On Saturday the Badgers started the 2020/21 season with a trip to Moorends to face Thorne Colliery. Thorne would be a totally different side to the one last year, with a new squad of players and a new management team led by ex-Badgers player James O’Neil. Definitely not a game that we would choose to be the first game of the season. It proved to be the hard test we had imagined.
Colliery started quickly and showed their intention was to defend well and hit us on the break. And that is exactly what they did. Both sides had their chances but Thorne were looking the more dangerous in the early stages of the game. It was a very physical game with a lot of fouls either way. A chance came in the seventh minute when Mark West saw space down the right hand side and capitalizing on that, he beat two opposition players and played it across the box to his partner in crime Dean Conway, who had his shot blocked. These two linked up once again on the 28th minute as Conway headed West through on goal. Mark hit it on the half volley, but the shot went right into the keepers arms. The biggest chance of the half was for the home side as the Thorne forward found a way into the box and tried to curl it round Tom Crosby. Crosby made a phenomenal save to keep it scoreless. Both sides went into the changing rooms wishing they’d taken their chances.
It wasn’t long into the second half when the deadlock was broken. On the 48th minute Colliery got a corner on the near side. The ball was headed for the front post where Danny Swales was marking their danger man. Danny got in front of him but unfortunately headed it into his own net. The Badgers were behind. Just after the goal, the Badgers went up the other end and had their biggest chance of the game so far. New signing Matty Templeton swung in a perfect cross to Conway. Dean jumped up and nodded it towards the goal. The ball bounced off the top of the crossbar. Liam changed his wingers, bringing on Igor Mlynarski and Sam Forster and taking off Adam Daughtrey and Illack Tongo Chiti. They seemed to bring something different to the game and instantly made an impact. On the 83rd Minute West was fouled in the box winning a penalty for the Badgers, a big opportunity to get level. Mark stepped up and smashed it into the roof of the net, know one was stopping that.
Conway collected the ball from the net and ran back to the half-way line, ready to go again. Not wanting to settle for a draw. This was clear as the Badgers continued to attack with confidence, as though we were still one nil down. In the 87th minute every Thorne player was back making it hard for Retford to find a way through. Mlynarski shot from the edge of the box, the ball bounced just before it got to the keeper making it hard for him to get a hold of it. The ball rolled away. Our captain, Tom Brook was in the right place at the right time as he put it past him. After what seemed would be a poor start to the season, the Badgers had won the game after two very late goals. Three points in the bag for Liam’s men. Brandon Kane was awarded Man of the Match for a superb performance from Midfield. We now turn our attention to Wednesday night when we face Dinnington Town in our first home game. This will be another tough test but one that we hope to prevail in like we did on Saturday. The support the team received at the weekend was astounding, lets keep this up.
“Up the Badgers”