Shirebrook Town and Hemsworth Miners Welfare battled through the awful windy conditions at Langwith Road on Saturday, but it was Shirebrook who coped the best throughout the 90 minutes, running out convincing 4-1 winners against their visitors from West Yorkshire.
That would have been just the start that newly-appointed Shirebrook managers Mark Camm and Danny Bacon would have wanted to their tenure.
But it was Hemsworth who threatened early on with Matthew Semley and Nicholas Guest combining dangerously in front of the home goal a couple of times inside the opening two minutes.
However, Shirebrook had the strong wind at their backs and soon began to impose themselves on the game, midfielder Jordan Hall testing Hemsworth keeper Benjamin Farina with a 25-yard shot on goal after four minutes.
But keeping the ball under control in the blustery conditions was proving difficult for the home side and Reece Twell, Grant Ryan, Ricky Hanson, Danny Booth, skipper Craig Getliff and Antony Rowley all had good chances which went wide, before Getliff opened Shirebrook’s account on 34 minutes, a right-footed screamer from 30 yards that gave Farina no chance of making a save.
Hemsworth had been doing all the defending before then, their only real attacking chance since the start of the game falling to Harry Viggars on 23 minutes, but his shot into the wind from the edge of the box was high and well off its intended target.
So it was clear that Shirebrook would really need to make the most of the conditions before the end of the half, and they went some way towards that on 41 minutes after good work down the right, Ryan doubling the home side’s advantage with a well-struck shot from the front edge of the box that went in at the far post.
But Shirebrook’s 2-0 half-time lead might not have been enough with Hemsworth having the help of the strengthening wind behind them in the second half.
And the visitors were first to show, Viggars just wide of the right hand upright from the edge of the box, four minutes after the restart.
Nash Connolly then went close from the corner of the box on the right for Hemsworth, before play switched to the other end where Hall was denied twice in quick succession after Twell crossed low from the right to the back post.
However, the visitors continued to press and Shirebrook central defender Steve Wankiewicz did well to take the ball off Connolly’s toe in the home box to the right.
Still Hemsworth pressed, but it was the home side who found the back of the net next, the ball worked from the right to Twell and he produced a smart 18-yard finish, low into the bottom corner of the near post and well out of the reach of Hemsworth keeper Farina on 64 minutes.
That would have been a real blow for the visitors who, two minutes later, suffered again as they saw their numbers reduced when experienced midfielder Lee Dawson got his marching orders after picking up his second yellow card of the game.
It looked all over bar the shouting when Wankiewicz bundled in Shirebrook’s fourth goal of the game on 72 minutes past two Hemsworth defenders stood on the line, substitute Danny Claridge’s low inswinging corner from the right beating Farina at the near post, the ball going through to Wankiewicz waiting in the six-yard area.
Nevertheless, the 10 men of the visitors didn’t look like giving up and they were rewarded for their efforts with a consolation goal eight minutes from time, Connolly’s strike in the swirling wind from 25 yards on the right deceiving Shirebrook keeper Sam Andrew at the near post, who could only parry the ball into his own net.
On Saturday, Shirebrook Town travel into South Yorkshire to take on Sheffield side Hallam FC at their Sandygate ground, which is recognised by the Guiness Book of Records to be the oldest ground in the world. Kick-off is at 3pm.
The two sides have met twice already this season, Shirebrook winning both games, a 2-1 away victory in the First Round Qualifying of the FA Vase on the second Sunday of September last year, followed by a 2-0 league win at Langwith Road six days later.
SHIREBROOK TOWN: Andrew, Pride, Hanson (Witcombe 79), Booth, Wankiewicz, Henshaw, Hall, Getliff, Twell, Ryan (Sibenge 68), Rowley (Claridge 61). Subs not used: Bacon, M Camm.
HEMSWORTH MW: Farina, Hayward, Clark, Dawson, Varley, Stor, Connolly, Yates, Guest (Crapper 71), Viggars, Semley (Hart 71). Sub not used: Kemp.
REFEREE: David Heap of South Yorkshire.