Saturday, 17 December 2011

Retford United 4 v Liversedge 2 - Baris NCEL Premier Division

Saturday 17th December 2011, at Cannon Park
Baris Northern Counties East League, Premier Division
Retford United (3) 4
Adam Scott 9, 16, Warren Hatfield 38, Barry Payne 89
Liversedge (1) 2
Dave Boardman 1, Corey Nightingale OG 78
Admission £5, Programme £1.50
Thanks to Annie Sm ... err, Knight for the team sheet
Free Roses chocolates for all inc. with admission :-)
Attendance 146
Man of the match - Adam Scott
Retford United secured the Xmas number 1 spot (sorry Cliff better luck next year) by putting four goals past Liversedge for the second week in a row.
But the visitors put up a spirited fight this afternoon, going ahead inside the first twenty seconds ... and the Badgers had their goalkeeper Jason Fisher to thank for keeping out a David Boardman penalty on 69 minutes.
Retford kicked off, but almost immediately lost possession and 'Sedge' attacked through the right hand channel.
A few United players seemed to stop in their tracks and looked towards the linesman hoping he was going to flag for a handball, but he didn't and Jamie Wasley, playing to the whistle, whipped the ball into the box where David Boardman was on hand to fire the visitors ahead before the Badgers had even got into their stride.
A double strike from Adam Scott, saw United pull level and then take the lead by the 16th minute, his second goal was a great solo effort after he'd powered into the box through the visitors defence.
On 27 minutes Chris Baugh almost extended Retford's lead, but his well struck shot from 12 yards out was well saved by James Waggett.
Baugh had a busy and industrious afternoon, marshalling his back line well and linking up with the midfield and attack. A solid captain's performance ... the former Ollerton Town player is obviously well worth £25 of anybody's sponsorship money.
"Look over their everybody ... Barry Oxby is standing on one leg!"

Liversedge were nearly level when Boardman thumped the ball against the post and then Carl Horsman miscued a shot in front of goal a minute later ... that'll be why he's a full back and not a striker then.
At the other end Warren Hatfield fired into the side netting, but a few minutes later had a chance to atone for his miss, when Adam Scott's deep cross from the right wing was headed back across the goal by Baugh into Hatfield's path, he made no mistake this time.
Retford finished the first half on top and could have gone into the break more than 3-1 ahead.
Liversedge came out looking for a way back into the game and started the second half strongly, but United packed out their rearguard and absorbed the pressure, waiting patiently to exploit the gaps the visitors were going to inevitably leave as they pushed forward in numbers.
Liam Pride, found himself in front of the Liversedge goal as Retford counter attacked, but fired his effort over ... once again, a case of a full back showing why he isn't a centre forward.With 69 minutes on the clock, it looked as though United's second half resilience had finally been breached ... and though there was more than a hint of good fortune in the visitors favour when they were awarded a penalty, nobody could dispute that 'Sedge' didn't deserve to be back in the game at this stage.
They were certainly letting Retford know they had been in a game.
A Liversedge shot from outside the box struck Rob Austin on the hand as he made a determined effort to block the ball.
From where I was sitting, I thought it was an unavoidable case of ball to hand, but the referee interpreted things differently.
Jason Fisher's got it covered

Dave Boardman hit his spot kick firmly and on target, but Jason Fisher in the Retford goal had anticipated the situation well and pulled off a fine save.
Ironically, when Liversedge did finally get the second goal that their efforts deserved, it went in off of one of the Retford defence who had worked so hard to preserve a two goal cushion, when Corey Nightingale diverted the ball past Fisher while trying to clear his lines.
With five minutes remaining, Liversedge's captain Darryl Leach smashed a free kick narrowly wide of the Badgers goal from 20 yards out.With full time rapidly approaching and everybody in the ground wondering if Retford were going to hold on, or if the visitors still had one last push in them, United took the ball down the left wing and deep into the 'Sedge' half, but rather than running the clock down in the corner, they opted for a 'best form of defence is attack' philosophy and moments later Barry Payne had the ball at his feet just a few yards out from goal ... it was a gilt edge change and he couldn't miss. Game over!
A very entertaining game that could've gone either way right until the very end finished 4-2.
Liversedge must be gutted that they were floored with such a late sucker punch after their exertions in the second half, but by the same token the Badgers could've been out of sight already by half time.

As I left the ground I received a text message from Haig Avenue, Southport - Mansfield playing really well, 90 minutes are up 1-1 - but by the time I'd travelled the few hundred yards home over the railway and canal bridges, the Stags had conceded two injury time goals and lost their game 3-1.
Don't you just hate it when that happens!?