With the hype around this game it wasn’t surprising that the attendance was a high of 231. This included ground-hoppers that were willing to make over two hour journeys so they could make it to Cannon Park on a blustery Saturday afternoon for a game that was promising to be one to remember. This season the two sides have scored 120 goals between them so surely know one would’ve predicted it would end goalless. The wind and the lack of creativity were huge reasons why. But also both teams have very impressive defences and arguably the two best keepers in the league.
The game started scrappy, especially in the midfield (where the majority of possession was for the whole 90). Both sides started committing fouls, but the referee kept his cards in his pocket and issued warnings to the players on the field. Kane and Abdulla controlled the tempo for Retford and set Conway and West on a flurry of attacks but these were halted almost immediately due to great defending from Newark’s player manager Luke Parsons and his duo Luke Boddy. Retford also used there flanks when they realised that going centrally was going to be hard. Mlynarski and Daughtrey both proving a hand full for the Newark full backs, but when they crossed the ball into the box it was one again dealt with by Parsons or Boddy. At the opposite end the same thing was happening, Newark’s forwards Asplin and Chambers struggled to get anywhere near Crosby’s box due to great work from the Badger’s defence, especially Swales who looked very impressive on Saturday. Danny was able to tackle and then supply the full back or get it back to our midfield. Really showed his quality as a modern day ball playing centre back.
On the 32nd minute Asplin finally found his way into the Badger’s box and was met by Lawrence who brought him down. The Referee pointed to the spot, penalty to the visitors. Chambers stepped up to surely get the opener. Chambers put it in the right corner, but Crosby dived to his left getting a hand to it. Crosby had saved the penalty and another one against Newark. A few minutes before the half was adjourned Newark’s number four, Luke Boddy received a yellow for a naughty challenge on West, he had earlier been warned after completely taking the legs of Conway, so would definitely need to be careful in the second half.
Just after the half Abdulla who had been on the Badger’s stand out players in the first half had pulled up and had to be replaced, on came Kallum Nix. The flow of the game remained the same with majority of the play being a battle in midfield and both sides going attacking but unable to find a goal. Boddy was given a second yellow for another mistimed tackle on West. Which meant that Retford should be able to get the upper hand but that wasn’t the case, Newark adjusted well and looked like they still had 11 players on the pitch. On the 77th minute Conway beat the offside trap of Newark after a lovely weighted pass from substitute Mo Gashi. Dean was essentially one on one with the keeper but was coming from the left side. The Newark keeper, Burrows came off his line very quickly and surprised Conway. He smothered the ball and set Newark on their own attack.
A minute before time Newark could have easily taken all three points after Jon Wiles darted through the midfield all the way to the edge of the box, he shot and the ball smashed the crossbar, the rebound was also a big chance but it was skied by Newark’s. Every single Newark player had their hands on their head shocked at how big of a chance that was, especially when they realised that, that would be the last action of the game. A point a piece for both sides. Man of the Match was given to Danny Swales. The Badgers face AFC Bentley this Wednesday at Cannon Park and then are away to Crowle Colts at the weekend, two must win games. Up The Badgers
We would like to thank everyone that came to Cannon Park this Saturday and especially those that donated to Sport Relief (in aid of Jordan Sinnott) by purchasing a programme and to everyone that respected and took part in the minute of applause before kick-off. Half time draw winning number was 292 and Full time draw winning number was 35, Both were claimed.