For the third week weather conditions played havoc with the Baris North Midlands’ Under 19 League’s programme.
Only one fixture survived – that on Monday (Dec 10) when Staveley drew 1-1 at home with Worksop.
Both sides are neck and neck in Division One and added to that, both teams have well proven free scoring attacks with equally mean defences.
In the event they cancelled each other out, so maybe a draw was predictable! James Whitfield had put the home side ahead on the stroke of half time but Worksop’s Reece Twells got a deserved equaliser just after the hour with a penalty.
On a difficult frozen pitch both sides played some good football without creating too many clear cut chances but as the final few minutes ticked away Worksop almost took all three points with a number of near misses.
Both sides have championship aspirations so will have hoped for better, but the result keeps them both in contention with games in hand.
Reece Twells’ goal keeps him in third place in the goal scorers charts – he has 10 to date this campaign.
Other Division One hot shots are: Retford’s Reece Thompson – leading the pack with a massive eighteen and in second place Sheffield’s Liam Bryan with 13.
Staveley’s scorer on Monday, James Whitfield, is also in the top 10 with six goals to date.
In Division Two the goal scorer’s list is headed by Ollerton’s Lewis English. Lewis is comfortably in the lead with 13 strikes and is followed by Daine McGraine (Harworth) on nine, Stefan Beckham (Parkgate) on eight and Jack Hodson (Basford) also on eight.
The game at Inkersall Road highlighted the basic rule of football – score more goals than the opposition and you win games – and you win championships.
Staveley have a mean defence and a lively forward line. They’ve conceded only eight to date – the lowest in the Division - and their 27 goals scored means that they are up with the front runners.
Put these two statistics together and it must give the Inkersall Road management reason for optimism.
There will be a similar optimism at Worskop – their 26 goals puts them up with the top scorers and a very creditable 11 conceded means they don’t throw goals and points away easily. Both clubs have a number of games in hand on the top bunch – so watch out Sheffield and Retford!
In Division Two, Basford’s 29 goals for and only 6 against and Ollerton’s 31 for and 9 against means they are head and shoulders above everyone else – and maybe this fact alone will determine where the championship eventually lands.
But, having said that, there’s a long way to go and everything to play for.
The Christmas break means that every club will be re-charging its batteries ready to renew the challenge in January in what is developing into the closest competition for several years.
Any team in either division can still reasonably think that if they put a little run together they can be in with a chance as the end of the season approaches, meaning there’s lots to look forward to in the New Year!