Non-League Football: Shaw Lane settle for a point as weather decimates league fixtures once more
For the second successive week, the non-league fixtures were decimated by the weather with all but a handful of games postponed.
In the Evo-Stik League, Sheffield FC’s home clash against Carlton Town and Stocksbridge Park Steels’ trip to Spalding United were frozen out, as was Frickley Athletic’s home clash against Newcastle Town.
Shaw Lane AFC’s Premier Division clash with Witton Albion at Sheerian Park was given the green light, as was Buxton’s trip to Grantham Town.
Shaw Lane took their unbeaten run to six games with a 1-1 draw but new Ducks boss Paul Quinn will no doubt feel disappointed to see two points slip away as Albion grabbed a late equaliser.
In a first half lacking in clear-cut chances, Albion went closest to breaking the deadlock on 35 minutes when Owen Dale brought a superb fingertip save from Jon Stewart in the home goal.
Shaw Lane though missed a glorious chance to take the lead on 71 minutes. Paul Claytons’ header was well saved by the Witton keeper but the rebound fell to Godwin Abadaki - only for him to somehow blaze over from five yards when it looked easier to score.
The Ducks though looked to have won it when they went 1-0 up on 81 minutes as a free-kick dropped into the path of Clayton to tuck the ball away from close range.
However, with two minutes remaining Dale lashed a free-kick past Stewart to earn a share of the spoils which, on reflection, was about the right result.
An early goal from Liam Hardy proved enough to give ten-men Buxton the points from a 1-0 victory at Grantham Town.
The goal that proved to be decisive arrived on 10 minutes. The home goalkeeper raced out to clear a throughball but it fell only as far as Hardy, who from distance steered the ball into an unguarded net.
Hardy, though, didn’t finish the game after receiving a second yellow card with 15 minutes remaining. The home side pushed for an equaliser but Buxton managed to hold out - although they were indebted to a couple smart late saves from keeper Jan Budtz.
It was a imilar story in the Toolstation NCEL where Armthorpe Welfare and Rossington Main’s games were amongst only six to beat the freeze.
Armthorpe will go into the Christmas double header against Hallam in confident mood after romping to their biggest win of the season, beating struggling Retford United 7-2.
Luke Williams tormented Retford’s defence with his pace and the young striker bagged a well deserved hat-trick.
Williams struck the opener on 10 minutes after racing through on goal to confidently steer past ‘keeper Adam Martin before adding a second seven minutes later with a neat finish into the bottom corner after going past his marker.
Retford were back in the game on 24 minutes when Reece Treasure latched onto a ball over the top to fire past Liam Copley.
Four minutes into the second half, though, and Welfare had re-established their two goal cushion. Joe Bucknall picked out Gary Collier’s run and his first time effort gave Martin no chance.
Chris Simpkins made it 4-1 on 53 minutes with a cushioned volley from Craig Aspinall’s lofted ball with Williams putting the game beyond the visitors with the fifth just past the hour, knocking in the rebound to complete his hat-trick after Martin had done well to keep out Mo Selassie’s effort.
Retford kept plugging away, pulling one back on 76 minutes through Callum Littlejohn’s low drive. However, Selassie’s fine individual effort piled on the misery for the visitors before substitute Morgan Brough added a seven two minutes from time after being played in on goal.
Rossington Main slipped to a fourth straight defeat, losing 4-0 at promotion chasing Grimsby Borough with all the goals coming in the first half. However, Rossington will hope for an upturn in fortunes after announcing the appointment of Luke Danysz as their new manager immediately after the game.
Danysz, who has guided Harworth Colliery to the top of the Abacus Lighting Central Midlands League North Division, succeeds Chris Glarvey, who stepped down at the end of November due to family reasons.