Thursday, 15 March 2012

Newark Town 1-0 Retford United

On the face of it this was a good chance for Retford United to claim a place in the semi finals of the Nottinghamshire senior cup however as often in cup football, form goes out the window. Newark Town play their football two leagues below Retford but are going well in the Central Midlands Southern division this season. They were certainly up for this quarter final clash and were in the mood to ensure that their lofty visitors left with egg on their faces and that Nottinghamshire's most easterly club would be into the semi finals of the cup. Newark Town fc are based in the village of Collingham and ground share with Collingham FC. Its only a short journey from Retford and took us about 25 minutes. We parked up and paid our entrance fee of £3 each at the entrance table. Programmes were on sale for £1 and was one of the most impressive step 7 ones that i have seen. Its in full colour and has a few nice articles to read. I particularly liked the A-Z of Central Midland league clubs past and present. Tonight's issue featured footballing giants like Hinckley FC (Who only lasted two seasons) and Holbrook Miners Welfare. All interesting stuff and compelling bedtime reading for one and all. The programme editor certainly deserves a huge pat on the back for this gem of a programme.
 Retford were well followed and i would guess that Retford fans made up at least of half of the crowd with the good, the bad, and the ugly of Retford in attendance. Many of which were in the clubhouse pre game. Also in attendance was legendary former Imps manager Colin Murphy and former Lincoln chairman Steff Wright. I am trying to cut down on drinking at midweek matches so it was just a coke for this humble scribe. Station road is a decent enough step 7 ground with a railed off pitch and a small covered stand next to the clubhouse. I didn't take me camera as it isn't great at night games. The pictures i have used on this blog are from my last visit here a season or two back but the ground hasn't changed.
The game was only 4 minutes old when the ref went down injured. There was then a hold up of about 12 minutes as the Central Midlands League answer to Pierluigi Collina; Rob Townsend, who lives locally stepped in to run one of the lines. Retford had the better of the opening four minutes but the short break seemed to help Newark as they were far more composted for the rest of the half. There is a slight slope on the pitch and Newark took the lead when kicking up the slope which must have given them a huge psychological advantage. It was a good passing move and the finish left the Retford keeper flat footed. Retford tried to hit back but the Newark back four held firm going into halftime. I must admit i expected arse to be kicked in the Retford dressing room and the badgers go on to win the match. However as the game went on Retford abandoned the passing football which has paid them great dividends this season and started to panic and just lump the ball into the box which was meat and drink for the Newark defenders. Retford did create a couple of decent chances but they were blazed high into the very chilly night sky. The longer the game went on you got the feeling that Newark were going to hold out which is just what they did. As for the second time in this season's Notts cup, they beat a side in a division above them. Newark will now face fellow CLM side Clifton at home in the semi fianls. With the other being between Carlton and the winners of Hucknall and Eastwood. Had you said to the Retford management team that to get to the Notts final you would have to beat a side from the NSL then two CML sides i am sure they would have snapped your hand off. But as i often say, football has a wonderful way of kicking you up the arse when you least expect it.

As is often the case we were a tad hungry after the match. So we headed in to Newark to see if we could hunt out a Kebab shop. Sure enough we found one and it was a gem. Baz is on a diet so he went for the healthy option of chicken shish, with lots of salad and no mayo. I went for the lamb donner. The meat was nicely cooked and slightly spicy. The chilli sauce was one of the warmest we have tasted on out tours this season. All in all a solid 8.5/10; a decent end to a disappointing night.

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