Rothwell Town 1 Rothwell Athletic 2 (LG) 13.03.04
Town began the Rothwell derby missing several key players in defence. Jamie Kime returned and Lee Poppleton continued at centre half. Carl Thorp was utilised as an emergency right back and Pip Greaves came in for his first appearance of the season in centre midfield. Both sides were well matched in the first half with very little given away by either side. Chances were few and far between but Town did take the lead when Pip Greaves tried his luck from 30 yards with a low shot that took a deflection off Jake Bennett's toe end and landed in the bottom corner of the Athletic net. Athletic rallied and after poor marking in the Town box their left winger hammered home a great left foot volley from 15 yards in off the bar. 1-1 at half time and the second half continued as a very tight affair. Athletic took the lead when Kime fouled on the edge of the box and the same left winger hammered in another wonder goal direct from the free kick into the top corner. Town pushed for an equaliser in the last 15 and brought two great saves out of the keeper from a Kris Parker volley and a Greaves effort from the edge of the box. Town were sometimes left open on the counter attack but Athletic failed to add to the scoreline. The game ended with an Athletic win and another unlucky defeat for Town.
Team: Otley, Thorp, Newbould (Clarkson), Greaves, Kime, Poppleton, Doyle (Ramsden), Thirkell, Bennett, K.Parker, Pennington.
Man of the Match: Lee Poppleton
Howden Clough 9 Rothwell Town 1 (LG) 27.03.04
Man of the Match: No one.
Rothwell Town 4 Kellingley Welfare 4 (LG) 3.04.04
Following the embarrassing result the previous week Town, again missing regulars, began very brightly with the wind behind them. It was much deserved when Jamie Kime rose at the far post to bullet a precision Jon Ford corner passed the Kellingley keeper for 1-0. Having Jon Ford back in the side, Town caused lots of problems from set pieces and went close on several occasions when Kime and Poppleton came up from the back to use their aerial presence. Town soon doubled their lead when a very offside looking Neil Doyle latched onto a long ball, nudged it round the keeper and tapped home for his 4th of the campaign and first since August. Half time 2-0 and Town looking good. The second half Town battled the wind in the early exchanges but should have capitalised when Bennett released makeshift forward Pennington who blazed over with only the keeper to beat. Kellingley siezed their chance and when keeper Otley dived at the strikers feet and looked to have conceded a corner the ref pointed to the spot and changed the whole complexion of the game. Kellingley scored from the spot and were soon after level after another long ball (Town's achilles heel lately) had the defence turning and the left winger raced on and finished well. Town looked dispirited and it was no surprise when Kellingley took the fight to their downtrodden opponents and raced into a 4-2 lead with a tap in after good work down the right and a sublime lob after Kime misplaced a pass across his own back line. Finally Town stopped feeling sorry for themselves. Thirkell won the ball on the halfway line and fed Ford who found Pennington in space to rifle in a 20 yard angled drive. 10 minutes remained and now the tide had turned Town's way. After sustained pressure Thirkell again found Ford whose cross was dummied by Pennington in the box. Poppleton up from the back showed nimble feet to beat two men in the box before having his trailing leg taken. As so often occurs the ref decided to even things out and awarded another penalty. Poppleton himself stepped up with nerves of steel and fired home side footed for 4-4 from the spot. An entertaining game of two halves with both sides showing good qualities to come from 2 goals down.
Team: Otley, Armitage (Hayton), Newbould, Doyle, Kime, Poppleton, Thorp, Thirkell, Bennett, Pennington, Ford.
Man of the Match: Thirkell, Pennington, Doyle (Tied)
Mt St Marys 2 Rothwell Town 2 (LG) 10.04.04
The game had a distinctly 'End of Season' feel from the first minute. Town began well and dominated the posession for the first twenty minutes. Not surprising as Mt St Marys had to start the game with 10 men and had to defend in numbers. With neither team having anything to play for other than the slight threat of relegation for Mary's neither side pushed too hard. Carl Thorp struck a post after a good move down the left and had another shot just wide with only the keeper to beat. Chris Pennington also found himself one on one but overran the ball to allow the keeper to gather safely. Town did take the lead when Penningtons in swinging corner was headed in at the far stick by Jamie Kime. Half time 1-0 but in the second half Town, having dominated the game became complacent and allowed the Marys left winger in to hit a sweet left foot drive in off the bar for 1-1. Things got worse when Newbould lost a header, the flick on was latched onto by the big, unmarked Mary's striker who made no mistake to reverse the game 2-1 to Marys. Town got back into their rythmn and Thirkell and Kris Parker playing as a centre midfielder kept posession well. However little was created. Thirkell was put in by Pennington but his shot which beat the keeper ran slowly toward the line before being cleared by Mary's ageing right back. Town's best chances were from set pieces and it was left to substitute and returning player Paul Bjelic to head home from another Pennington corner for 2-2. The game ended in a draw and Town again failed to make posession and a greater number of chances pay dividends.
Team: Otley, Kitching, Newbould (Bjelic), K.Parker, Kime, Poppleton, Doyle (Ramsden), Thirkell, Bennett, Pennington, Thorp.
