Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Retford United 0 v Cleethorpes Town 8 - NCEL Prem

Retford United
Tuesday 22nd September 2015
Toolstation NCEL Premier Division
at the Jones & Co. Stadium (AKA Cannon Park)
Retford United (0) 0
Cleethorpes Town (4) 8
Marc Cooper 8, 33, 80 (pen) 90
Brody Robertson 13, 24
Danny Trott 71, 83
Admission £6. Programme £1.50. Attendance 124
Retford United:
Rick Watson, Adam Carter, Brad Johnston, Mark Wilson, Brandon Cordwell, Mark West, Mark Waters, Mark Stuart, Brad Kerr, Adam Lee (C), Jake Lever
Subs - Alix Ward, Jake Outram, Matt Ellis, Adam Sennett
Cleethorpes Town:
Miles Fenty, Matt Kingston, Peter Winn, Darren Hanslip, Lawrence Heward, Tim Lowe, Luke Mascall, Alex Flett, Marc Cooper, Brody Robertson, Jon Oglesby
Subs - Jack Richardson, Caine Winfarrah, Danny Grant, Danny Trott, Laurence McKay
Apologies for a lack of substitution details, the red numbering font on the Retford United shirts isn't exactly easy on the eye... and this myopic old scribe struggled to read it without my opera glasses.
Hmm... is there really any need for a report, with a scoreline like that?
Surely, it is already fairly obvious what happened.
However, I'll endeavour to be as fair, constructive, honest and neutral as possible under the circumstances, even though 'one team were excellent tonight and the other weren't very good at all', would probably surfice as a truncated overview.
Prior to kick-off, this game was billed as a potentially close run thing and a contest between two 'in form' teams.
As it turned out, this one sided encounter, very quickly became a complete mismatch, if ever there was one. 'Form is temporary, class is permanent' to coin a phrase that is favoured by the amiable Owls chairman David Patterson.
In my formative years 'the Shambles' was an indoor meat and fish market, on Carolgate (which at the time was still part of the old A1), in East Retford town centre, on the corner where the Costa coffee shop now stands.
People would travel into the 'Ancient Market Town' (that is what it says on the tourist signs that entice travellers into this idyllic north Nottinghamshire enclave, from the main Edinburgh to London thoroughfare) from far and wide, to sample 'the Shambles' wares and boost the local economy... and swell the coffers of the Cleethorpes based fishmongers, who set up a stall selling their 'fresh Grimsby fish daily' inside the grand old building.
These days, the A1 bypasses the 'sprawling metropolis' (which is no longer called East Retford) altogether and tonight there was a completely new kind of shambles open for visitors to explore and enjoy, that held back the doors and put down the welcome mat for three extremely competent goalscorers, who were granted the freedom of the town and a right to roam wherever they wanted to, whenever they wanted to, with impunity.
The Shambles
The Owls turned up at Cannon Park full of attacking intentions, Alas, the Badgers didn't actually look as though they had actually turned up at all for large parts of the game.
In truth, one team were rampant, the other... dormant.
It genuinely pains me to be critical of the my (current) hometown club, because they have more than enough problems and several sizeable obstacles to surmount (off the pitch) at the moment, without me putting the boot in.
But, they will know themselves that tonight's inept display fell well short of what is required to compete at this level and will recognise the urgent need to get back in the seat and put this one behind them with immediate effect.
Hopefully this result will be the catalyst that heralds a wake up call for some of their players, who were missing in action and off the pace tonight.
After the game, the Retford manager Chris Sellars posted on Twitter:
"Simply nowhere near a performance tonight, we get to put it right on Saturday"
While the official Retford United feed carried the message:
"Really sorry to ALL true Retford United supporters tonight, nowhere near good enough!!"
It is worth noting however, that following last season's relegation scrap and fortuitous reprieve from the drop into Division 1, Retford United still actually occupy a safe mid table position this term... and with 32 games still to go, they only need to win two more games to equal last season's dismal 'Annus horribilis' showing.
The 2014-15 campaign at Cannon Park, revolved around a backdrop of instability, uncertainty and barely held together chaos, that at times completely beggared belief and pushed any kind of credible plot, to the most distant of parameters imaginable.
All told, it is a miracle that the club is still in existence.
I will stick my neck out and say that the Badgers will probably surpass that target any time soon... and regardless of how bad things might seem tonight for Retford United, a fightback, of sorts, is actually underway and slow, steady, but definite progress, is actually being made.
Sellars and his team are steadying a potentially sinking vessel... and from where I'm stood, i.e. looking on from just outside the periphery of a never ending woeful story, they are doing as much as can be expected of them under the circumstances.
Those who are demanding or anticipating anything more at this current moment in time, need a face full of firm handed reality slaps.
Retford United are not going to rise phoenix like from the flames, but they have a dedicated core of people battling on to at least dampen the flames and afford them some breathing space. And the reality of the situation is... that is about as good as it is going to get for the foreseeable future.
To their credit, the Cannon Park faithful still turn out in numbers that average around the 100 mark,
though a contingent of noisy and celebratory Owls fans helped to swell the attendance at the Leverton Road ground tonight.
So what of Cleethorpes Town?
Four wins in five outings has seen them come galloping up on the rails, where they have climbed seven places in the table over the last couple of weeks, after an auspicious start to the season... and lets face facts, you don't win 8-0, away from home, merely because the opposition had an off night.
When they are on top of their game, Marcus Newell's side are a joy to watch.
Often you see side's going in at half-time with a convincing lead and then taking it easy after the break. But the Owls didn't let up and having already wrapped the game up in the opening half a hour, they ran riot in the closing twenty minutes.
The handful of Badgers fans who left the ground after 45 minutes, missed a clinical display of finishing after the interval... because in Cooper and Robertson, the visitors have an attacking combination that is the envy of most NCEL clubs.
There is still more to come from this pair, be sure of that!
Newell's team are picking up where they left off last term and will soon be snapping at the heels of the pacemakers at the business end of the table.
A football season is, when all is said and done, a marathon, not a sprint, or even a Snickers!
On Saturday, Retford entertain Parkgate, while Cleethorpes have a home game against Staveley Miners Welfare.
In my humble opinion, both games could possibly go either way, but I would imagine that United will be busting a gut to restore some pride after tonight's lacklustre performance. And Staveley will have to be at their very best to repeat last season's smash and grab raid and 'dead jammy' win at the Bradley Road ground.
FT: Retford United 0 v Cleethorpes Town 8
There is a far more detailed actual match report from this game, written by Matt Jones (one of the friendliest people in local football) on the Cleethorpes Town website, I implore you to click HERE to read it.
All I will add is this: Rick Watson, the Retford United goalkeeper, was at fault for one of the goals, but had very little support from several players who went AWOL for the other seven.