Staveley Miners Welfare secured a hugely important 1-0 win away at second placed Hemsworth Miners Welfare.
There were a couple of forced changes to Brett Marshall’s side with Gary Mundy and Patrick Lindley coming in for the injured Brad Jones and Charlie Oglesby.
It took just six minutes for the Trojans to take the lead, Mark Dudley’s superb free-kick was headed in for an own goal by Hemsworth skipper, Edward Cass.
The wind played it’s part in the game with the ball being forced along the floor, unexpectedly, whoever was fighting against the wind happened to have the better of each half.
Just before half time, Joe Pugh had his chance to get back on the scoresheet when a blocked shot fell to him at the back post. But he couldn’t quite keep his effort down.
Player-manager, Luke Danville, substituted himself at half time in his first game since taking charge of Hemsworth on a permanent basis.
The second half started similar to how the first finished, with tough tackles forcing more bookings across both sides, with just 15 minutes to go, tensions rose on the side-line as an argument spilled across both technical areas.
From this moment control of the game had been lost and there were plenty of challenges worthy of bookings, if not dismissals and it was only a matter of time before the red card was brought out.
Seon Ripley was beginning to get himself into the game and create more chances for Hemsworth and was sent off for a second yellow card after a late challenge on Adam Lund.
The ten men of Hemsworth didn’t give up and continued to create chances, a ball across Myles Wright’s goal was headed back across goal by Matthew Hughes before Lindley delivered a match-winning block for what looked destined to be an equalising goal.
Michael Burke was introduced to the game and delivered extra energy into the Trojans attack and with some nice build-up play between him and Jon Froggatt, the cross from Mark Dudley in to the box was headed goalwards by Robert Worrall who didn’t get enough behind it to beat Jordan Greaves in the Hemsworth goal.
As the full time whistle blew, ecstatic Trojans players and fans celebrated the victory, much to the disappointment of Hemsworth, who made their feelings clear and the dispute continued into the dressing room.
It was a long afternoon for both sides, with Staveley edging ever nearer to the top of the league where they now sit two points behind the leaders, with four games in hand.
This win also closes the gap on second place, where Staveley have four games in hand over today’s opponents and are now just two points behind them.
Report:Adam Marsden Video:Alan Collins