Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Retford United 0 v Thackley 2 - NCEL Prem

TUE 2/ SEPTI 9 45
Tuesday 27th September 2016
Toolstation NCEL Premier Division
at the Jones & Co Solicitors Stadium
Cannon Park, Leverton Road, East Retford
Retford United (0) 0
Thackley (1) 2
Ryan Farrell 8 pen, 84 pen
Admission £5. Programme £2. Attendance 94
Fourth placed Thackley travelled due south from Bradford to the sprawling metropolis of East Retford tonight, to take on a Badgers side who kicked off the night in eighteenth position, despite having plucked a couple of decent results out of the air, away from home at Worksop Town and Parkgate of late.
Some people seem surprised that the Dennyboys have made such a great start to the current season, but you'd do well not to underestimate the club who gave the footballing world the 'legend' that is Ian Ormonroyd (the father of the Featherstone Rovers player Jack), who played in the Football League for: Bradford City, Oldham Athletic, Aston Villa, Derby County, Leicester City, Hull City and Scunthorpe United.
His lack of prowess at Villa Park, where he scored only 6 goals in 56 appearances probably cost Graham Taylor's side the League Championship title in 1989-90, when they were runners up to Liverpool.
But I'm meandering again, so without further ado, I'll get back on track...
It would be fair to say that tonight's visitors are a fairly established NCEL Premier club by now, as they enter their 35th consecutive season in this division, since entering the competition at it's inception, having spent the previous 15 years in the Yorkshire League.
Upon arrival at Cannon Park we were stunned to
discover Luke Walker knocking one out in his car.
These two sides have already met at Dennyfield this season, with Thackley triumphing 5-0 last month, thanks to first half goals from Aohden Brownlee (x2), Jerome White, Craig Bentham and Dan Broadbent.
Most recently, Retford United were knocked out of the FA Vase by a solitary goal at Oakham United on Saturday, while Thackley squandered a 3-1 lead at Muglet Lane (which is where I'll be tomorrow night), to draw with Maltby Main for the second time this season.
The game kicked off late, due to the curse of the M62/A1 that has blighted this league all season, striking yet again.
There is a simple solution to this... parliament need to implement legislation decreeing: "If you're not travelling to football in an evening, get off the bloody road!"
Tonight's win saw Thackley climb up to third in the table, behind Cleethorpes Town and Liversedge, who went back to the top by virtue of an 11-0 thrashing of Barton Town Old Boys (it was 9-0 by half time).
Two Ryan Farrell penalties, both conceded by Keith Melvin, who was subsequently shown a red card (second yellow) by match referee Kenwyn Hughes with six minutes of the game remaining, separated the two sides at Cannon Park, where the home side showed plenty of creativeness, but were found slightly wanting in front of the Dennyboys goal.
It was fairly obvious where a section of the home support thought the responsibility for their sides downfall laid tonight when I was told: "If that referee is a mate of yours, it's time you got some new friends".
Their ire seemed to be based around the second penalty and red card.
Well (tin hat on), I had a good view of the offence and though Ben Joyce went to ground, when he was through one against one with Adam Valente, under the slightest of nudges in the back, there had been deliberate contact, albeit minimal, from behind, inside the box, on the last man who had a clear goal scoring opportunity... and the perpetrator was already on a yellow card.
Therefore, in applying the rules to the letter of the law, all the boxes were ticked and Mr Hughes was left with no option but to hand out the punishment he did. Granted, it was harsh and the Thackley striker certainly made sure he was getting a penalty, regardless of how minimal Melvin's contact was... but rules are rules.
Those stood on the clubhouse side of the ground were on the 'bilnd side' of the nudge, but the people sat in 'old codgers corner' will have seen it... which probably explains where some of the anger, frustration and misunderstanding comes from. The referee certainly had a clear, close up view of the incident.
From the outset of the game, the Badgers real Achilles heel was demonstrated, when they failed to capitalise on Matt Convey dropping a catch into the path of Niall Sultan, who pounced on the error and rolled the ball sideways to Cameron Dear, whose shot from ten yards was blocked by Jerome White. That is to say, regardless of what opposition players and match officials do, if you're having no luck at all in front of goal, you're not going to win games. And perhaps Retford were also guilty of playing too much football in their own penalty area instead of getting the ball away, when their captain conceded the first penalty after seven minutes, which Ryan Farrell put away emphatically.
"Excuse me. Could you take a photograph of me
stood with Paul O'Grady (he used to be a lady)
Dan Murray broke clear of the Thackley defence and homed in on Matt Convey's goal, but Jerome White caught him up and got a toe to the ball to thwart the Badgers striker.
White, a contender for man of the match, also thwarted the lively Sultan, who must also have been in the reckoning, at the expense of a corner.
Sultan and Murray were combining well, but couldn't quite pick out Dear at the far post.
The same three players were involved again, when Sultan released Dear on the overlap, but Josh Snowden headed the cross to Murray away.
