The Evo-Stik League Northern Premier
Published 26th December 2012
......still lead the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South table by eight points.
The Ravens, who have scored sixty-nine goals in their previous twenty matches, couldn`t find one at Owen Street and the Leicestershire derby finished goalless.
Second-placed Stamford AFC, however, managed a 4-1 win at Kettering Road against Kidsgrove Athletic with goals from Gary King with two in the 38th and 84th minutes – the second from the penalty spot – Andy Hall after 43 minutes and Ricky Miller on 72 – Andy Kinsey replying from the spot just past the hour-mark.
Sutton Coldfield Town remain third after beating Halesowen Town 2-0 on the 3G at Coles Lane with Lee Parsons and Mark Danks grabbing the goals in an 8-minute spell just before half-time.
Rainworth Miners Welfare recorded their biggest win for ten years at troubled basement neighbours Hucknall Town, whose gutsy rearguard action was nowhere near enough to keep the Wrens at bay.
But despite the emphatic 8-1 scoreline the winning margin really should have been well into double figures.
That it was not so was due in no small measure to Yellows’ former Cameroon under-21 international goalkeeper Alex Malong, who played out of his skin in a vain bid to keep the scoreline reasonably respectable.
A measure of the problems currently being experienced at Watnall Road was that at the time the team sheets were due to be submitted to match referee Nigel Murphy they had only 10 players available. But with the agreement of Rainworth they were allowed to include an 11th late arrival, although they were unable to name any substitutes and fielded a side made up of players mainly recruited from clubs in the Central Midlands League. The game, played largely in atrocious conditions, really belonged to Ian Holmes, whose five-goal display showed how much he is missed by Rainworth when he is away at university. Recent signing Conor Higginson added a couple and Ryan Goward one to complete the rout, while even the one goal credited to Hucknall was a bizarre own goal accredited to Ashley Kitchen.
Paul Grimes scored on his return to Brigg Town after re-joining the club from Grantham Town as the Zebras drew 1-1 with fourth-placed King`s Lynn Town.
Brigg led at the break after a well-worked free-kick saw Grimes connect with Scott Hellewell's header to volley home.
Things looked even better for the home side just after the break as Lynn were reduced to ten-men when Ryan Fryatt was sent-off for a late tackle.
To their credit the visitors refused to give in and grabbed an equaliser through striker Russell Dunkley with 18 minutes remaining.
Gresley FC complete the top five and they received a late Christmas present as they comprehensively beat local rivals Mickleover Sports at the Raygar Stadium.
Goals from Phil Massingham after 24 minutes, Rob Spencer on 32, Marc Strezyzewski 4 minutes before the break and Gareth Langford 20 minutes from time secured the comfortable victory for the Moatmen in front of a decent crowd of 325.
Belper Town improved their promotion hopes with a comprehensive 5-1 win at Sheffield FC, who have slipped down the table alarmingly.
Colin Marrison opened the Nailers` account after 23 minutes, but it wasn`t until the 58th that Simon Harrison doubled their lead.
Aaron Rice reduced the arrears on 7 minutes, but then Jon Froggatt took over with a hat-trick in the final 13 minutes.
Newcastle Town won the derby at Harrison Park against Leek Town with goals from Aaron Carter after 23 minutes and Matty Lowe on 63 minutes, while Market Drayton Town edged out struggling Romulus, courtesy of Martyn Davies` penalty right on half-time.
The game between Carlton Town and Lincoln United ended all-square, with Sam MacVicar giving the home side a 39th minute lead that Scott Coupland levelled 3 minutes into the second half.