On Saturday the Badgers came up against Appleby Frodingham, with the whole Covid-19 thing going on, we wasn’t thinking we would get a big attendance for the game. However we would like to thank all 129 people that turned out to Cannon Park to watch what was a great game of football. The Badgers stuck with the same back four which had successfully beaten Bentley. Although there was two changes further up the field with Muhamet Gashi starting at left midfield and Thornton made his first start for the Badgers, up top.
It was Appleby that would make the quick start, putting the Badgers on the back foot for the first 5 minutes of play. After great work from Bartholomew and Brook, the momentum of the game was flipped. The fullbacks, Lawrence and Dawson pushed further up turning essentially into wing backs. Both were key to Retford in attack and defense in this first half. On the 9th minute the Badgers piled into the box and got a goal for the linesman to rule it offside. Only three minutes later they scored and this one was given. Like the week prior, the goal came from a Dawson ball over the top. West had timed his run perfectly, slid to the ground and directed the ball goal wards. Mark’s son ran on to the pitch to celebrate with his dad which made both sets of fans smile.
Appleby continued to battle and created many chances which they failed to execute. The Badgers also came close from a West free kick on the 23rd minute. Thornton also had a opportunity with a shot from the edge of the box, however it was deflected at the last minute. On the 37th minute Daughtrey received the ball in the middle of the park, he then found West with a lovely through ball. Mark kept composed with the Appleby defence closing him down, he shot to the keeper’s right successfully beating him. A great move and a great goal. Seconds before the whistle the Badgers conceded after the Appleby forwards forced a mistake from the Badgers defence. Brook didn’t put enough on the ball he played back to Crosby. The Appleby number 9 and Crosby raced towards the ball, the attacker got there first. Tom made himself big and saved the initial shot. The ball rolled out of the box after the save to another Appleby player, who lobbed Crosby who was still on the ground. A very good finish to keep the visitors in the game. The referee blew the whistle and the Badgers were up by one after a frustrating end to the half.
The Badgers came out a different side to the one that didn’t look themselves in the first. The Badgers looked a lot more relaxed, on and off the ball. On the 53rd minute a corner was swung in to the box. Brook had the height advantage and used that to win the header and nod it in. Perfect redemption to his error at the end of the first half. The Badgers were now 3-1 up which made them feel even more confident. Thornton was replaced by Mlynarski after it looked like he picked up an injury. Mlynarski was a perfect substitution with him wanting to run past defenders, because it seemed they were tiring. And it was Mlynarski that created the next goal. He turned the left back inside out and cut it back for West, who smashed it in and complete his Hat-trick. Two minutes later, the Badgers still on the offensive they got another. Igor had been on the pitch for less than ten minutes and now had a goal and an assist. He hit it from the edge of box and it went right into the bottom left corner. The keeper didn’t even move.
Just past the 70th minute the Badgers made their final two substitutions, bringing on Goodwin for Abdulla and Bennett was given more minutes as he came on for Daughtrey. Mlynarski this time on the left, cut inside and played a ball across the box to West to get his 4th of the afternoon. Cory got his first goal since his return from injury, on the 83rd minute. The ball bounced in the box and it was Goodwin that was there to hit it on the volley. The Badgers got their 8th and final goal through Bartholomew when he ran onto the corner and hit it into the top corner. Alex scoring was becoming quite a regular occurrence. The Ref blew his whistle to end the game. Another great home performance from the Badgers. Mark West was rightfully awarded Man of the Match for his 4 goals. It was Mark, who scored a Hat-trick when we played them away in December. Safe to say he enjoys playing Appleby. Both Raffles prizes were claimed. Due to recent form the Badgers are now 7 points clear of fourth place Harworth but we’re still 9 points away (with a game in hand) from Dinnington in second. With us playing them this weekend we can close the gap, so lets get behind the lads. Up the Badgers!