Saturday, 29 August 2015

Retford United 1 v Garforth Town 1 - NCEL Prem

Saturday 29th August 2015
Toolstation NCEL Premier Division
at the Jones & Co. Stadium (Cannon Park)
Retford United (1) 1
Mark Waters 14
Garforth Town (0) 1
Luke Mangham 74
Admission £6. Programme £1.50. Attendance 98
The last time I watched Retford United, I reported that they would need to be ruthless in front of the opposition's goal, because although they had created plenty of chances, they failed to score.
Although they went in front today on 14 minutes when Mark Waters put the ball past Ben Hunter; yet again, they failed to capitalise on having the bulk of the game against an out of sorts 'Miners' side during the first half, when they really ought to have built up an unassailable lead by the break.
I honestly do share the Badgers manager Chris Sellars' pain and frustrations whenever I watch his side play, because a team that can dominate the way Retford did in the first half, shouldn't only be averaging a point and a goal per game.
Retford's cause wasn't helped when their keeper Jamie Davies had to leave the field injured during the first half and Julian Lawrence (a defender) had to take over between the sticks... to be fair Lawrence did alright in a highly unorthodox sort of way.
Garforth had got off to a stuttering start and by their own admission weren't really in the game during the opening 45 minutes and I would imagine that their manager will have seen the 1-0 interval deficit as a damage limitation job well done, under the circumstances. And the opportunity to switch things around and blow the cobwebs off in readiness for the the second half was evidently very timely for the West Yorkshire side.
After the break, having been let off the hook by the misfiring Badgers, Garforth were determined to get to grips with the job in hand and several chances went begging, while Lawrence continued to keep the visitors out by any means necessary, until Luke Mangham finally netted the inevitable equaliser on 74 minutes, having run almost the full length of the pitch from box to box, before he planted the ball past Lawrence.
The Retford fans in the stand bemoaned the fact that there was possibly an error by the match referee Martyn Fryer in the build up to the Miners goal, but in fairness to the official, both sides were a tad physical at times as he tried to keep the game flowing.
Brad Johnson was dismissed for a second bookable offence, as Retford's afternoon went from from promising, to bad, to worse and in applying the letter of the law, with a referee's assessor looking on, Mr Fryer didn't get that one wrong.
The introduction of Sinmi Oyebanji from the visitors bench in the second half had given them a bit more impetus and though the Badgers will be rueing the string of missed chances in the opening exchanges, towards the end, Garforth could quite easily of staged a smash and grab raid and got away from Cannon Park in a getaway car with all three points in their swag bag.
In the event, in my humble opinion, the draw was a fair result in the end.
United should have been out of reach by the end of the first half, but credit where it is due; Garforth came back off the ropes and slugged their way out of a tight corner after the break.
During Retford United's 'glory days', in the not so distant past, there was an influx of 'supporters' from Retford and the surrounding area (and even further afield) who basked in the triumphs of a small town team who were punching (quite hard) above their weight, whilst funding their dramatic rise beyond their limited means.
As the realities of non league football finance hit home (even harder), a lot of those people deserted the club and pointed the finger of blame at the chairman Bill Wyles.
Well, my friend Bill has stepped down and resigned from the club this week; so if anybody out there is still claiming "I'm a Retford United fan but I won't step foot inside the place while Bill Wyles is there", unless you were just a bandwagon glory hunter all along and your claims are a mere big fat pile of fibs: the ground is just out of town in an easterly direction towards Leverton, on the right hand side. The postcode is DN22 6QF.
And if you get along this coming Tuesday night (September 1st, 7.45pm) v Handsworth Parramore, you might just recognise the visitors management team too ;-)
I'm sure any new potential investors or prolific strikers would be made especially welcome.
FT: Retford United 1 v Garforth Town 1