Blidworth Welfare and Staveley Miners Welfare’s Reserves played out an entertaining and physical 2-2 draw in a friendly this afternoon at a sunny Welfare Ground. Goals from Jason Dawson and captain Aidy Harris were cancelled out by a double from Staveley striker Ryan Damms in what was an equal contest.
It was the home side who were the quickest out of the blocks as they opened the scoring after just three minutes. Midfielder Cameron Davidson saw his long range effort saved by goalkeeper Rio Abery but luckily his team mate Jason Dawson was on hand to react quickly and tap in from close range.
Staveley nearly hit back straight away as three minutes later Dan Manfredi was able to cut inside from the left wing before curling a rising shot at goal. The floating effort managed to beat Michael Ball in the Blidworth goal but didn’t drop quick enough as it rattled the top of the crossbar and away from goal.
The sides were level again after just 17 minutes. Ryan Damms was able to capitalise after a long ball forward was missed in the air by two Blidworth defenders, the striker was able to simply collect the ball before slotting it in the bottom left corner.
Just before the half hour mark, Blidworth saw an effort of their own denied by the woodwork. The experienced Aaron Pride was able to trap the ball in the middle of the park before curling a shot onto the crossbar from just outside the area.
It was a physical first half in which both sides weren’t scared to get stuck in but for the home team it was one that was wasteful as they struggled to get the ball down and keep possession for long periods.
It took just four minutes of the second half for Blidworth to re-take the lead. Cameron Davidson received the ball outside the box from a cleared corner, the midfielder curled it back towards the head of towering defender Jonathan Jenkinson who then flicked it across goal for Aidy Harris to tap in the side’s second.
Six minutes later, Staveley thought they had got back level. A corner was flicked into the path of the first goalscorer Ryan Damms who hit a powerful shot from close range, the ball looked destined for the top of the goal but ended up bouncing off the inside of the crossbar with velocity and away from goal. The away team awaited a whistle from the referee which never came as he simply waved play on.
New signing Brad Clarke nearly got himself a goal but was denied by a defender. He had initially received the ball at the back of the box on the right hand side but saw his first effort blocked when he eventually released the ball, it came back into his path but his follow up effort skied over.
Just after the hour mark Staveley made things all square again. Ryan Damms was deemed questionably onside as he ran onto a ball through from substitute Aaron Foster, he charged towards goal before seeing his shot hit the back of the net.
Blidworth continued to drive forward in search of a winner in the later stages with only a last ditch tackle denying substitute James Prentice in the box at the end of a melee of Blidworth attacks.
With a number of substitutions made for both sides, the last ten minutes went in the favour of the away side who looked to steal a win themselves but were denied by a number of quick, reactive saves from Michael Ball.
After the game, Blidworth manager Lewis Saxby said “The second half was an improvement on the first but I thought a number of players looked leggy today. I know we’ve had a few lads who have been away awhile and some who have played nearly three games in a week but we still need to improve.”