Colburn beat Mavs while Hawes score after two seconds

The Wensleydale Creamery League as of 9pm on Wednesday, April 25.

Against the odds after being deducted three points for fielding an ineligible player earlier in the season, Colburn Town now have the league title within grasp after a 5-0 midweek win over Richmond Mavericks.

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On a sunny Wednesday evening at Wavell Road, hostilities resumed between these title rivals.

Colburn kicked off with the sun in their eyes against a strong Mavs side, and early exchanges were feisty.

Timmy Taylor headed wide from a Callum Sheridan corner and there were some forays from the Mavs attack.

Heavy challenges were flying in, and generally defences were on top for the first half.

Colburn were playing too many lofted passes, which were comfortably dealt with by Mavs.

Then Mavs had an excellent opportunity to go ahead, when they found themselves 2 v 1 with Tim Bishop in Colburn’s goal, but when the ball was played across, the Mavs attacker contrived to chest the ball wide.

Sheridan sent a shot wide, then a Tom Sweeney effort was turned away for a corner, but the half ended with honours even.

However, the turnaround for the second half seemed to spur Colburn into life.

Suddenly the pace was upped, and Sheridan and Ashley McInerney were bossing midfield.

After 51 minutes, Sheridan struck a fine free-kick which came back off the bar.

But it fell to Stuart Murray – his header also struck the bar, but his follow up found the back of the net. 1-0 and Colburn’s tails were up.

Joe Woodall had a good chance after Murray played him in with a lovely ball over the top, but he was unable to finish it off.

Sheridan had another free-kick, but this went too high.

Colburn manager Hammy Hamilton, after much deliberation, then made two crucial changes, deciding against withdrawing Sweeney.

Instead he took off his two wide players, Rory Wallace and Woodall, and sent on fresh legs in the shape of Gary Hutchison and Shane Parkinson.

Almost immediately, Colburn reaped the benefit, as yet another Sheridan free-kick was headed in by Hutchison running in at the back post.

Five minutes later, it was a third assist for Sheridan as his clever ball found Sweeney, who made space and tucked it away.

Next it was Murray’s persistence, hustling and harrying Mavs defender, and winning the ball to send Sweeney in for his second.

Colburn were not finished yet and in added time a long clearance from Bishop ran all the way through a by-now thoroughly dispirited Mavs side to Sweeney, who gleefully smacked it home for his hat-trick.

The game finished with one side elated, the other completely deflated.

Unicorn next for Colburn this Saturday, with everything still in their hands.

The other game on Wednesday began with surely one of the goals of the season.

The whistle went and the ball was tapped to Scott Guy.

Seeing the Leyburn keeper slightly off the line and facing the evening sun, he struck the ball sweetly from the half-way line. And in it sailed A goal in two seconds.

Ref Jim Wilson said it was the quickest goal he’d witnessed in his 400 years in the game – and that it had shades of Wayne Winspear’s volley from halfway circa the millennium. Guy seemed unfussed. He barely celebrated. But no doubt he’d scored a screamer.

Hawes had similar personnel but appeared an entirely different outfit to that which was thrashed on Saturday by the Buck – and passed off the park a few weeks before by Leyburn.

In a game played on the lush turf at Spenny, Hawes had the better of a tight first half.

Although Leyburn nearly equalised when a 30 yarder from Ryan Alderson somehow struck the bar and then the post. It remained one-nil half-time.

A decent crowd had gathered, and soon saw the home side come level.

Stand-in Hawes keeper Steve Calvert, who expertly saved his side with a brave and point-blank stop at the back post in the closing minutes, could only watch as a partially-scuffed shot bobbled past him and into the net about five minutes after the re-start.

But Hawes resisted the losing feeling.  Inspired by centre forward Jonathon Champion, they carved out the better chances.

Champ played as of old. When not jinking and twisting past the Leyburn back line, he burst forth with rampaging cross field sprints to close down the full-backs, in a style reminiscent of the cowboy Woody.

In fact there was plenty of charging, especially from left-back Wallis and right-back Iveson.

It was a Wallis through ball that played in Champ down the left hand side.  The Leyburn keeper had caught the charging bug.

Off his line he sprinted, felling Champ just inside the box. Ref Jim, albeit from a distance, pointed to the spot.

The keeper tried to play mind games, announcing that he knew exactly where the pen was going. Champ even faced shouts of ‘he doesn’t want it’ from the opposition.

He put it almost straight down the middle to make it 2-1.

There were few more clear cut chances, but plenty of decent football, with Guy pulling off a rabona in the midfield and Kory Spink – playing his first full 90 for Hawes – shining on the right wing.

If only the blues had played like this on the weekend they mat have still had a chance of the title.

In the other game on Wednesday, Buck and Unicorn played out a close 2-2 draw