North Midland U19 League, Division 1
Retford United (3) 9
Luke Walker 11, 32, 38
Reece Thompson 47 (pen), 53, 71
Shaun Nesbitt 62, Jack Munn 68
Josh Sharpe 90+1
Southwell City (0) 1
Owen Roberts 84
Admission £2, Programme £1, Attendance 58
Jack Aldred, Adam Holdsworth, Jason Swannack, Jack Munn (Joel Marson 69), Alex Tittcomb (Bradley Capsticks 45), Kyle Dennett, Reece Thompson, Shaun Nesbitt, Luke Walker (Josh Sharpe 59), Alex Colton, Sam Hutchinson
Unused Subs: - Adam Ellis, Matt Mitchell
Josh Hollis, Dan Gleeson, Jack Mellor, Dom Chatfield, Rob Brown, Alex Beckson, Chris Bowles, Jake Glover, Owen Roberts, James Monk, Michael Harget
Subs - Sam Virtue, Will Haycox
I mean, it doesn't quite have the same kudos as a 9-0 with that all important clean sheet, like what Harworth went n' done last night, now does it?
But still, a very impressive win, never the less ;-)
What wasn't impressive in the slightest however, was the cynical way in which Southwell started the game, targeting one or two of the Retford lads with a succession of underhanded, physical challenges and off the ball 'gamesmanship', clearly designed to get the United players in trouble, when/if they retaliated.
For crying out loud, it's Under 19's football FFS!
Reece Thompson was incensed by the treatment he was getting and was soon up in arms about it and getting spoken to by the referee for being outspoken.
Thankfully, he heeded the advice from his bench and a whole load of spectators down the touchline, not to let the visitors get him into trouble, but to answer them with his footwork instead.
Retford settled down, Southwell realised their opening gambit wasn't working and a game of football broke out instead.
The Badgers were in front on 11 minutes, when Josh Hollis in the Southwell goal spilled a cross from Reece Thompson right into the path of Luke Walker, who couldn't miss from 3 yards out ... and didn't.
Thompson and Walker combined again, but Southwell managed to clear their lines this time.
But on 32 minutes, there was another calamity in the City defence, when they failed to deal with a long throw in by Shaun Nesbitt, Josh Hollis flapped at the ball again and once more Luke Walker was on hand to score another predators goal.
For purposes of clarification, can anybody out there in reader-land (I've read the stats, thank you both for bothering) tell me what the difference is between predatory and goal hanging?
Either way, goals win games, so just keep doing what you do Luke.
Sam Hutchinson neatly sent Luke Walker away with a well measured pass on 38 minutes and the Retford striker proved that he occasionally doesn't only score tap ins, by charging into the Southwell box and belting the ball past Josh Hollis, to complete his hat trick.
United were now attacking at will, while Southwell were desperately in need of the half time whistle and an opportunity to regroup, reassess and alter their game plan. Little were they to know that tonight's mistakes were already beyond repair and even worse was to come in the second half.
Southwell are a real Jekyll and Hyde side and you never know which version is going to turn up.
Sometimes they knock the ball around well and are a pleasure to watch, others ... well, tonight was one of the others.
HT: Retford United 3 v Southwell City 0
He got to his feet, swaggered up to the ball in his trademark laconic style and put the Badgers 4-0 up.
Alex Colton and Sam Hutchinson combined well and put Luke Walker through into the box, he took the ball past a defender and shot; Josh Hollis blocked his effort, but couldn't hold onto the ball and this time it was Reece Thompson's turn to be a goal hanger, 5-0 to Retford.
Retford's sixth came from a pass through the left channel from Alex Colton, which Shaun Nesbitt ran through onto, 'dinked' the ball under the body of Josh Hollis who had spread himself to narrow the angle and carried on to run the ball over the line.
Josh Hollis gets prominent mentions in most of Retford's goals, but that is not to his detriment. None of his defence get a mention at all ... go figure!
Reece Thompson stroked a slide rule pass across from the right flank to Jack Munn, who crashed the ball home from 25 yards and was rewarded for his goal scoring prowess, by being substituted immediately afterwards.
Reece Thompson, stooped inside the penalty area, to nod home his third and Retford's eighth from a Shaun Nesbitt cross on 71 minutes.
Are you glad you wound him up at the beginning of the game now Southwell!?
With six minutes to go, Owen Roberts nicked a consolation goal for Southwell, while Adam Holdsworth, Brad Capsticks and Jack Aldred got in a muddle over who was going to take on the responsibility of clearing their lines.
But soon afterwards Sam Hutchinson showed his defence how to prevent a goalscoring opportunity by heading the ball off the line and over the crossbar, it's just a shame he was at the wrong end of the pitch when he did it.
Joking aside, Sam had an excellent game and deserved to score, but though he was instrumental in the build up play to several goals tonight, the ball just wouldn't fall right for him when it was his turn to claim some of the glory.
A case in point being Retford's ninth goal, in injury time ... when, with Hutchinson in place to get on the end of Josh Sharpe's cross with the goal at his mercy, Sharpe misdirected his kick and it went straight into the goal by mistake instead.
They all count.
FT: Retford United 9 v Southwell City 1
As we were leaving the ground a Retford fan called out "Cheats don't prosper!"
But, it's really not my place to comment on such a statement/allegation.