Man of the Match: Jamie Kime
Upper Armley 2 Rothwell Town 4 (LG) 17.4.04
This game should not have even kicked off due to the ridiculously bad state of the Armley pitch but in his wisdom the ref decided it was game on. Town started brightly and played some decent football in spells. It was well deserved when Jake Bennett laid off to strike partner Kris Parker who hammered home with a great drive into the bottom corner from 18 yards. Town continued to create and after good work down the left Bennett again with his back to goal laid off to Thirkell who hit an unstoppable 25 yard drive into the top corner off the bar. Before half time could come the ref blew for a penalty for an innocuous looking aerial challenge by Neil Doyle. Armley's big number 9 stepped up, did a fancy shuffle and saw his penalty saved well and held by Otley. 2-0 half time. In the second half things began to heat up immediately. Armley grabbed an early goal but soon after Jamie Kime burst from the edge of his own box straight through the Armley defence to be one on one with the keeper. The Armley midfielder trying to track him couldn't handle the pace and dragged Kime's shirt almost off his back. The ref took an age to call him over but didn't bottle it and rightly chose a red card. Armley were furious with most of the abuse being hurled at Thirkell who had protested that he should walk. Threats of broken legs and lots of pain were met with laughter. From the resultant free kick Chris Pennington smashed home with a fierce drive into the top corner from 25 yards. The celebrations were cut short as Neil Doyle was clearly punched in the face by the little Ginger freak who plays for Armley and never stops moaning. The same Ginger freak pulled another goal back about 2 minutes later!! Armley's other Mr Angry flew into a tackle on Thirkell and was booked. Legs were still not broken as had been promised. Then in this most eventful of games Armley were awarded a penalty for another innocuous aerial challenge by Lee Poppleton. Same big centre forward, same silly shuffle, same result, a second penalty save of the game for Otley. BUT the ref had a heartfelt moment of pity and said a Town player had 'encroached' before the kick was taken. So a retake, Armley's third penalty of the game. Same big centre forward, no silly shuffle this time and a blaze over the bar. The ball is still travelling. More moaning ensued from Armley and more silly threats. Thirkell nailed Mr Angry in front of Armley's baying supporters. One of whom advised Thirkell that his type were often anally penetrated by him when he was at Her Majesty's pleasure! Town controlled the closing stages. Pennington struck the bar, Otley took every long ball and cross with ease, Pennington, Bennett and Bjelic all conspired to miss when 3 on 1 in the Armley box and then finally Bjelic nodded home at the far post for 4-2. An easy if eventful win for Town who have hopefully condemned the worst team in the league with the worst pitch to relegation to Division 2.
Team: Otley, Kitching, Newbould, Kime, Poppleton, Thorp (Ford), Doyle, Thirkell, Bennett, K.Parker (Bjelic), Pennington.
Man of the Match; Matthew Otley
Barwick 3 Rothwell Town 1 (LG) 26.04.04
Both sides began with understrength teams due to the Monday night kick off. Town were missing Poppleton & Thorp completely and Jamie Kime could not make the kick off. Carl's dad Steve filled in at right back and ended up showing he still has something to offer even at the grand old age of 39! Town began much the brighter as the Barwick back four held a very high line on the half way line. Town were threading through balls through which were either catching Barwick out or being given offside. Any thoughts that this game would be played in a friendly manner were dispelled as a scuffle broke out on the halfway line. No-one saw red as the ref had his back turned. Town continued to apply pressure with Bennett missing a one on one as the Barwick centre half caught him up to make a last ditch tackle. The deadlock was broken though as Thirkell slotted a pass between defenders for Kris Parker to race through and calmly slot passed the Barwick keeper in off the post. Town were rarely being troubled at the back but Otley did have to make a brilliant save when a cross from the left was poked goalwards at point blank range. Half time 1-0 to Town and deservedly so. The second half Town were playing downhill and again Barwick's back four maintained their very high defensive line. With the game compressed into one half, every time Town got the ball the only real option was to knock it over the Barwick defence and make them turn but with the ref giving most runs as offside the tactic was difficult to employ. Town were still creating the better chances and a host of missed one on ones were beginning to frustrate the players. It was looking like 1-0 may have to be enough and so Town made the mistake of sitting back to defend for the remaining 20 minutes. With more space to play in, Barwick managed to grab an equaliser. A tame effort was hit goalwards and the ball took a huge bobble to elude Otley who had had it covered. 1-1 and Town were disheartened. Barwick with their tails up started to play a bit of football and with 10 minutes to go the ball fell kindly to Barwick's centre midfielder Methinitis who beat his man and fired goalwards. The shot beat Otley and Ben Parker sliding in to cut it out could only redirect the ball into the top of the net. It was a harsh blow to Town who had continued creating good clear cut chances even during Barwicks better spells of posession in the 2nd half. Barwick grabbed a third late on as Kitching slipped at a vital moment and let in Richardson who placed into the bottom corner. Town were left scratching their heads as to how they'd managed to lose a game in which they had created enough good chances to win 3 games! Credit to Barwick they stuck at it and took all 3 points.
Team: Otley, S.Thorp, Newbould, Doyle, B.Parker, Kitching, Bjelic (Kime), Thirkell, Bennett, K.Parker, Pennington. Sub not used: S.Parker.
Man of the Match: Neil Doyle
Sandy Lane 5 Rothwell Town 0 (LG) 01.05.04
Town took the long journey to Marley Stadium with nothing to play for and without Popeye, Chris Pennington and Ben PArker. Kris Parker was injured but decided to soldier on and play anyway. Jake Bennett was switched to centre half as an emergency measure. Not ideal preparation for facing the best side in the division. Town looked distinctly lacklustre and disinterested and it was no surprise 5 minutes in when Sandy took the lead with a long range effort. Sandy popped the ball about without challenge from most of Town's players and at half time the 4-0 scoreline was flattering Town not Sandy. In the second half the pattern of the game didn't change with Sandy having the lions share of posession but not having to score again and with the title firmly in the bag they merely stroked the ball around and toyed with Town. A fifth was scored late on and the final whistle was a blessing to all in Blue. Congratulations to Sandy Lane. Hopefully Town can regroup and improve next year enough to challenge for the honours.
Team: Otley, Kitching, Doyle, Bennett, Kime, Thorp, Thirkell, K.Parker, Bjelic, A Ringer.
Man of the Match: Neil Doyle, Jake Bennett (Tied).