Thursday, 20 March 2014

Retford United 0 v Heanor Town 2 - NCEL LC R4

Thursday 20th March 2014
at Cannon Park - Jones & Co. Stadium
NCEL League Cup R4 (Quarter Final)
Retford United (0) 0
Heanor Town (1) 2
Kieran Debrouwer 38, Chris Shaw 81
Admission £5, programme £1, attendance 94
Photos courtesy of Jon Knight - Thanks Jon
Click THIS LINK for Jon Knight's Flickr photo stream
Retford United:
Hitchcock, Smith (Holdsworth 81), Severn, Stannard, Sanderson, Dorgan (Medcalf 72), Johnson (C), Jones, Wilkin, Thompson, Booth.
Unused subs - Muirhead, O'Neill, Hutchinson.
Heanor Town:
Frost, Webster, Shaw, Raven, Peel, Blake, Debrouwer, Hall (C) , Benger (Crosby 82), Holmes, Stevenson.
Unused subs - Tinsley, Moran, Nicholls, Baker.
Well Retford United ... that was shocking!
Heanor Town thoroughly deserved their win tonight and, if truth be told, the Badgers got exactly what their efforts warranted too.
The woodwork had come to Retford's rescue twice, before the visitors went down to ten men after just 18 minutes, when the Lions captain, Nick Hall, was shown a straight red card.
So, having already been let off of the hook twice, it was now surely 'advantage United', with 72 minutes still left to play.
Err ... not quite.
The Badgers never made the extra man count and in truth, there were spells of the game, when they didn't even look interested in advancing through to the semi final stage of a competition that represents the last remaining silverware available to them this season.
Kieran Debrouwer scored four times on his last visit to Cannon Park, earlier this month, so the Retford defence will have known all about how much close attention his every move would require.
Alas, on 38 minutes, he advanced on the Badgers goal from the right hand side of the penalty area and slotted home a well taken goal from a tight angle, without a defensive challenge in sight.
That was Debrouwer's 49th goal of the season, so far ... a quite incredible record.
It was actually difficult to tell which team were playing a man light as the first half came to a close ... and to be frank, the home side were being embarrassed by how comfortably Heanor were controlling several  of the pitch, namely: the defence, the midfield and the final third.
HT 0-1
Heanor came out after the interval and generously offered Retford United the chance to get back into the game, by starting with just Nathan Benger up front, while the rest of their side played deep and waited for a seemingly inevitable Retford onslaught that was bound to come soon.
Hmm, well I left the ground at full time, approximately ten minutes ago, and that onslaught still hadn't materialised  by then, so you can scrap that theory.
United had shown a few hints that suggested that they were getting more involved, but as the second half progressed, it became apparent that they really weren't getting to grips with the game at all.
It must've been painful and embarrassing for the Badgers followers, having to watch their team going halfheartedly about their business, offering little or no threat going forward against a team who were reduced to ten men, while a cluster of Heanor fans noisily mocked a home side, who appeared to be merely going through the motions.
Of course, the Badgers did create a few chances, but  when it mattered, their focus and application in front of goal was somewhat lacking. Even the Badgers own prolific goalscorer, Reece Thompson (32 goals this term, to date) couldn't make any difference to the scoreline tonight.
Retford's misery was compounded when Chris Shaw doubled the visitors lead directly from a right wing corner kick, that evaded everybody in the six yard box, with nine minutes remaining.
The game was now effectively over and only one side looked like scoring from then on in ... and it wasn't Retford United.
Well played Heanor Town, they came, they saw, they conquered and thoroughly deserved to win ... while Richard Sennett's side had a real off night and weren't at the races at all.
FT - Retford United 0 v Heanor Town 2
Positives from a Retfordian perspective ... Rob Sanderson played well enough, the rain stopped before the game started, and err ... well, that's your lot actually!