at the Jones & Co. Solicitors Stadium (Cannon Park)
Retford United U19 (1) 3
Bobby Johnson 15
Sam Downey 66
Reece Thompson 74
Handsworth U19 (0) 0
Admission £2, Programme £1, Attendance 72
McCracken, Armitage, Swannack, Munn, Lucas, Dennett, Colton (Hutchinson 76), Downey, Thompson (Bacon 76), Johnson, Ellis (Hall 67)
Unused subs - Snape, Blow, Tittcomb, Aldred.
Jones, Ledger (Robinson 64), Watts, Ingram, Spowage, O'Callaghan, Hudson, Bland, Williams, Edwards (Duckenfield 33), Wilson-Bland (Dawes 51)
Unused Subs - Holden, Morley
|A Derbyshire football hooligan running amok on the touchline|
Retford's class, saw to it that their fellow title chasers never got a foothold and when you're not on top of your game against a front pairing like Reece Thompson and Bobby Johnson, well ... it's just asking for trouble.
The two combined for the Badgers opener after a quarter of an hour, with Johnson providing the finishing touch from the edge of the area.
The midfield was congested at times as the battle for the middle of the park took centre stage, for much of the first 45 minutes. But with Retford having the one goal advantage, it was up to Handsworth to take the initiative and go looking for an equaliser. But on the few occasions that they tried to, they were soon shut down by United's central defensive pairing.
Alex Colton should've added a second goal for the home side, but I won't be critical of him, it was a cold and wet night out there and not exactly the right sort of climate for silky samba skills.
HT - Retford 1 v Handsworth 0
|Handsworth were sent outside to spend half time getting wet|
After the break, Retford's goalkeeper, Rory McCracken, could've taken a book out onto the pitch with him, because he had little all else of note to do.
Man of the match contender Sam Downey, beat Jones the Handsworth keeper to the ball in a one on one shoot out and slotted home Retford's second after Bobby Johnson had carved the opening for him with a clever pass.
|Hmm ... and how am I supposed to mark this one!?|
There was no stopping that one.
Thompson had a couple more decent attempts on goal before he was withdrawn, which must've been a real sickener for the visitors who now knew United had the game sewn up and were so confident of victory that they were resting their top scorer.
I believe this was a case, of what is covered in the UEFA Coaches Handbook, under the heading of 'Rubbing it in'.
Rory McCracken did finally get his shirt dirty, when Adam Robinson abandoned the rest of his Handsworth team and set off on a solo run to goal, leaving several United players in his wake before pulling a great stop out of the Badger's keeper. It's the mark of a good keeper, keeping himself focussed and prepared when he hasn't had a lot to do for a while.
Elsewhere tonight, Sheffield lost to Arnold Town, which means, once again, that Retford United are back at the top of Division 1.
FT - Champions Elect 3 v Reigning Champions 0