Thursday 18th October 2018
North Midland Under 19 League
at Cannon Park
Retford United (2) 2
Peter Voase 2, George White 26
Swallownest (0) 1
George West 59
Swallownest began the night with a team that had to be rapidly assembled, due to late arrival of several players who didn't get the chance of a warm up before the game... and consequently five of them had never even played together before. It would be fair to say that they were slow out of the blocks, in fact that would be something of an understatement, because the game was only two minutes old when United took the lead, by which time the 'Swall' keeper, Ben Williams, had already denied Ollie Ashwell twice, before the live-wire attacker threaded his next touch into the path of Peter Voase, who planted his shot into the bottom right hand corner of Williams' net.
Marcus Ford-Whitham's flag kick from the right picked out George West, whose header was tipped away over the bar by George Atkinson. Ford-Whitham once again found West with his next delivery from the opposite flank, but the visitors number eight headed over the bar without any assistance from Atkinson this time.
Liam Bennett was looking strong in midfield for the Badgers, and it was his precision ball forward to Voase that led to United's next chance, as their number nine rolled the ball sideways to Alex Bennett, who hooked a shot just past the post from twenty yards out.
Matt Cassidy was causing the visitors problems down the right, so they moved Travis Otter across to stifle his movement and intercept passes played out his way and all but suffocated that particular outlet for United, who still however saw the remainder of the first half out comfortably.
While Swallownest for their part, were knocking the ball around well, sans very much penetration in the final third after their earlier flurry around Atkinson's area.
HT: Badgers U19 2 v Swall U19 0
James White forced Atkinson into a save with a long range shot inside the opening minute of the second half... and though Retford responded with shot's from both (A) & (L) Bennett, that Williams did well to deal with, it was the away side who were now growing in stature.
Brad Davidson on the right hand side of defence for Swallownest, was running off knock after knock and pretending not to be hurt because he didn't want substituting... and I'll take an on the spot fine (or two) to resorting to using cliches on this here blog, to say: he's the sort of player who'd run through a brick wall for you and the kind of battler that you'd want beside you 'in the trenches' if the going ever got tough.
Besides marshalling one side of his own half of the pitch, Davidson looked up, saw West motoring forward and played a great knock forward into his path through the right channel, that West took in his stride and buried just inside the left hand upright, with an angled shot across Atkinson's goal.
Ashwell went close to restoring Retford's two goal advantage from (A) Bennett's left wing cross into the 'Swall' area, but you could see the self belief coursing through the visitors veins now as they took the game to their hosts.
Jack Wood forced Atkinson into pulling off two 'worldly' stops, as United's rearguard began to creak under a succession of corners by Swallownest, and as Retford put players behind the ball, West opted to test Atkinson from long range, with a teasing effort that moved about in the air, but the United keeper claimed it.
Despite the visitor's strategy of 'all out attack' as the second half wore on, United dug in deep and held onto their lead, to take their first three points of the season.
FT: Retford United 2 v Swallownest 1
The two sides face one another again in two week's time, at Swallownest's Rotherham Road (Swall-Siro) ground... so I'll see you all there then!?