Thursday, 14 March 2013

Sheffield U19 2 v Retford United U19 0 - NMU19L Div 1

Thursday 14th March 2013
at The BT Local Business Stadium,
AKA the Coach and Horses Ground, Dronfield
North Midlands U19 League Division 1
Sheffield U19 (1) 2
Miles Howarth 12
(or Miles 'Harworth' according to NMU19L website)
Adam Hurrell 79
Retford United (0) 0
Admission £2 inc. programme, Attendance 70+
Retford will be (really) gutted with their performance tonight.
In fact, it needs to be asked: Did Sheffield beat the Badgers, or did they actually beat themselves, by playing too many stray passes and failing to find the net, due to several alarming misses?
I don't want to be overly critical of the United team, because they've been having a great season so far.
Granted they had several key players unavailable RUFC match preview, but the visitors, collectively, had an off night and didn't acquit themselves well at all, for lengthy spells of the game.
Miles Howarth was allowed too much time on the ball and yards of space to himself, inside the Retford penalty area, when he put the home side in front, from a completely unchallenged position on 12 minutes.
Sheffield looked tired themselves at times, but they kept plugging away, while a disjointed United side would probably have been content to go in just a goal down at the break, given how cheaply they had given away possession, far too often over the first 45 minutes.
HT - 'Club' 1 v 'Badgers' 0
Adam Ellis gave Retford a bit of width and a few more options when he came on, while Sam Hutchinson was a whisker away from reaching the ball in the six yard box, to stab home an equaliser.
But at the other end, Liam Bryan came close to doubling the home side's lead, with what would've been a great solo effort.
Wayward finishing from the visitors, saw several balls disappear into the car park as they continued to misfire in front of goal. But, ironically, they were enjoying their best spell of the game attacking and possession wise, when Sheffield counter attacked quickly and Liam Bryan set up Adam Hurrell who made it 2-0 from close range, although the matchday announcer did credit Bryan with the goal.
Tonight's fixture was an eagerly anticipated top 2 clash, but in truth, it was a fairly scrappy affair, all told.
I was disappointed by what I saw at times, because I was expecting so much more, so I can only imagine how the people involved with Retford United are feeling about their 'no show' right now.
Sheffield weren't their usual cavalier selves either, but they did enough to see off  a visiting side, who have to get back to winning ways immediately, at home against Pinxton next Thursday.
It's a game they should win, but having seen some of the curious results this never predictable league has thrown up this season, they must be wary of the banana skin potential that next game holds.
I was reliably informed, that what Retford United were lacking tonight, was the cutting edge, that could've been provided by their former striker Luke Walker, who now plays for Staveley.
Thanks for that constructive comment, insight and input, err ... Luke Walker.
The NMU19L Div 1 title chase is far from over just yet.
Sheffield gave their championship credentials a massive leg up tonight, but it's down to the teams around them to keep the pressure on now.
Hold on tight.
It's going to go all the way to the wire.
FT - Sheffield U19 2 v Retford United U19 0

Next up:
Tomorrow night, Forest Green Rovers v Mansfield Town, Blue Square Bet Premier