Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Retford United 0 v Hallam 1 - PSF

Tuesday 4th August 2015
Pre Season Friendly
at the Jones & Co. Stadium
Retford United (0) 0
Hallam (0) 1
Michael Blythen 48
Admission Free 
"It's going to be a long bloody season!"
"Aye, but it can't be as bad as last one, surely!?"
Optimism, it would seem, is in fairly short supply among the Cannon Park faithful.
I'm afraid to say it, but the parallels between the pessimism I witnessed among the ever dwindling River Lane crowds at Retford Town FC, before they went belly up in the mid 1980's and the grim acceptance among United supporters that things will inevitably never get any better, are almost identical.
Even the laughter and regular supply of wisecracks from the main stand seats, are borne out of gallows humour.
I will however, leave it there for now, before I start getting overly morbid.
But I will say this: In football there is always a lot of rumour, speculation and conjecture aimed at the easiest of targets and 99.9% is never right. It is indecent to gloat at the current financial plight of Retford United... there but for the grace of God n' all that.
Tonight's game, saw Hallam, the second oldest club in the world, managed by former Retford United player Ryan Hindley, visit a Badgers side who play a division above them in the NCEL, but only because the host club were given a reprieve from relegation last season.
On the balance of play, if you weren't actually aware of the respective status' of both teams, you could easily have thought that it was actually Hallam who were the higher ranked of the two sides.
It was 'only' a friendly so it would be wrong of me to be overly critical of Retford's performance tonight, because these games are supposed to be about getting your fitness levels up and trying a few new players and systems out and results are immaterial. Maybe some of the Retford players were a bit reluctant to risk getting a knock before the season starts for real on Saturday, to some extent you couldn't blame them if that was the case.
But, the visitors obviously left Cannon Park on a bit of a high, due to them winning and having put in a half decent shift, while some home fans 'joked' about wanting a refund... for a free admission game!
Sports psychology and creating a feelgood factor is an under rated science.
The first half was fairly evenly matched and Retford failed to take advantage of a couple of slips by the visitors keeper Jack Dennison, they're going to have to be more ruthless in front of goal from hereon in... take the Hallam striker Michael Blythen for example, he was on hand to knock home the rebound when the Badgers keeper Danny Reay (who used to play for Hallam) parried his initial shot on 48 minutes, to bag the only goal of the game.
Hallam had more of the play, particularly in the second half, though Adam Lee did have a half decent chance to pull things level for the home side.
Hopefully United will be focused and raring to go on Saturday, because they face a tough challenge in Albion Sports, while Hallam, who were deservedly the winners tonight travel to Hall Road Rangers.
FT: Retford United 0 v Hallam 1