Staff League - Matchday 10

9 June 2011

By Alex Kellett

A potentially decisive week at the 3G pitch saw three teams make one last attempt to steal the title from under the noses of one another.

Obi-Wan were the team in possession, knowing that a win over Hardly Athletic would almost certainly seal the trophy, whilst Hardly needed to repeat the heroics of last week to keep themselves in the hunt. Galacticos were also hoping for another upset in that fixture, but had to make sure they didn't falter against an enigmatic Spartak Park Farm outfit.

Obi-Wan were nervous going into the game as Hardly had dominated the previous fixture but got down to business early on when Andy Ward opened the scoring to ease the pressure on his team. But they were pegged back soon after when a defensive slip let in danger man Dom Petronzi whose poked shot squirmed through 'keeper Andy Soar's legs.

After the break both teams went for the jugular in an attempt to win the game and it was the Jedis who would take the initiative as Andy Ward struck twice more to complete his hat-trick and leave Hardly with a mountain to climb. Hardly ran hard and chased the game well and were inches from a ticket back into the match when Scott Wilson crashed a shot against the underside of the bar which bounced right on the line.

As Hardly poured forward in search of more goals, Obi-Wan's Sam O'Neill finished the game off as he netted his 12th goal of the season and seal the 4-1 verdict.

That result meant that Galacticos had to win in order to delay the Jedi's celebrations for at least a week.

Galacticos were missing Daz Bosworth and the in form Jim Meakin who had both scored in last week's mauling of the bottom side whilst Spartak were at full strength.

After some early pressure it looked as though Galacticos would be the ones to draw first blood but some sloppy defending gifted Spartak's Dave Wood with the opener. Wood finished smartly as he tucked the ball past the 'keeper leaving Galacticos with an even tougher task to complete.

The job was made even harder when more hesitant defending gave Leigh Belk a half chance which he snatched in emphatic style. Belk ran on to a throw in and swept the ball into the top corner of the goal with a superlative strike, his first of the season.

After the break Galacticos were marauding forward in an attempt to salvage their season and proceeded to spurn some golden opportunities. Ash Wagg, Alex Kellett and Daz Melbourne all went close as the Spartak goalkeeper looked unbeatable between the posts.

Dan Ashton hauled Galacticos back into the game, finishing in typical style, a right footed pile-driver that went in at the near post, his seventh of the campaign.

But Spartak held on as they defended like bandits to keep out last year's champs, their first win and their first three points of the season. It was a valiant effort from Spartak who have performed much better than their league position suggests, and this win will surely send out a message to the rest of the league ready for the next season.

Elsewhere, Shooting Stars were looking to maintain their good form when they faced KFC Athletic.

The fixture was given extra spice as Shooting Stars knew that a win would lift them above KFC.

Last week saw these two teams in a fiercely contested and close match, and this one was just the same.

Stars were under pressure in the first half but managed to keep the Colonels at bay with some organised football whilst KFC got men forward in an attempt to prise open the defence.

Shooting Stars were rewarded for their discipline when Tom Radford stole in and put them in the lead, his third goal in as many games.

After the break the lead was doubled through Rob Woods, who repeated his goal-scoring exploits of last week to give Stars the cushion.

But KFC replied straight away to give themselves a way back into the game and as Stars tried to restore their lead they conceded again as Ollie Shearer raced away and smashed in a long range shot which left 'keeper Colin Hetherington with no chance.

Both sides were desperate for maximum points as both pushed forward in search of a winner and Tom Radford put Stars in touching distance as he netted his secod goal of the game.

KFC through everything at Stars in an effort to grab a point, Ollie Shearer couldn't have been closer to securing it after he seized on a defensive blunder but Hetherington was at his very best to deny the KFC talisman a second goal and to give his team the valuable 3-2 victory.

KFC can reclaim fourth spot with a win next week but Stars have come a long way since the start of the season, shaking their tag as the whipping boys of the division.

Obi-Wan-Kenobi-Nil however, have been in devastating form this season. Sam O'Neill and Andy Ward have been contesting their own golden-boot competition at one end whilst Kev Clifton, Rich Pearson and Andy Soar have produced exemplary defensive displays at the other. Alan McPherson has been restricted to appearances this season but has had the Jedi's playing as a solid unit from back to front whilst Andy Moore and Bonar Casswell have also chipped in with crucial goals.

Andy Ward has sneaked ahead of comrade Sam O'Neill in the golden-boot standings, let's hope there's no penalties awarded next week, here's your top 10:

Name

Club

Goals

Andy Ward

Obi Wan

13

Sam O'Neill

Obi Wan

12

Dom Petronzi

Hardly Ath

9

Alex Kellett

Galacticos

8

Ash Wagg

Galacticos

8

Dan Ashton

Galacticos

7

Gareth Leighton

Hardly Ath

7

Jim Meakin

Galacticos

5

Tom Radford

Shooting Stars

4

Dan Bowden

KFC

4

Next week will see a full list of scorers for those of you who want bragging rights.

Congratulations to Obi-Wan-Kenobi-Nil, the new kings of the Team Derby Staff Football League.

Next week sees the champions in action against KFC Athetic, making for a somewhat shorter round-up.

Thanks for reading everyone.

Link to league table: http://www.fixturelist.com/leaguetables.php?l=13454

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