Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Retford United v Dunkirk FC - Notts Senior Cup Semi Final

Tuesday 30th March 2010. Notts Senior Cup Semi Final.
at Cannon Park, Retford

Retford United (0) 4 (Thomas 53, Marrison 61, 68 pen, Godber 70)
Dunkirk FC (0) )

Admission £8. Programme £1.50. Attendance 92
The Notts Senior Cup Final will take place on Monday May 10th, Kick Off 7.30PM at Meadow Lane, the home of Notts County FC.
It will be contested between Retford United and the winners of the other Semi Final, that will be played between Forest Town and Eastwood Town on 13th April, after the Badgers scored four second half goals without reply tonight against Dunkirk FC of the East Midlands Counties League.
Certainly not where I'd planned to be tonight, but an half decent game and a few good laughs along the way never the less.
Matlock Town v Worksop Town was postponed at dinner time, due to the Causeway Lane pitch already being waterlogged by then, so I had a wander up to Cannon Park to watch a game tonight instead.
When I arrived at 7.10PM the referee had just announced that if there was another good downpour in the next half an hour the game would be off ... thankfully the next 'good downpour' waited until midway through the second half.
But it was still a drizzly and blowy night, so it was just as well that a new seated section and standing cover for 200 spectators has been erected at Cannon Park recently, very recently in fact.
Of course, some traditionalists have habits that are hard to break and they preferred to stand out in the wind and rain regardless.
Me, I took refuge with my prawn sandwich in the back row.
A giant lug worm devours a steward while some fascinated children look on

The first time I saw these two sides play each other was at the Ron Steels Sports Ground on Lenton Lane in Nottingham, when Dunkirk FC were hosting Retford United in a Central Midlands League game that was played in farcical conditions.
The wind was blowing so strong that I saw a goal kick, pumped up the pitch towards the centre circle by the Retford keeper, get caught up in the wind and go out for a corner without another player getting anywhere near it.
At an earlier match that day (it was a Central Midlands League ground hop day) a large section of an uprooted tree crashed onto the roof of the stand at Pelican FC, just a couple of feet from where we were stood. Elsewhere, the nearby Football League fixture between Mansfield Town and Oxford United was abandoned at half time because it was deemed impossible to play on in such storm like conditions.
But all 5 (five) games we went to that day in the CML went ahead regardless.
Of course, this season Mansfield Town v Oxford United isn't a Football League fixture any more.
Anyway, I'm meandering off on a tangent, so getting back on topic ... last season Retford United knocked Dunkirk out of the Notts Senior Cup at the quarter final stage, by virtue of a single goal by Micky Godber.
Tonight, for the first half at least, it didn't look like there would be much separating the two teams by the end of this game either.
Dunkirk put ten past Anstey Nomads in an EMCL fixture at the weekend and they certainly weren't just here to make the numbers up. Well, not for a while at least.
The Boatmen gave a very good account of themselves until United had grabbed a two goal cushion through Thomas and Marrison. By which time the strength sapping pitch conditions were starting to tell on both teams, but mostly on the visitors.
When Marrison scored his second and United's third from the spot, it was effectively game over, but an RUFC steward stood near us commented that he would like "a couple of more goals just to make sure after Saturday's capitulation"
Micky Godber added a fourth to be on the safe side and with the weather worsening by the minute, I don't think anybody would've minded too much that there would be no extra time and penalties tonight now.
The four nil victory was fashioned out of hard work on a very heavy pitch that will have taken a lot out of the players ... Retford are straight back in action on Friday with a home game against the rejuvenated Durham City (kick off at 3PM), their third home game in six days.
"Baby it's cold outside"

Worksop Town have no games at all scheduled over the 'Blank Holiday Weekend' and won't be playing again now, until the rearranged game at Matlock Town next Wednesday.
So, will I be at the Badgers again later this week for a football fix?
I've always watched a good few games there most seasons and have a lot of good mates at Cannon Park, but is three Retford United games in a row really the kind of behaviour that can be condoned in anybody trying to preserve their neutral status?
Looking at the weather forecast, I'm assuming that tomorrow night's Under 19's fixture between Handsworth and Worksop Town will be off, which will force a Cannon Park fixture trilogy dilemma on me.
Hmm, watch this space.

This space ...
FOOTNOTE
Added Wednesday 31st March
Handsworth v Worksop Town, North Midlands Under 19 League
POSTPONED - WATERLOGGED PITCH!