On Saturday the Badgers faced AFC Bentley at Cannon Park. Another windy affair for both sides. There was only one change to the Retford line-up with number one keeper Tom Crosby returning from injury. Alex Bartholomew retained his place in the starting eleven and new signing Ben Thornton was on the bench awaiting his first appearance in the famous black & white. The Badgers put the pressure on right from the off, making it hard for Bentley to get out of their own half. It seemed to be their plan, defend well and hit the Badgers on the break whenever the opportunity came their way. The Badgers first big chance came when Jacob Dawson played a ball over the top of the defence to Mark West who had beaten the offside trap. West kept the ball up and volleyed it across the face of the goal, the ball went just wide of the left post.
Jack Walters once again shone in the heart of midfield, orchestrating attacks for the Badgers to get the opener. More chances came through Danny Abdulla and Adam Daughtrey. But the Badgers first came through who else, but Dean Conway! Walters won the ball back in midfield and played it forward to Conway, who managed to out muscle the Bentley centre back and put it past the keeper to put the Badgers ahead on the 28th minute. Straight after this Bentley went on the attack and if it wasn’t for Crosby making a great save the visitors would be level. On the 41st minute Retford won a free kick on the half way line. Dawson stood over it with the Badgers waiting on the edge of the area for the delivery. It was a great ball which successfully beat the defence. Conway leaped into the air and headed it goal wards. The ball hit the back of the net before the crowd could take their next gasp of air. What a goal from Conway. Only three minutes later Dean had secured his hat-trick after him and West had left the Bentley defence for dead. Dean simply curled the ball into the right corner. What a half from the Badgers and Conway especially. But it wasn’t over yet.
Muhamet Gashi replaced Igor Mlynarski at the start of the second half. Mlynarski performed well once again causing a lot of danger down the left-hand side and with Gashi also being a very direct player he could do the same. On the 49th minute a corner was swung in from the far side, it went over everyone and travelled to the back post. Waiting there was Bartholomew who headed it into the top right corner of the goal. His first goal for the Badgers was certainly a good one. The Badgers now four ahead and surely it was game over. Thornton came on for Abdulla and Hat-trick hero Conway was replaced by Goodwin. The Badgers continued to create chances in the hope of increasing their already impressive lead. However the all wouldn’t seem to go in! Many of these chances coming from Dawson crosses that he had been supplying all game. On the 88th minute new signing Thornton hit the bar from what seemed like an inevitable goal on his debut and what a ball it was from West to put him through on goal. The ref blew his whistle and the game was over.
A very dominant performance from the Badgers, with them having a high majority of the possession and chances throughout the game. Man of the Match this week was decided by a Twitter poll which Dean Conway won by having 57% of the votes. The Badgers next face Appleby Frodingham at home once again this Saturday (14th). Thanks again for all the great support. Up The Badgers!