Sherwood Colliery secure a top five finish with win at Athersley Recreation

Sherwood Colliery secured a top five finish in the NCEL Premier Division following a comfortable 2-0 away win at already relegated Athersley Recreation on Saturday, writes Phil Kirkland.

Monday, 4th April 2022, 10:24 am

Athersley have struggled all season since an opening day 4-0 defeat against the Wood and the game was never in doubt once Will Norcross had opened the scoring after a dominant opening 10-minute spell.

His finish was right footed across the goalkeeper after an excellent first touch from Jobe Shaw’s cross into the box.

The sparse crowd now sat back for the expected goal rush but the game meandered.

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Ricky Starbuck - 200th appearance for Sherwood Colliery in Saturday's win.

The home side were willing and gave everything for their management team but created very little.

Sherwood seemed content to keep the ball and did not play with enough pace or purpose to create meaningful chances, though on half-time, Brad Newby did see an effort tipped onto the post and Lewis Belgrave had a goal bound shot blocked

The second half saw Athersley come out and for the first time take the game to Sherwood.

Indeed, Josh Turton had to make an excellent save in the opening minutes of the half, tipping the ball over the top after a break had exposed a lethargic Sherwood back four.

This seemed to shake the Wood from their slumbers, and they got back on top and began dominating possession again.

The final ball was missing with Ethan Wiesztort and Lewis Weaver, while willing and giving lots of effort, struggling to deliver from unfamiliar wide positions.

Weaver shot wide when through on goal and Wiesztort dragged an effort wide.

Newby hit a fierce free kick that was well saved and even full-back Ricky Starbuck – making his 200th appearance for the club – saw an effort well saved by the impressive goalkeeper.

A second goal seemed inevitable, and it duly arrived in the 77th minute.

Tim Gregory crossed for Norcross to shoot low into the corner of the net to get his and the Wood’s second goal to seal the three points.

The game had a real ‘end of season’ feel to it which was little surprise considering the home team’s form and Sherwood’s incredibly busy fixture schedule and injury list.

The Wood complete their season this weekend at Barton Town and, backed by a coachload of supporters, could finish as high as third with a win.

In midweek Sherwood had come away with a 1-1 away draw at Knaresborough Town. Ethan Wiesztort put Sherwood in front on 68 minutes but, just when it looked like that may be the winner, up popped Colin Heath to earn the struggling home side a point with just seven minutes to go.

In Division One, two goals in the last eight minutes secured Rainworth MW a 3-1 victory at Glasshoughton Welfare, only seeing their clean sheet spoiled in the final minute. Morgan Boyle put the Wrens in front on 62 minutes before Nathan Benger grabbed a quickfire brace on 82 and 88 minutes.

Bottom club Teversal were hammered 8-1 at North Ferriby.