Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Retford United 4 v Sheffield Unied XI 0 - PSF

Tuesday 25th July 2017
at Cannon Park, Leverton Road, Retford
Pre Season Friendly
Retford United (2) 4
Nathan Joynes 10, 35
Luke Francis 53
Gracyn Kimczack 69
Sheffield United XI (0) 0
Admission £3. Attendance 148
Sheffield United's shadow squad
"You here again!?"
Indeed I am. 
"You may as well buy a season ticket here at this rate"
Well, this is my third visit to Cannon Park already this season. 
But... that would be a fairly drastic move on my part, wouldn't it!? 
Mind you, it's also the third time that I have seen a 'Sheffield United XI' play over the course of the last five days too. 
I must have some kind of hex over these Blades hopefuls, because they haven't recorded a win in any of those games. Though they did snatch a draw at Handsworth Parramore on Friday, in spite of being the second best side on the park for most of the night.
Work commitments, a subject that I have heard quite a lot about since Saturday evening, dictated my 'choice' of destination tonight, because once I had got home from my (almost) gainful employment; it was already far too late to reach the (second) dawning of a new era for Maltby Main this Summer. 
Whereby the clubs newly appointed manager duo of  Mark Askwith and Scott Mason, along with their assistant John Crossland, had taken the Miners across to Hallam, for their first game in charge.
If you want to know where the (first) dawning of a new era team of Jordan Hall, John Styring and Mark Higginbottom, who started their short tenure at Muglet Lane in May have gone, ignore all the gossip and refer to the Maltby Main FC: Twitter, Facebook and official club and league websites, because I have nothing else to add.
I was especially peed off that I couldn't get across to Sandygate Lane, because I was really looking forward to seeing these teams in action tonight and teaming up with the people associated with them both again.
The earlier kick off at Retford FC, where they entertained Worksop Town in front of a crowd of 170, was just that bit too early for me... and, of course, the mighty Stags were only just over the Trent at the Northolme, to take on Gainsborough Trinity, but logistics won the day and I wouldn't have got their in time either.
However, having grabbed a quick but very informative chat with Mark Wilson and Alan Scott (Retford United's manager and match secretary) prior to kick off, my disappointment soon evaporated, when the Badgers put in a really entertaining shift, playing far better than I have seen them do for quite a long time.
'Willy' is recruiting well at Cannon Park this past few weeks... and it is beginning to show as the season edges ever closer. 
And the Badgers faithful in the Compost Corner section of the Care in the Community Stand, responded heartily to their manager's efforts tonight. I think it would be fair to say that their noisy response, was an aural stamp of approval, if ever I've heard one, in this usually sedate, tranquil and picturesque. rural corner of the people's republic of East Retford.
The game was ten minutes old, when Will Bond, the young Blades keeper, spilt the ball from a Zac Khalifa free kick and Nathan Joynes was on hand to squeeze the ball over the line from close range.
Nathan Joynes playing for Retford United! That is a bit of a coup innit?
TiagoBravo and Liam Bennett stretched the visitors defence with a combination of quick passes, while Jack Siddall unleashed a snap shot that only narrowly cleared the crossbar.
Jay Evison and Jaques Etia, made inroads deep into Retford territory, but Bennett got his foot in to thwart their attacking intentions and cleared the danger away.
Bond repelled Khalifa, Bravo and Darius Smith, with three close range stops in quick succession, but was beaten by Joynes again, when he advanced to the edge of his area after thirty five minutes and the Badgers striker picked up the ball from Siddall's forward knock and lobbed it over the stranded keeper.
Moments later, Siddall scooped the ball over the crossbar after latching onto the rebound from Bravo's shot.
Right on the stroke of half time, Tyler Bradley caught Jamie Knox late with a rash challenge twenty five yards from the visitors goal, but Khalifa's free kick was more of a problem for Alan, who was retrieving stray balls from the open spaces that surround Cannon Park.
HT: (R) United 2 v (S) United 0
The hosts came out after the interval and kept the momentum they had been creating throughout the first half, with a spell of sustained pressure around the Blades area.
Khalifa rolled the ball out wide to Luke Francis, who quickly released it into the path of Siddall, but Bond moved quickly from his line to gather the ball at the feet of the Retford number seven.
But Siddall was back shortly afterwards, laying a measured pass across the area t Luke Francis who made no mistake with a neat finish from eight yards out.
Gracyn Kimczack announced his arrival into the fray with a great show of pace and skill out on the right, where he turned the visitors captain Connor Cutts, before delivering a dipping cross that Tivashe Bruute did well to clear.
But in the sixty ninth minute Kimczack was back, pouncing on some AWOL defending on the edge of the area and showing a deft touch to wrong foot Bond, before taking the ball around him and rolling it into the net.
During a break in play Waqar Ahmed teaches the Macarena to the young Blades
Kimczack went close again... Hey! Where have they been hiding this guy!?
And then Tom Brand went even closer, having timed his run to perfection to get onto the end of another great knock from Siddall, who was having a great game in the role of play-maker for Retford.
Masai Arbouin and Cutts were looking sharp for the Blades, playing in tandem out on the left, but they were restricted to the middle third with the home side slamming the door shut around their goal area.
Brad Kilner almost grabbed a fifth for the home side inside the last five minutes, but that would have just been greedy.
Hmm, how much are those season tickets you mentioned?
I'm asking for a friend... of course.
FT: Retford United 4 v Sheffield United XI 0