Wednesday 21st March 2012, at Cannon Park
North Midlands Under 19 League, Division 2
Retford United (1) 1 - Alistair Plant
Matlock Town (0) 0
Admission £2, Free programme/team sheet,
Attendance 35 or thereabouts
The Retford United U19 management team Chris Howard and Phil Hall have both resigned from their posts with effect from this month, which is a great shame, because the way their team has been playing at times this season has been a joy to watch and the calibre of some of the players they've unearthed and been bringing through the ranks, is testament to the hard work and dedication they've put into the job.
I'm sure they'll both stay in football and re-emerge elsewhere in due course.
It's safe to say that Retford United's loss will definitely be somebody else's gain.
I'd like to take this opportunity to wish them both well for the future, whatever they decide to do.
I'm sure there won't be a shortage of offers once it's common knowledge that their services are available.
And I hope that the frustrations that led to their decision haven't put them off working elsewhere any time soon.Even if their appetites have been diminished of late, they've both got football in the blood and I've no doubt they won't be able to resist getting involved again before long.
At present, it must be a big doubt as to whether Retford United will even have an Under 19's team at all after this season, given the ongoing financial situation at the club, but there are plenty of other local clubs waiting in the wings, running the rule over the Badgers current crop of youngsters.
Personally, I'd have thought it would've made good sense financially, to be investing in producing own grown players as a long term project, which will aid the club on many levels in the future, but what do I know, eh!?
I'm just an impartial observer, but in my ever so humble opinion, it would be a travesty for Retford United if the players Chris and Phil have been working with slipped through the clubs fingers and ended up elsewhere.
Tonight's result was vital for Retford's north Notts neighbours Harworth Colliery Institute, because either a draw or a Retford win would 99% guarantee that they avoid relegation into Division 3.Alistair Plant's first half strike, in what was, for the most part, a fairly lacklustre game, proved to be the only goal of the night and gave Harworth the lifeline they needed.
So, although tonight was tinged with sadness that the Badgers management felt they had gone as far as they could with their chosen jobs, it was celebration time for one Bassetlaw based club tonight.
The Harworth contingent present must've been concerned when it transpired that Retford didn't have a recognised goalkeeper tonight, but outfield player Sam Foulds put in a good shift between the sticks and commanded his area well, pulling off a few 'unconventional' but effective saves into the bargain.
I haven't written very much about the actual game, because in all honesty there wasn't a lot to write about.
But Chris and Hally signed off with a win and Harworth get another crack at Division 2 next season, so at least the result was pleasing.