Sherwood Colliery strike right at the death to pip unlucky Albion Sports

Sherwood Colliery took a valuable three points with a 1-0 win over Albion Sports at a grey, drizzly Debdale Park on Saturday, writes Phil Kirkland.

Monday, 7th February 2022, 5:02 pm
Tim Gregory  - an unlikely late winner.
Tim Gregory - an unlikely late winner.

However, they were taken all the way to added time by a desperately unlucky Albion team that in all truth should have been returning to Bradford with the points themselves.

Albion arrived at Debdale languishing in the bottom two and desperate for points in their battle to avoid relegation while the Wood are still in the top four looking to keep pace at the top of the table.

But the game belied those league positions as Albion dominated.

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Sherwood were unchanged from last week’s draw with Grimsby Borough and gave a substitute place to new signing from Heanor Town, Brad Lathall.

Sherwood’s Jamie York had the game's first shot after five minutes, his effort well wide of the target.

A minute later, Ewan Robson got forward well, feeding Lewis Belgrave who in turn looked for Gaz Curtis, who had strayed offside.

Tim Gregory was found by Robson, but over-hit his cross as the Wood struggled to find any rhythm.

Albion Sports countered after a Sherwood free kick came to nothing, Jaydon Sandhu getting a shot on target from 20 yards comfortably saved by Dale Sheppard, who was to be in for a busy afternoon.

Ewan Robson tried from distance before York over-hit a free kick as Sherwood continued to struggle.

Albion started to find their feet, Jamal Stewart finding space on the right and getting a shot across goal that Sheppard held.

On 25 minutes, Lewis Belgrave shot just wide after Curtis held the ball up. Albion were working hard and on 30 minutes York was dispossessed in the middle of the park, leading to an effort that blazed well over.

Sheppard was called into action, saving from Stewart at the expense of a corner kick that was cleared by Gregory.

Sheppard then made two excellent saves either side of a goal line clearance by Robson as Albion laid siege to Sherwood’s goal.

Brad Newby got a rare effort away after 36 minutes to relieve the Albion pressure, but Albion were breaking with purpose, a move thwarted by an offside flag as they continued to probe.

The Wood looked desperate for the half-time break and were saved by the post as the visitors got a shot away that beat Sheppard this time.

The second half saw the game follow a similar pattern although Sherwood now had a better defensive shape.

On 55 minutes Albion appeals for a penalty kick were waived away, before on the hour the Wood’s midfield were caught in possession by the hard-working visitors, but to no avail as their defence held firm.

The Wood did force an effort on goal just after the hour, Curtis’s effort going wide before he and Belgrave were withdrawn with Lathall and Widdowson introduced.

A further substitute – Ricky Starbuck - followed five minutes later as Ryan Ingram pulled up injured before Sheppard was called into action, tipping an effort over the bar.

Sherwood were looking disorganised following the changes although Widdowson settled well into a central defensive role.

On 75 minutes, Sherwood forced a corner following a long throw-in by Gregory that almost found Charlie Taylor.

York’s corner kick was met by Widdowson who could not get over his header that went over the bar.

As the game entered the final 10 minutes, Albion seemed to start to settle for a point with a central defender introduced from the bench.

Newby got a shot away that was deflected wide, before he set up Widdowson whose effort was tame and no problem for George Clarke in the Albion goal.

The game entered added time with no real sign of a goal until with literally seconds left, Newby got free on the left wing and drilled a good ball across the penalty area that Tim Gregory met at the back post, his effort beating Clarke to give Sherwood an unlikely lead.

After the game, both manager Wayne Savage and assistant manager Ian Cotton were full of praise for the visitors and admitted they were lucky on the day to get the win.

Next up for the Wood is Winterton Rangers who visit Debdale Park on Saturday (3pm).

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