There are not enough superlatives to do Dinnington’s epic result and team performance in the quarter finals of the league trophy justice. From the first to the last kick every player in a Dinnington shirt worked incredibly hard but it was the closest and hardest earned of victories.
Due to a water logged pitch at Herringthorpe the match was switched to Rainbow Forge School. Dinnington were missing Reece Peters, Sam Eyong and James Procter so they could only field 11 players and a reshuffled midfield with Owen Williamson playing at centre midfield and Rowan Hill just behind the lone striker jordan voyse in a 4-4-1-1 formation.
Despite a couple of early corners Dinnington went behind early in the game as Beighton’s number 9 burst past Connor Beighton and Jack Littlewood and finished low into the bottom corner, 0-1.
But within minutes Dinnington were level, Louis Hellwell picked up the ball in midfield and his through ball found jordan voyse on the right and he chipped the on rushing goal keeper, 1-1. jordan voyse wasn’t finished though, as he burst down the right wing and delivered an inch perfect cross low across the box to the far post where Declan Stevens was on hand to give Dinnington the lead, 2-1.
It wasn’t all one way traffic and Connor Beighton had to be at his best to slide tackle and prevent a Beighton counter attack whilst Matt Kriel had to make the first of two challenges on a Beighton attacker to protect Dinnington’s slender lead.
It was end to end stuff with both teams going for the win and Rowan Hill was desperately unlucky not to increase Dinnington’s lead from a Declan Stevens corner on the right but his far post header was blocked by the Beighton keeper and as it came back out to him his follow up shot was somehow also saved and deflected over the bar. Louis Hellewell flashed a shot from distance just wide of the post but at the other end Tapi Mandishona had to slide in bravely to block a shot and with nothing between the teams they went in at half time 2-1.
Beighton came out strongly after half time and Dinnington were temporarily down to 10 men when Tapi Mandishona accidentally trod on Jordan’s Voyse’s hand as they went in for a tackle but fortunately he was able to continue after receiving treatment. But Beighton’s early pressure paid off as they equalised with the ball bundled into the far post to level the score, 2-2. A minute later Beighton took the lead from a long ball over the top, 2-3.
Dinnington could easily have let their heads drop but 10mins from time they were back in the game. Rowan Hill splayed the ball out wide to Declan Stevens and he scored his second and Dinnington’s 3rd to level the scores 3-3 which took the game into extra time.
Bruised, bloodied and exhausted the team somehow found the energy for extra time but there was nothing between the teams in the first half of extra time. Alex Elian and Connor Beighton had to be strong to deny another Beighton attack and as the ball broke Jack Littlewood was on hand to clear but neither team could break the deadlock.
In the 2nd half of extra time Dinnington were dealt an early set back as Daniel Burke was injured and had to go off reducing the team to 10 men. Owen Williamson was working tirelessly in the middle of the park and from a Beighton corner leapt highest to head the ball clear and out for a corner. But it was Dinnington who retook the lead and it was the same partnership again Rowan Hill sending Declan Stevens through on goal and he cut inside and shot to claim his 4th hat trick of the season, 4-3.
Dinnington were literally throwing their bodies on the line as Beighton continued to throw everything at them and another goal mouth scramble saw Connor Beighton scramble the ball clear and from another corner Jack Littlewood blocked a shot on the line which Matt Kriel was able to smother. But 2mins from time Beighton got their equaliser as the ball was crossed back into the box and Matt Kriel was powerless to stop a free header, 4-4 but Dinnington hung on to take the game to penalties.
Dinnington won the toss and opted to take the first penalty. Alex Elian volunteered to go first but his well struck penalty was saved by the Beighton keeper. Matt Kriel who apparently “doesn’t do penalties” faced his first penalty and with a touch of the Bruce Grobbelaars about him it had the desired effect to put the Beighton penalty taker off and he shot wide 0-0. Declan Stevens was up next but his low shot was saved by the keeper and the next Beighton penalty was scored, 0-1. Rowan Hill up 3rd scored his but Beighton also scored theirs to lead the shoot-out 1-2. Louis Hellewell confidently dispatched his penalty into the top right corner and the Beighton penalty was shot over the bar to level the shootout at 2-2. The pressure was now on Dinnington’s 5th penalty taker Owen Williamson but he didn’t show any nerves as he nonchalantly hammered his penalty into the top left hand corner. The shootout was now 3-2 to Dinnington and they knew if the next Beighton penalty was missed or saved they would be through. As the penalty was struck Matt “I don’t do penalties” Kriel dived low to his left to save the penalty and send Dinnington into the semi-final of the league trophy for the first time.
You don’t always get what you want in football but Dinnington’s victory was not lucky it was thoroughly deserved. Every player played their part, what a game, what a team performance and Dinnington are into the semi-finals.
Scorers; jordan voyse, Declan Stevens (3)
Assists; jordan voyse, Rowan Hill (2)
Penalty Scorer; Rowan Hill, Louis Hellewell, Owen Williamson
Man of the match; the entire team