The home side were giving it their all, but while they showed a great flair for engaging in foreplay, it was all fingers and thumbs without any actual penetration. They really need to start ramming it in, so to speak.
Jordan Rouse broke free down the right, but Ben Wyld got across quickly and put in a great tackle to stop him in his tracks.
Rouse took the flag kick, but it evaded Broadbent at the back stick and came to nothing.
Once again, the home side were good in the build up, with Dear attacking down the wing before playing the ball back to Sultan who crossed first time for Murray, but Convey saved and another chance went begging.
James Done was hacked down crudely by Kristian Hargreaves as he danced down the right flank and was booked as a consequence of his actions. But in spite of several more transgressions over the course of the night, managed to avoid getting a second yellow card.
HT: Retford United 0 v Thackley 1
News filtered through over the course of the night, that the England team were once again on the look out for a new manager. 
Personally I have no sympathy whatsoever for Sam Allardyce, he had to go, but anybody who believes that financial and material bungs and sweeteners aren't par for the course at all levels of the game... and I mean ALL, really needs to take their blinkers off.
Allardyce will be the only England manager ever to have a 100% win record during his tenure, but ultimately his greed and arrogance knew no boundaries. 
But moving swiftly on...
Disco Dave... he's available ladies!
The second half swayed from end to end, with the first real opening falling to the visitors, when Adam Valente had to charge out of his area to clear the ball from Farrell.
The visitors went direct in an attempt to release Broadbent, but Melvin was well placed to retrieve the situation.
Hargreaves, living dangerously on his yellow card, conceded a clumsy free kick in the centre circle, but escaped with a talking to and two hundred lines and detention after training on Thursday.
Sultan attacked down the right wing twice, with his first cross narrowly failing to put Dear through on goal, while White cleared his second.
Pat McGuire was beginning to impose his influence on the game, but Chris Pauley stood his ground cleared the Thackley captain's long pass to Broadbent.
McGuire delayed his right wing corner while White crept into a gaping space just beyond the Badgers penalty spot, but as the Dennyboys centre half rose to meet the ball, he could only direct it beyond Valente's right hand post.
Wyld and Danny Vincent exchanged passes and sent Sultan on a sprint down the right wing and across the bi-line that would've put Forrest Gump to shame, with a lung busting run that incorporated overtaking Alistair Nelson (the referees assistant) by going around him off of the pitch, before seeing his knockacross the face of goal cleaered for a corner.
Dillan O'Connor's in-swinging kick was cleared as far as Vincent, whose dipping twenty yard shot crashed off of he crossbar, in a moment that typified the sort of luck the home side were having tonight, i.e. none!
The lively McGuire broke free on the right flanl andcrossed towards Broadbent whose stooping header went wide of the right hand post. Within a minute, McGuire was back on the attack. but when his shot deflected into the path of Broadbent he shot straight at Valente.
Retford mounted an attack and won a free kick just outside the Thackley area, but Pauley's adventurous attempt from the dead ball cleared the crossbar.
Valente was in action again when he held onto Craig Bentham's right wing cross, but the visitors picked up the ball from the Retford keeper's clearance and Farrell made a diagonal run from left to right across the front of the penalty area, before cursing his luck (and his centre forward) as his shot hit Broadbent and went wide.
The home side introduced Jack Walters and Ash Shannon from the bench, a combination that gave them more width and attacking options, with both substitutes using their pace to put Thackley on the back foot.
Unfortunately for Retford, who were now definitely well in the hunt for the next goal, Melvin conceded another penalty as Joyce advanced on Valente and Farrell all but wrapped up the game with his second penalty kick of the night with just six minutes remaining.
As Melvin left the pitch the match officials came in for some abuse from the crowd, with Mr Hughes having it pointed out to him in expletive laden angry tones that: 1) Joyce hadn't been tripped (which is technically correct: he had been pushed and lost his balance, just like attackers at all levels of the game will do, if they are afforded such an opportunity) and 2) The infringement wasn't worthy of a straight red card, which is actually debatable, but for purposes of clarification, it was Melvin's second yellow card anyway.
I'm neither taking sides, nor sitting on the fence here... and for the record I happen to think that Keith Melvin has been one of  Retford United's better signings this season, but the referee applied the rules 100% correctly.
Which was a shame for the home side because they were starting to look as though they were on the verge of getting back on level terms.
Thackley pushed forward inside the final minute, looking for a third goal, but young Walters did well to cut out George Eustance as McGuire slipped a through ball to him against the ten man Badgers.
The oldest and youngest of Retford United's adult supporters
Retford United had worked really hard tonight and on the balance of things probably deserved a point, but the fates weren't with them, especially in front of the visitors goal, besides the Dennyboys had dug in and grafted well too and aren't in third place in the table (for tonight at least) for nothing.
It can't all be about luck, dodgy referees and soft penalties, cant it eh!?
FT: Retford United 0 v Thackley 2
Thackley are at home to NCEL newcomers Harrogate Railway Athletic on Saturday, while Retford United face a tricky away game at Hemsworth Miners Welfare.