Crafty T8’S crept up from behind on PLOUGH BARFLYS, tapped them on the shoulder and reminded them again who is the new number one side in Hucknall Sunday football.
The latest local derby between the two Notts Sunday Morning League, Premier Premier Division rivals went the same way as the previous three , with T8’s securing a narrow win -- this time 2-1.
Yes, Barflys fielded a strong side, boasting such luminaries as former pro Terry Henshaw, Basford United star Richard Harrison and Linby Colliery Welfare manager Dave Marlow.
And yes, Barflys pinched a deserved 25th minute lead when Dave Warden poked the ball home from eight yards, courtesy of slack marking by the home side, who failed to clear their lines.
But in the end, the outcome was as before with T8’s picking up the points and maintaining both their unbeaten record and their title challenge.
Said manager Reece Jackson: “Barflys will feel hard done by for not getting a point because they battled very hard.
“But I always knew if we got one goal back with time to spare, we’d probably get another.
“They couldn’t handle our pace and level of fitness in the last quarter of the game.
“We were not at our best but to win league titles, you have to pick up three points on your bad days.”
It was a bad day too for the neutrals in the crowd who braved a freezing cold morning.
For most of the match was scrappy, especially the opening half in which neither side could string more than three passes together and constantly gave the ball away.
After Barflys had taken the lead, T8’s responded with a header from full-back Greg Conn that came back off the bar.
And they started the second period much more brightly, with Andy Start racing clear for a lobbed effort that cleared the bar.
Flys threatened from a handful of soft free-kicks, awarded by referee Liam Jones.
And Jones further annoyed T8’s when disallowing a headed goal from skipper Danny Hayes in the 65th minute because of an apparent trip on goalkeeper Aaron Wilby.
However, five minutes later, Jackson’s determined troops were level as striker Kyle McDermott was slipped in to round Wilby and smash into an empty net.
By now, T8’s were in control of the game after a couple of astute tactical changes. And when constant pressure led to an 82nd minute corner, there was Chay Bettridge on hand to head the winner after Hayes had nodded the ball back across goal.
The referee found from somewhere fully five minutes of injury-time, in which Henshaw had a chance to salvage a point for Barflys. But his effort went wide to trigger another afternoon of celebration for T8’s.
They remain four points behind leaders Nuthall with four games in hand and nine more matches to play in all.