Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Retford United 3 v Staveley Miners Welfare 0 - Baris NCEL Premier Division

Mr P Jackson of Retford's flag hanging master class was well attended by local chip scoffing youngsters

Tuesday 24th April 2012, at Cannon Park
Baris Northern Counties East League, Premier Division
Retford United (3) 3
Warren Hatfield 25, 35, Karl Slack 30
Staveley Miners Welfare (0) 0
Admission £5, Programme £1.50, Attendance 210
Many thanks to the demur Annie Knight for the team line ups, muchly appreciated.
Man of the match, Steve Gilles, Retford United's groundsman, the pitch looked in great shape and held up well. You only have to look at the standing water on the fields surrounding Cannon Park to see what a great job Steve's done these past couple of days.
Retford United:
Fisher, Baugh, Austin, Hayes, Nightingale, Chambers, Colton, Hatfield, Snowden (Haslam), Slack, Scott.
Unused Subs - Carty, Dawson, Hall, Brown.
Staveley Miners Welfare:
Dewberry, Forbes-Chambers, Cockerill (Foyle), Fawcus, Staley, Patterson, Smith, Eagers, Damms, Fox, Thornton (Walker).
Unused Subs - Coy, Claridge, Thomas.
A well timed and fairly academic win for the Badgers, puts them just one point behind league leaders Bridlington Town, with a game in hand.
Weather permitting, that game is just 48 hours away, on Thursday night, when Thackley are due to visit Cannon Park.
Then this coming weekend, Retford visit Bridlington in a championship decider, while Staveley travel to Nostell Miners Welfare, who were on the wrong end of a 10-1 thrashing by Retford United last weekend.
Less than two weeks ago, Staveley did tonight's hosts a massive favour, by beating Bridlington 2-1 at Inkersall Road ... If you look closely enough, you can probably see the gossamer like threads linking the bigger picture and all of these sub plots together.
When Warren Hatfield fired United ahead from just inside the box on 25 minutes, it seemed to knock a tired looking Staveley completely out of their stride.
And within ten minutes the visitors found themselves vaingloriously chasing the game, as the Badgers scored again, twice.
Karl Slack, looking ever so slightly offside (or so the Retford United fans sat near us thought), ran through and beat Martin Dewberry in a one on one, and then Warren Hatfield, again, hit the third from the edge of the box, whilst mastering the noble art of trying to keep a shot on target while stumbling off balance.
The strike wasn't aesthetically neat to look at, but it was effective never the less.
It's no wonder Hadfield looks like a contender for United's 'player of the season', though I did hear a few people saying they were going to vote for Adam Scott.
It did look as though a rout might be on the cards for a while, but no further goals were forthcoming. After just 35 minutes, that scenario didn't seem likely.
Half time, Retford United 3 v Staveley Miners Welfare 0
If they were going to get anything out of this game, Staveley were going to have to get a goal back early in the second half.
But things went from bad to worse for the visitors instead and they were reduced to ten men, when Kyle Forbes-Chambers was shown a straight red card for a rash challenge, right in front of the home side's dug out, which prompted a brief and undignified bout of pushing, shoving, finger pointing and handbags at ten paces. Thankfully that all blew over fairly quickly though.
As often happens when faced by ten men instead of the full quota of eleven, the Badgers found Staveley a tougher nut to crack during the second half.
For their part however, Billy Fox's side were mostly restricted to long range free kicks on goal, which hardly troubled Jason Fisher at all.
With eight minutes of time remaining, Ryan Damms had a chance to reduce the arrears for the visitors from the spot, but Jason Fisher guessed which way the penalty kick was going and saved it well.
A well deserved three points for Brett Marshall's Badgers in the end, but Staveley didn't really give a very good account of themselves tonight. They seem to still be reeling from the hammer blow of going out of the FA Vase at the semi final stage.
I know they're much better than this, but they need to start believing that themselves too.
Full time: Retford United 3 v Staveley Miners Welfare 0

Having already lost twice away from home to Thackley already this season; 2-0 in the League and 5-1 in the League Cup, Retford owe their next opponents a performance.
I was present at the League Cup game and although the Badgers weren't at full strength, it would be fair to say, they had a lacklustre off night.
I'm sure they won't play like that again this week.
A win against the Bradford area club would leave them requiring a point at Bridlington on Saturday to secure the title.
Whether they win the Championship or not, the Badgers have had a great year in the NCEL, fingers crossed that manager Brett Marshall can be convinced to stay on and continue his job with them beyond this season.
Staveley, hmm ... I think they owe themselves a performance on current form.
They now face four League fixtures in 7 days (Tadcaster Albion, Nostell Miners Welfare and Lincoln Moorlands Railway away and Scarborough Athletic at home) and can hopefully pick things up again and finish their campaign on a high, because there are a lot of positives to draw on from their first season in the NCEL Premier Division.