Saturday 14th November 2015
at the Dean & Co. Stadium, Cannon Park
Retford (4) 4
Luke Tong 7, 23, 41, Jack Munn 23
Brodsworth Welfare (1) 1
Brad Sykes 30
Admission - £3. Programme - £1. Attendance - drenched!
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But by the time the final whistle sounded, the heavens had opened and a storm to rival the one that caused a Kansas farm girl called Wendy (played by Judy Garland) so much grief, in the 1939 horror movie and 'technicolor triumph': The Wizard of Oz.
For a few moments I thought I'd seen an actual 'Twister' crashing along the right touchline, but it transpired that it was actually the home side's right back, Simon Brewster, in full flight, showing at least five opposition players a clean pair of heels.
I'll tell you what 'Brew' if you could take the ball with you whenever you did that, you'd get a decent write up everytime I watch you play.
The colossus that is Will Tomlinson didn't actually get on the scoresheet for Retford today, but he did more than enough around the visitors goalmouth to assist in creating a couple of goals and was a constant thorn in the Welfare's (back)side, until he was replaced by Matt Bryce.
'Big Will' might not always be a ninety minute athlete these days, but he makes his presence felt in all the right places while he is on the pitch... and bringing him back to Cannon Park is one of the successes of this season for the town's fledgling club.
Luke Tong instinctively moved in on goal when Tomlinson crashed an angled shot at goal on seven minutes and was in just the right place, at the right time, when Dom Senior's block rebounded into his path, to put Retford in front on 7 minutes.
'Broddy' have been finding results hard to come by of late and the in the first half a hour they were up against some 'one way traffic' and rode their luck a bit at times... although, to be fair, they looked a lot better after the break.
Jason Swannack chased the ball down in the middle of the park, but although the pitch had been rolled, a bounce in front of Senior took the sting out of the shot and Senior saved it quite comfortably.
Swannack, along with the rest of his back four, Ben Marro, Tom Gilmore and 'Brew' were absorbing the Welfare's attempts to threaten Jamie Housley's goal, particularly the latter with a few uncompromising tackles, while Retford always looked threatening going forward. Lee Gallagher was making a decent fist of directing traffic in the middle of the park.
Either way, Dom Senior was soon in action again, because Tomlinson had sneaked himself, stealth like, past the visitors defence again and was in on goal once more.
Ash Chapman's right wing corner, found it's way out to Si Brewster on the edge of the box, but the conditions weren't really suitable for his obvious finesse and his delicate lob ended up in the car park, when the determined full back might have done better if he'd just put his foot through the ball and gone for power instead.
Luke Tong tried his luck with a long shot, but Senior had positioned himself well again and caught it easily... not that it's ever going to be completely easy when dealing with such a wet ball.
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It was good to see Sam Tomlinson back in action this afternoon and he put in a great shift out on the left flank, while roaming infield to get involved, as is his wont..
Tong scored his second goal in the 23rd minute, when Swannack picked him out on the edge of the area with a pass from the halfway line and he flicked an header into the top right hand corner.
Within five minutes the home side were three goals in front... Swannack knocked a sideways pass the Tomlinson, but he was thwarted by the busy Senior and the loose ball ran free to Swannack again, whose shot was deflected for a corner. Chapman took it quickly and Jack Munn arrived at the back stick to plant a header just inside the left hand post.
As the weather worsened, Brodsworth were now at risk of getting blown away by Retford, let alone the blustery wind they were playing into. But on the half hour mark, Stuart Laidlaw knocked a defence splitting ball forward into the path of Rod Purshouse and Brad Sykes... and the latter stooped to nod the ball past Housley. Though if 'Broddy' didn't have white letters on the back of their bright yellow shirts, it might have been slightly easier to ascertain who was actually doing what.
Former Retford player Graham Severn was easy enough to recognise though, with his grade one crop and captain's armband... and to be fair he was doing his level best to keep his troops going.
Tong headed Retford's fourth goal and bagged his hat trick a few minutes before half time, with Hutchinson and Tomlinson combining to set up the chance.
As the first half drew to a close, Severn headed a cross from Josh Bowkett over the bar.
Brewster danced past several tackles down the right flank but his cross was hacked away.
Purshouse won the ball in the middle of the pitch and knocked it forward to Josh Dodds, who tried to use the wind to his advantage by taking aim and letting rip from 37 yards (I paced it out after the game), but Housley stood firm and kept the ball out.
The visitors pushed forward again and this time Housley had to rescue the situation bu saving at Bowkett's feet.
Luke Tong had a pop at Senior's goal at the other end, but the Welfare keeper held onto the ball for the umpteenth time.
Bryce, on for Tomlinson, left a few Brodsworth players looking as static as statues through the left channel and motored towards the goal, Senior started to run from his line, but the second half substitute unleashed his shot before the Welfare stopper had got very far... but with several locals in the stand already up their feet ready to celebrate, the ball flew just wide of the far post
The home side strung a few passes together, no mean feat as the conditions worsened, when Bryce and Brewster combined on the right, before laying the ball back for Gallagher, who lofted a forward pass deep inside the visitors area that was only half cleared into the path of Munn, who hit a first time shot inches wide of the goal.
Brodsworth rallied, but try as they might, they just couldn't find that final touch and though Bowkett came close twice, this wasn't going to be their day.
Brewster forced his way into the area from out on the right and drilled a shot just wide of the left hand upright.
Ultimately, though the visitors made a game of it after the break, Retford had done more than enough to kill the game off already in a virtually one sided first half.
FT: Retford 4 v Brodsworth Welfare 1
'Broddy' have a 'Donny derby' at Bentley Colliery next Saturday, while Retford start a run of four consecutive away games with a short trip down the A614 to Bilsthorpe, both of these CMFL (North) fixtures kick off at 2pm.