AFC Kirk Hallam 1 - 5 Keyworth
By Dave Morley
Relegation confirmed after heavy defeat
The boys went into this match knowing that a win would only give them a very slim chance of staying in division 1 of the Young Elizabethan Football League.
Inside a nervous few opening ten minutes, Keyworth went 1-0 up with a well worked goal. This seemed to kick Kirk Hallam into life and they started to play football. Ben Morley, after going clean through on goal was hacked down by the last man on the edge of the Keyworth box, only to see the referee waving play on. Both sets of managers couldn't believe a free kick wasn't given. This was a sign of the madness to come over the next 45 minutes. As Kirk Hallam continued to enjoy more of the play, Richard Frost broke into the Keyworth box and for reasons only known to the referee, won a penalty, which Ben Morley smashed into the top right corner. Keyworth were rightfully confused by this decision as there was nothing wrong that the referee could've possibly spotted. Minutes later, the Keyworth linesman was heard indicating to the referee that there was a clear handball by a Keyworth player, only for the referee to wave play on. Then, just before half time, came the biggest controversial point of the match. Kirk Hallam won a throw in just inside the Keyworth half. Keyworth then asked to make a substitution. As the player was making his way off the pitch, the referee blew his whistle for the throw in to be taken. With two quick passes, Kirk Hallam worked the ball into a position where Noah Bagley put the ball in the net for 2-1 to the home side. Protests were made by the Keyworth management that the throw in shouldn't have been taken, and the referee, despite blowing the whistle for play to start, decided that the Keyworth appeals were correct, disallowed the goal and went back to the throw in. From a situation created by the referee, Kirk Hallam's heads went and went into half time fuming at 1-1. Yes, the throw shouldn't have been taken, but the referee blew his whistle, therefore signalling the ball in play. An allowed goal would've been harsh on Keyworth, but by the rules, should have stood.
Still reeling from the awful decision in the first half, having been on top, the Kirk Hallam boys were shell shocked in the second half. A quick double of soft goals put Keyworth 3-1 and the game was over. Another penalty, this time for Keyworth out of absolutely nothing made it 4-1 and a late goal sealing a 5-1 victory for the visitors who were the much better side and now have a chance of staying up themselves. The Kirk Hallam lads can feel very unlucky following a good first half, but can have no arguments with the result in the second based on Keyworth coping a lot better in a game being totally ruined by some very poor decisions.
Well done Keyworth. Good luck in staying up.