Rothwell vs City

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Saturday 6 March 1999: Cecil Road

Rothwell Town vs. CITY

Dr Martens League Premier Division


City's Team

City kept up the chase of leaders Nuneaton with this scrappy but hard fought victory at relegation threatened Rothwell. The match had been threatened by snow and persistent sleet, and Rothwell's pitch soon looked like a heavily ploughed field. The match was hardly a heart warming affair, and the damp cold weather seemed worse in such bleak surroundings. How Cecil Road managed to pass the ground grading committee is beyond me, at least this defeat leaves the ground a little closer to a return to the Midland Division.

The Gloucester side showed few changes from Saturday, with Burns once again absent and Hemmings and Smith once again on the bench. Wayne Thorne did however return from injury to re-take his number three shirt, stretched or otherwise. It was as well both Thorne brothers were in the side, as City needed all the defensive qualities they could muster. Rothwell spent the first half with the considerable slope in their favour, and they dominated much of the play. However they created few clear chances, with City defending in numbers. Only once did the Bones (?!) get past Kemp and Mountain, only to see Holloway belt the ball off the line. Despite being largely on the back foot City had a couple of good chances, with Rothwell showing little sign of defensive metal. Mings was unlucky not to beat the keeper to a good through ball from Gary Thorne, while Tucker also saw the keeper steal the ball from him after he'd done well to charge down a defensive clearance. City's best chance came when Rothwell's keeper flapped at a Webb cross, and Mainwaring blazed over from close range after Kemp's header had left him with a gaping net.

Hughes obviously fancied City's chances with the second half slope, and threw on both Smith and Hemmings at half-time. The extra pace reaped instant benefits with Rothwell now forced to spend most of their time booting the ball clear only to see it come straight back at them. Hemmo was the main danger on the left, several times skipping past some fairly lame defenders. However the match seemed to be drifting into one of those draws which has cost us so dear in past seasons, that is until Gary Thorne picked up another loose ball in the swampy centre circle. His pass saw Hemmo carefully pick his way past two defenders into the penalty box, and then draw a rash off balance tackle which resulted in the almost inevitable penalty. The Rothwell protests rang a little hollow after ginger horror Wagstaffe's blatant dive at Meadow Park in January. Holloway banged in another priceless spot kick, and given both sides inability to carve out clear openings it always looked like a winner.

The last period saw the match open up a little, with Rothwell now desperately chasing an equaliser. However Kemp and Niblett were well re-inforced by Gary Thorne, and the extra space actually offered City the chance to briefly play some football. Hemmo could have caused more damage had he crossed more often, while Smith could have opened his City account had he not scooped his shot wide from just outside the area. Wayne Thorne cheered the travelling fans by laying out Wagstaffe, Rothwell only causing a brief concern with a fluffed far post header. Mings came within inches of getting a second from the best move of the game, as Webb beat his man to send over an inviting cross. City held out for an important win, which despite Nuneaton's win keeps City just within striking distance should Nuneaton fall in the closing straight.

Mountain W1-0
Holloway Half-time
W.Thorne 0-0
Callinan Att.
Kemp (c) 239
Niblett City Scorers
Webb Holloway (69 pen)
G.Thorne Bookings
Mainwaring none
Mings Position
Tucker 2nd

Hemmings (for Tucker,HT) DWWWWW
Smith (for Mainwaring,HT) Report
Jenkins (for Callinan,84) T.Towel

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