Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Retford FC 2 v Bilsthorpe 0 - CMFL North

Wednesday March 1st 2017
Central Midlands League (North)
at Cannon Park, Leverton Road, Retford
Retford FC (2) 2
Jason Bradley 35
Luke Tong 45 pen
Bilsthorpe FC (0) 0
Admission £3. Programme £1. Attendance 33
Depicted here, is the heraldic seal of the Borough of East Retford, featuring two birds, namely Choughs, that represent the coming together, in days of yore of East and West Retford, of which one was loyal to the sovereign crown while the other was devoted to the Church of England. 
This coupling, that cast aside the juxtaposed elements and beliefs of the different factions who lived on different sides of the River Idle, an expanse of water with a clay bed that the Romans used a fjorde across the shallowest stretch, explains where the town's names origins, 'Red Fjorde' were derived from.

Obviously all of this cosmopolitan blending, tolerance, mutual co-operation, unity and solidarity, was the cornerstone on which such a friendly and vibrant market town was built upon. Live and let live, loving thy neighbour and embracing multiculturalism.
Retfordian ancestry was steeped in a peaceful and harmonious ethos of unification, which gave the townsfolk a head start in the race to become infinitely more diverse, intelligent and far less confrontational than people in certain other nearby towns, whose roots are deep set in an historically traditionally penchant, written in stone (probably with a green felt tipped pen), of misery, anger, violent clashes and a heroin problem of epidemic proportions.
Stay tuned, this is leading somewhere... Retford FC are currently in the market for a club nickname, something that is short and snappy and representative of the locality. There have been several suggestions, but by far the most popular, if the 'Come on you Choughs!' and 'Chough Army' chants that echoed around the ground from within the main stand tonight, is 'The Choughs'. The club is still open to suggestion of course, but I will give the name a trial run in this blog report, just to give people a feel of how apt it either is, or isn't.
And please understand, I would never, ever, no choughing way, use this medium to influence your vote, you are all intelligent people who have the right to an opinion and the freedom of choice.
Lee, Derek and Ian with their pre-match medication
Without further delay:
Adam Revuelta, the Bilsthorpe keeper, had his first save to make inside the opening two minutes, when the Choughs prolific striker, Luke Tong, tested him with a well struck shot from the edge of the area.
Jermaine Gordon, who appears to have shed no end load of weight since I last saw him, or maybe the Retford kit man has provided him with some bigger togs, was dropping back into midfield, trying to release Paul Middleton while drawing the defence out of position. The combination between the two of them was working to good effect, while Jason Bradley, playing with Tong tucked in behind him, was keeping Aaron Norman and Stuart Grazier the visitors skipper busy, as they tracked his every move. 
Fielding a number of crosses from both flanks, the visitors were doing well to keep Retford out, on a rapidly worsening surface. Scott Wesley cleared Jason Swannack's curling delivery without meaning to, when the ball hit him on the side of his head as he was running back to help out his defence... and a couple of minutes later with his ear still ringing, the visitors number seven must've been starting to develop a persecution complex, when Paul Leatherman's free kickfrom the edge of the visitors area hit him squarely between the shoulder blades as he ran forward in anticipation of a Bilsthorpe attack.
Always in the thick of things, Wesley fed the ball forward to Elliott Brown in the centre circle, but Joe Knowles stepped forward to break up a promising move and Bilsthorpe were on the back foot again.
In the thirty fifth minute, Bilsthorpe's resistance was finally punctured, when Jason Bradley met John Coleman's right wing cross at the back post and finished with all of the aplomb you would expect from astriker who used to play for the finest football team in Nottinghamshire (and possibly the whole darn universe), Mansfield Town.
Ryan Wesley almost cancelled out the former Stags striker's opening goal, with a long dipping shot from out on the left flank that dropped inches wide of Jamie Houseley's right hand post.
In the absence of his replacement, Houseley himself was playing tonight, in spite of feeling a lot of pain in his lower back, which demonstrates the commitment that these Choughs players are showing to their club.
Michael Biggs decided that the best way to stop Tong from breaking through from his midfield berth was to trip him, some thirty yards from goal and Revuelta had toe alert to Knowles' free kick, as the ball bounced in front of him on the bobbly pitch, that was beginning to resemble something that had just staged a ploughing match. I suspect that it will be highly unlikely that the Retford United U19 game scheduled for tomorrow night will be going ahead at Cannon Park.
A penetrating run by Gordon opened up the visitors defence, who played a return pass into Paul Middleton's path, who had his run on goal halted by Aaron Norman's right leg and the match referee, Ian Jackson had little choice but to point to the penalty spot.
Committing yourself to such a challenge, against an opponent who who moving at speed on such a 'difficult' surface, is always a risky option, but to be fair to Norman, he had prevented Middleton from scoring right on the stroke of half time and taken a booking for his team. Alas, his efforts were in vain, as Tong stepped up and thumped his spot kick straight down the middle as Revuelta dived to his right.
HT: Choughs 2 v Bilsthorpe 0
Davy Whitehurst almost pulled a goal back for the visitors at the start of the second half, when he pounced on the ball after Knowles missed a clearance, but Carl la Rocca was on hand to hook the ball away off the goal line.
Paul Leatherman launched a couple of long balls into the Choughs goalmouth, Knowles and Swannack dealt with them and when Chris Dyson delivered a left wing corner across the face of Houseley's goal, the Bilsthorpe forwards must've been bogged down in the quicksand, as the ball went wide of the right hand post without a single player moving to get a touch on it.
Dyson won another flag kick, which was punched away by Houseley and as Bilsthorpe stepped up the ante, albeit briefly, Kyle Wesley headed over from Whitehurst's right wing cross.
But the visitors 'recovery' had arrived too late in the game and proved to be a case of 'too little, too late' as the Choughs saw out the game and held onto their two goal advantage.
All in, a scrappy game, that Retford won by grafting their muddy socks off, on a night that must have been a hear slog for both teams and the officials; the latter of who took the conditions into consideration and adopted a common sense approach to handling the game, with Mr Jackson talking to the players in a calming yet authoritative manner throughout, while ably assisted by Lee Clarke and Derek Brumpton.
FT: Retford 2 v Bilsthorpe 0
So let it be known, Retford FC won their first ever game since adopting the new Choughs nickname.
Neither side have a fixture this coming weekend, but I would imagine that there were a few aching limbs at full time tonight, after ninety minutes of trawling through the mud on a wet and miserable night and a good number of the players will be grateful for the extra recovery time.