Sherwood Colliery Vets 2
Cromford Vets 4
Cromford travelled to Mansfield on Sunday and took on second-placed Sherwood in glorious conditions that were ideal for football.
Cromford got proceedings underway but were soon on the defensive as Sherwood got their passing game going.
Cromford conceded a corner after about five minutes and Sherwood’s number eight Poxon rose highest to head home, giving Phil Boam no chance. But within two minutes of the restart, Cromford were level as good work from Dave Castle and Ian Ford broke up a Sherwood attack and set Richard Bourne free.
His composure was excellent as he drew Sherwood’s keeper and calmly placed the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the net.
This was the reply Cromford needed and it got better from the restart, winning the ball back. Nelson’s slide-rule pass found Matt Hoe who outpaced two defenders and went round the keeper to make it 2-1 to the visitors.
Sherwood were shellshocked and rightly so as Cromford were rampant. Nelson on the left and Lambert on the right were making inroads whenever they got the ball but Cromford were to suffer a major setback as they lost Bourne after injuring his knee in a bone jarring tackle.
Phil Clarke took his place in an unusual position for him but he coped ably as Cromford went further ahead when Lambert ran onto a defence splitting pass and rifled his shot past Cooper in the Sherwood goal. This was no more than they deserved after weathering a sustained spell of pressure from Sherwood.
The half-time whistle let the teams draw breath. The second half was to prove no less fraught. Sherwood were straight at Cromford but the defensive qualities of Cromford are second to none.
They had to be as Phil Ward made two goal-saving tackles. Micky Greaves at centre half was his usual reliable self, making every tackle and header count,and, back in defence now, Phil Clarke also did some stout blocking, captain Mark Bullen moving up front to partner the tireless Matt Hoe.
Gary Blackburn came on for Lambert and he too had to put his defending head on but, for all their early second half pressure, Sherwood never troubled Phil Boam until, on 65 minutes, the home side was handed a lifeline when Phil Ward was adjudged to have handled the ball. How he could have avoided a piledriver of a shot from ten yards is anyone’s guess but nevertheless, Jamie Morgan gave Phil Boam no chance from the spotkick.
Cromford had to regroup as Nelson moved to central midfield, Ian Ford making way, and Lambert came back on on the right wing. Cromford’s fourth goal also came from a penalty.
Terry Wood, against the manager’s wishes, went on a run, beating three players before being brought down in the box. Dean Nelson was asked by Mark Bullen if he would take the kick and he duly rifled the ball home.
Sherwood heads dropped but they still made Cromford battle to the end and a whipped-in corner nearly caught out Boam, who managed to clear the danger.
This was a terrific result for Cromford, who take on the old enemy next time with a trip to Gedling Miners Welfare on March 27.