Reserves lose close game as Netherfield march on towards title
Selston Reserves travelled away to face table toppers Netherfield Albion in a NSL division one league game. One notable change to the lads was ever present Anthony Clarke not available through illness so in came Joe Toon at left back.
Netherfield started the brighter of the two sides for the first 10 - 15 minutes and had most of the ball but couldn't create a good chance to work Jake Simpson in goal for Selston. Finally when we settled into the game we started to play some good football we probably should have took the lead when on 16 minutes Klarke Greenham found himself in front of goal but his shot was well saved by Stephen Jones. It was a decent game with both sides not giving an inch in midfield and it was very tight up to about the 39th minute when Netherfield took the lead. A ball into the box which wasn't cleared properly and it fell to a Albion striker who with his back to goal was given to much time to turn and hit a low stinging shot which flew past Simpson in goal for 1-0. A pivotal moment in the game came on 42 minutes when another ball into our box wasn't dealt with properly but an attempted clearance struck the arm of an opponent, the ball fell nicely into his path and he steered it into the bottom corner from about six yards out for 2-0. The striker had clearly gained an advantage and in my opinion and the goal should have been chalked off but it was the refs opinion the mattered and we were on the end of another poor decision. Worse was to come after we remonstrated with the ref it affected us and Albion scored again a minute later when a low cross was steered into the bottom corner with no Selston defenders in sight for 3-0. So at half time we had gone from doing well and it was a close game to being 3-0 down in a 10 minute spell and probably game over.
A few words were said at the break mostly just to not give up and try a win the second half. We came out and started well creating some half chances but were always going to be vulnerable on the break. We made a double substitution on 60 minutes and went two up top with half an hour to go . Luke Wigley replaced Callum Howell and Josh Booth replaced Jamie Shacklock. It worked well as we were a constant threat and on 70 minutes had pulled one back when a ball was fizzed from one end of the box to the other missing everyone on the way, Josh Booth pulled the ball back brilliantly for Luke Wigley to fire home from close range for 3-1. The lads kept up the pressure and Netherfield were looking a bit edgy. Jake Simpson was forced into a couple of good saves as Albion were hitting us on the break and the match was end to end, not what Netherfield wanted having a comfortable 3-0 lead at the break. On 80 minutes though we were on the end of another rubbish decision from the ref as Cameron Gascoyne played the ball down the left wing and was clearly caught late after the ball for a CLEAR foul but this referee though different and play continued. Gascoyne hobbled off the pitch far side to us and must have shouted something to the ref has he was straight across to flash a yellow card to the lad as he lay injured on the touchline. What we didn't know is that the ref had sin binned Gascoyne for descent and he hadn't informed us as we were the other side of the pitch. We did find out though as manager Lee Widdowson tried to bring himself on and the ref then informed us that Gascoyne had 8 minutes left in the sin bin, thanks a lot. It didn't end there as just a minute later Jamie Hassell launched himself into a late, high and no where near the ball tackle born out of pure frustration at the one sided decisions we were on the end of and earned himself a straight red card. Down to 9 men then for the last five minutes and all the commotion aimed at the ref from us seemed to affect Netherfield more and we scored again on 85 minutes when a mix up with defender an keeper allowed the ball to run through to Luke Wigley who tapped into an empty net for 3-2. Lee Widdowson finally replaced the injured Cameron Gascoyne for the last few minutes and we were still having a go and made it very nervy for Netherfield. The game ended and we had lost our fourth game on the trot. MOM for Albion went to Ben Fynn and MOM for Selston was awarded to Robbie Manners. Credit to the lads for battling on and making a game of it second half. Netherfield looked a good side and certainly didn't need a helping hand from the ref that we thought he had given them. It might sound a bit like sour grapes to blame the ref after you lose but if the decisions were 50-50 that were not going our way I could live with that but these decisions are not even close. Having said all that good luck to Netherfield in their quest to win the league, as for the lads the last few matches have been hard to bare. We have played well in most of them and been unlucky not to get something from these last defeats. We keep going though and if its true that decisions even themselves out over a season then we are in for a boat load soon.