On Saturday the Badgers faced a much improved Staveley side, the game wasn’t going to be easy with three key players missing, Mark West, Brandon Kane and Danny Abdulla were all absent. However Danny Swales and fan favourite, Jack Walters made a return to the squad.
The Retford team were led out by some of our U7’s and U8’s junior players which was a great sight to see. Both teams started relatively well, making the game entertaining for the 183 spectators in attendance. Staveley got the first chance as Tom Crosby was forced to pull of a good save from a free kick in the 12th minute. Two minutes later the Badgers got their first big opportunity when Sam Forster crossed into Dean Conway who headed it towards goal. The opposition keeper, Myles Wright made a very respectful save. Wright had to make a second save as following that the corner came to Tom Brook who won the header, but was kept out. On the 16th minute the opener came through Dean Conway as he broke through the middle of the defence and placed it past the keeper.
On the 31st minute Staveley got the equaliser through Reece Clegg after his shot took a massive a deflection and went into the left side of the net after initially heading for the right side of the goal. Conway had half a chance to get the lead just before the break but the opposition defence did well to recover the ball. Just after the whistle had been blown to start the second half, Mason Barlow hit the bar from at least 35 yards out. It would’ve been a goal of the season contender for sure. Retford started well in the second half, another huge chance came when Alex Bartholomew headed just wide from a corner. On the 54th minute Staveley won a corner and from that corner they went ahead, so unlucky for the Badgers after having some big chances.
Retford continued to put the pressure on as now they needed to get level. Luke Smith who had already had a very good game put in a great cross from the left side, But no one could get their head to it. On the 61st minute the equaliser came. Jonathan Fusco played a phenomenal through ball to Adam Daughtrey who very unselfishly played it across to Conway, who simply tapped it in. Minutes after Daughtrey was replaced by Igor Mlynarski who Liam hoped would run at the tired Staveley Defence. And that is exactly what he did. Igor cut in from the left side and played a one two with Jay Paling. Now on the edge of the box with defenders still in the way, he managed to get it round them and into the bottom right of the goal. The keeper was nowhere near it. The lads celebrated in style.
With 8 minutes left to go the Badgers had to hold on to the three points. Jack Walters was brought on for Danny Swales who had a great game from midfield. Jack got straight into the game making one vital challenge to halt the Staveley attack. Captain Tom Brook and his partner Alex Bartholomew had another first-class performance and saw us through the last few minutes. What a win for the lads against a team full of NCEL Premier Division players. Non League veteran Luke Smith was awarded Man of the Match for his superb performance from full back. Cannon Park had a great feel and atmosphere this Saturday, so we would like to once again thank all our fans for the support that we’re receiving week after week. The Badgers return to action this Saturday as they travel to league newcomers, Boynton Sports.
“Up the Badgers”