Sunday, 24 December 2017

BENTLEY HIT FESTIVE FIVE

AFC BENTLEY 5 RENISHAW RANGERS 2
CMFL NORTH @ THE AVENUE
23 DECEMBER 2017 --- 2PM
ACTION FROM AFC BENTLEY V RENISHAW RANGERS
An early Christmas present for Bentley as they saw off their Derbyshire rivals with a five goal haul that was enough to take them to second spot in the CMFL North.  The pace of their build up and finishing ability of Brad Maddison proving the difference the home frontman certainly got a hat trick and the debate continues over whether he secured four in this impressive display.  All this after trailing 2-0 at half time Renishaw had drawn level with 2 goals in a minute early in the second half but the home side awoke from their half time respite to power home three more goals to earn a comfortable victory in the end.
By design or not I had spent around 25% of my season watching games involving these two clubs Bentley of course by virtue of three consecutive new grounds where they just happened to be the opponents and Renishaw in a slightly different mode but overall both clubs are friendly and welcoming which makes todays return trip to The Avenue a bit of a must.
THE PAVILION IN THE PARK
With a 2pm kick off in place the train travel was all fairly reasonable and civil standing to Sheffield before a seat on the direct service to Bentley.  Decamping in todays destination just a few miles north of Doncaster there was a plan, fish and chips of course, to visit Fish Bits and todays delicacy was a good offering.  The streets of Bentley really don't offer too much I'm afraid but having peered in at the writing on the former Coop which still just about gave up Doncaster Cooperative Chemist in its stonework and the hall above the former premises which proudly still stands on the main A19 a testimony to the influence of the Coops in many a northern community.  A small walk around the local park took in The Pavilion a semi art deco feel about the building which was now a community hall facility but added a smart touch to the park after its regeneration.  Indeed it had a sad start in life due to open on 20 November 1931 and paid for by a penny donation from the miners wages an disaster struck the colliery just 8 days early in which 45 men lost their lives and the opening was respectfully delayed.
THE ROW OF SHOPS THAT GREET THE AVENUE
Bentley was of course a mining area and the villages former pit site was next on the to do list heading towards The Avenue, which must be the longest 'Avenue' in the country, headed up by an arc of shops featuring yet another former Coop building this time the Doncaster Industrial and Mutual Coop we head off past the football club and towards the row of former terraced pit houses that stood at the approach to the former colliery which closed in 1993.  Unlike some areas that await renewal this former site is now awash with trees and is the Bentley Community Woodland.  Its all rather a disappointment whereas other former mining villages have a display board remembering their proud past here there is nothing to tell of the proud history.
THE MAIN STAND
With an hour to go to kick off the ground beckoned and with the former entrance now closed to allow development of the new changing facilities and clubhouse the club now use the changing facilities of Bentley Colliery Cricket Club just over the road and access the pitch by an adjacent mini gate which also serves as a spectator entry point.  There was thankfully still time to say hello to Martin Baxter Renishaw Chairman and todays hosts in the shape of home secretary Nigel, James Irwin and Dave Hughes.  The temporary changing area also supplies warm drinks and having paid my admission and obtained a programme all was well with even the team sheets gained.
NEW FACILITIES UNDERWAY AT AFC BENTLEY
This would be the third visit to The Avenue but the first time it will be blogged so here goes, the surrounds of the ground sit higher than the road with the pitch in a lower setting offering good views the near side has hard standing and although railed off the other viewing areas are grass only.  The main stand is of the style and design often seem around former mining villages but with the departure of the former cabins used for changing rooms is the clubs new development.  A large changing room and club house area is under development and hopefully will be in use for next season a great move by the club and hopefully one that will help Bentley no end in their desires to enhance the ground further.
By kick off time their was approaching double figures in hoppers including John McClure from the superb Your Football Ground page and with these visitors paid in the crowd sat around 32 at kick off time.  It is of course a recurring factor that with a village the size of Bentley and the ground surrounded by houses hardly any locals come along for £3 its a bargain and with good endeavour and football on show today what does it take to get people along?
THE PLAYERS TUNNEL
So to the game with Bentley high flying and Renishaw struggling, but much improved from their disastrous start to the season it looked as though it could be an interesting game.  By half time the home side led 2-0 and the score line seemed a little harsh from an even affair.
MADDISON MAKES IT 1-0
It was a superb opener when Maddision hit a 20 yard free kick that left all standing including Stephen Booth in the visitors goal.
RENISHAW CLEAR OFF THE LINE FROM MADDISON [10]
Moments later Renishaw cleared off the line as the lively Maddison looked to double the score at the other end home keeper Dom Senior held well under his bar from a Tommy Walker effort.  With five minutes to go to the break Maddison converted with a smart finish after good work from Matty Hughes on the left to double the advantage.
The second period started at a right old pace with four goals in eleven frantic minutes it was Renishaw who pulled level with two in a minute first Paul Sherbourn ran across Brandon Ashmore who promptly dusted himself down and converted from the penalty spot.  It was Ashmore again doing the damage down the left he skipped past three tracking defenders his low cross was laid back to Lewis Price whose shot took a deflection past Senior in the home goal.  Renishaw had gained parity but this only remained for four minutes as Bentley sensing the steamroller was about to devour them woke up and re took the lead Maddison broke down the left took the ball round the out coming Booth and with the visitors goal exposed his effort was sliced into this own goal by a despairing attempted clearance from Adam Powell, own goal or the frontman's hat trick you decide.
MATTY HUGHES ONCE AGAIN INFLUENTIAL FOR BENTLEY
Bentley had the bit between their teeth now and a lovely goal from Hughes put them 4-2 up pace took him down the inside left channel and as he drew the visiting keeper he slotted home with a cool finish.
With seven minutes remaining and Renishaw now tiring Maddison got his hat trick or fourth whichever way you look at it he had a superb afternoon and influence on this game with a wonderful move that flowed down the left hand side before Alex Irwin supplied the perfectly weighted assist that set up the number 10 for his finish.
DUG OUTS IN VIEW WITH DAN SHORT RENISHAW MANAGER TO THE FORE
A victory that takes Bentley into a challenging second place and with some quality young players and a little more experience this is a side who will challenge for the top spot while Renishaw wait the arrival of a three new signings that they need to kick start their previous revival to start to get away from the basement dog fight again.
A comfortable return to Bentley station and a return journey that was on time allowed a 40 minute wait in Sheffield before a speedy return to base from an afternoon of good entertainment and a friendly welcome once again from both clubs.

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