For the Third time this season, Retford have been taken to penalties in cup competitions and every time they have come out on top. The game wasn’t as exciting as recent games but this was mostly due to the relentless rain and wind throughout the game.
Retford were quickly surprised by how much Woodhouse were up for the game. The visitors pushed on and created some chances that could have been converted. Due to the Badgers not starting well Woodhouse controlled possession for the first ten minutes of the game. Jack Walters got his first start in a few games and was the difference for Retford in the first half. He played some great through balls to West through the middle and Daughtrey who always manages to find space on the right wing. This creativity also made chances for Retford but they were unable to convert due to some good saves from the Woodhouse Keeper.
Both sides were trying to play the long ball mid-way through the half, which meant that most attacks failed as the ball just went out for a goal kick because of the strong winds and wet surface. As I said before, the weather ruined the flow of the game. Most of the possession for both teams was in the middle of the pitch, which made for some great midfield battles. Just before half time Retford got into a rhythm and won the midfield battles meaning they could get forward but the Woodhouse defence were very impressive and stopped Retford on every attack they made.
With it being level at Half Time Liam decided to make a change which would prove to be key later in the game. Novembers Player of the Month, Zach Casburn replaced Danny Abdulla and partnered up with Alex Wonham up top. Mark West dropped into centre back, a position he has impressed in before. The Badgers still struggled to get into the positions to get a shot off at the beginning of the second half due to the Woodhouse defence holding their own. But surely Retford would make a breakthrough if they carried on creating chances.
Igor Mlynarski was replaced by Muhamet Gashi who instantly made an impact and helped Retford get forward. In the final third of the game, both teams played a higher line making for a better game. It was now end to end. Oli Lawrence broke down the right and put a cross into the box. Wonham controlled it well and shot. The ball just went wide. Now it was Woodhouse’s turn, one of their midfielders played a sublime ball through the middle of West and Brook and the Colts attacker timed his run to perfection. He was now one on one with Crosby. The attacker tried to put it over Crosby but he jumped up and caught the ball. The Visitors had missed the best chance of the game so far.
One minute later Daughtrey played a low ball into the box from the right side; Wonham dummied it leaving it to go further across the box, right to Zach Casburn who doesn’t miss from inside the box. He smashed it into the left side of the goal. The deadlock had finally been broken in the seventieth minute. Retford continued to make chances but couldn’t increase their lead. In the ninety third minute Woodhouse broke through the middle once again but this time the forward didn’t miss he tucked it into the bottom right corner. Full Time 1-1. The game would go straight to penalties.
It felt like Woodhouse now had the momentum but that soon changed when Tom Crosby saved their first penalty, what a save because it was a very good penalty that was heading right for the bottom corner. From there every penalty was scored until Woodhouse’s fifth and final penalty which was also saved by Crosby. Casburn, Wonham, Brook and Lawrence all converted their penalties. And once again the Badgers had won the shootout and are now going through to the Quarter Finals of the Abacus Lighting Floodlit Cup. MOTM was rightfully awarded to Tom Crosby. The winning streak continues. Up the Badgers.