Thursday 6th January 2020
North Midlands Development Football League U21 Division
Anderson Electrical Arena, Borrowash
Borrowash Victoria U21 1-4 Retford F.C. U21
Rich Williams’ side made it four wins from four as they picked up where they left off prior to Christmas with victory over Borrowash Victoria U21s in their first game of 2020. The Choughs moving to within one point of second placed Worsbrough Bridge.
Liam Bennett made his first start replacing Reuben Brewin-Hawkins who was ill and Shay Evans-Booth came in for the injured Kris Scott. Otherwise the side remained unchanged from the victory over Mansfield Hosiery Mills in December.
Retford having arrived late due to an accident on the M1 were sluggish in the opening half hour and went a goal behind early when Josh Mundell spun away from full back Will Hunter and carried the ball into the box before turning inside Goodall and beating Hicks at his near post. It was a poor goal to concede but despite not clicking going forward, Retford otherwise looked solid as they stifled any further chances for the hosts in the first half.
With just over half and hour gone Retford won a corner and Liam Bennett headed over the bar when he looked certain to score. Wilson and Evans-Booth both then missed one on one efforts which were brilliantly saved by the impressive Louis Harris and the home keeper also repelled efforts from Sikhosana, Abdy and Clarke as the visitors began to assert their dominance on the game.
However, the hosts still held the lead at half time and it was beginning to look like one of those nights where luck might not be with Retford.
That may well have been the case had they not found the equaliser early in the second half. It took just five minutes and came from a quick break down the left, Sikhosana finding Wilson after tying Testro in knots, and despite another impressive save from Harris, he couldn’t hold the ball as Owen Clarke followed up to square the scores.
The turnaround was complete within another five minutes as Retford won back possession in midfield and released Clarke who beat a man and squared for leading score Callum Wilson to bundle the ball over the line for his 5th of the season.
At two one the hosts made a few changes but Retford continued to dominate. Wilson had too much pace for Penn but Harris again came to the rescue as he saved brilliantly.
Josh Mundell was the biggest threat for the hosts and he did well down the right, beating Cassidy and then crossing for Dickenson who’s headed was brilliantly saved by Hicks. The host went closer still as a header from a corner skimmed the crossbar with Hicks beaten. Retford though never looked under real pressure and that was testament to the performances of Liam Bennett and Kian Goodall at centre half.
Retford dominated really from the 30th minute onwards when they upped the tempo and pressed the ball higher up the field forcing mistakes from their opponents and they finally made the score-line more reflective of their dominance with a little help from Borrowash full back Lewis Simpson. The unlucky Simpson turning a centre from Clarke into his own goal as he tried desperately to stop Clarke’s centre from reaching Wilson.
With a minute remaining Clarke got his second, receiving the ball from Woodhead 25 yards from goal and fired brilliantly beyond Harris to make it 4-1. There was still time for Woodhead to see a tame effort saved and for Clarke to see his hat-trick attempt blocked as Borrowash completely ran out of steam in the final few minutes.
Man of the Match was Liam Bennett who controlled the game from start to finish with a commanding performance at centre half. For the Choughs it’s now time to turn their attention to next week’s Bassetlaw derby against unbeaten Worksop Town. Both teams are in fine form and it’s a game which certainly screams goals.
Borrowash Victoria U21s: Louis Harris, Brad Testro, Lewis Simpson, James Myers, Josh Claxton-Briggs, Harry O’Neill, Tyler Stevenson (c), Thomas Hodges, Josh Mundell, Stan Dickenson, Harvey New.
Subs (all used): Callum Penn, Mije Agana, Kyle Cuuans, Samuel Davenport, Jamie Hepke.
Retford F.C. U21s: Adam Hicks (c), Will Hunter, Myles Cassidy, Olly Presley, Liam Bennett, Kian Goodall, Owen Clarke, Luke Abdy, Shay Evans-Booth (Martin Woodhead, 68) Callum Wilson (Prince Rodgers, 88), Shay Evans-Booth, Dalton Sikhosana (Nath Reah, 59).