from fighting off relegation to a top ten finish, a remarkable turnaround in a short amount of time. Sheffield have shown what they are capable of in the final games of the seaosn and will no doubt have their eye on the play-off picture next season.