BADGER BATTLE

Retford United 0 - 4 Eastwood Town'Notts Senior Cup - Round 3''Nicky Ellis tries to keep Peter Knox at bay.''Jon Knight'Freelance Photographer'16 Willand Court, Retford, Notts, DN22 7GD'jondknight@sky.com / 07825 047766
Retford United 0 - 4 Eastwood Town'Notts Senior Cup - Round 3''Nicky Ellis tries to keep Peter Knox at bay.''Jon Knight'Freelance Photographer'16 Willand Court, Retford, Notts, DN22 7GD'jondknight@sky.com / 07825 047766

RETFORD United started, and ended their Notts Senior Cup campaign at home to last season’s winners Eastwood Town.

It was Badgers versus Badgers, and the Blue Square outfit went through to the next round with a 4-0 victory.

Retford United 0 - 4 Eastwood Town'Notts Senior Cup - Round 3''Matt Booth challenges for possession.''Jon Knight'Freelance Photographer'16 Willand Court, Retford, Notts, DN22 7GD'jondknight@sky.com / 07825 047766

Retford United 0 - 4 Eastwood Town'Notts Senior Cup - Round 3''Matt Booth challenges for possession.''Jon Knight'Freelance Photographer'16 Willand Court, Retford, Notts, DN22 7GD'jondknight@sky.com / 07825 047766

The visitors won the first corner after only three minutes, the ball sent into the area, but Sam Foulds managed to head clear at the near post.

Steve Owens played the ball for Matt Booth to give chase, before the ball was cleared by Eastwood’s Adrian Hawes for a throw in.

Dangerman Peter Knox turned past Matt Blake to set off on a run towards goal, spreading the ball out for Sam Duncum on the left.

But Badgers defender Nicky Ellis did well to dispossess Duncum for a throw in and snuff out the attack.

Michael Blythen was fouled as he looked to break for Retford.

The free-kick sent in by Ryan Hindley found the head of Ellis, with the ball dropping for Dan White in front of goal, only for him to lose possession and Hindley then conceded a free-kick.

Blythen looked sharp and his run to the byline led to a cross into the box, but the ball floated over.

Eastwood found the net on nine minutes, Andy Todd firing home after Retford were aggrieved to not have been given a decision when an Eastwood player used his hand to control the ball.

The resulting pass was netted by Todd, but Retford’s protests fell on dear ears.

Patient play by Hindley and Blake saw a cross into the box finding Foulds, the youngster’s header dropping into the arms of John Danby in the Eastwood goal.

Eastwood increased their lead on the half hour mark, an easy goal for Knox, who put the ball into the bottom corner, meeting a cross from the right.

Booth tried to find a breakthrough, firing in a shot whilst flanked by two Eastwood defenders, the ball eventually falling to Owens, whodid well to turn in the box, and again, another shot was blocked by the body of an Eastwood player.

A dipping effort by Adam Muller almost caught out Herriott, but the ball went over the bar, then Retford tried to push.

Paul Shaw almost found the forward run of Booth only for the ball to be intercepted by the Eastwood defence.

In the second half, Retford were unlucky to lose Blythen to injury after an innocuous challenge left the striker on the ground.

After treatment he was carried off the pitch, replaced by Under 19s striker Theo Ganderson.

Duncum was unlucky when his powerful shot clipped the crossbar and went out for a goal-kick with Herriott beaten at full stretch, and it would have been the goal of the evening.

However, the small travelling support from Eastwood were soon cheering again on the hour when a low ball in by Duncum from the right was tapped home by Muller to put the game beyond the Badgers of Retford.

A free-kick deep into the box by Hindley almost found Ellis rising to challenge the ball, but his effort had too much power and went out for a goal kick.

It was all over on 77 minutes as substitute Matt Rhead made no mistake to increase Eastwood’s lead, and effectively seal the tie to put the holders through to the next round.

Retford tried to fight back, if only for pride, Ganderson should have done better after a mistake in defence by Markell Bailey, but couldn’t make his run count, but it was too late as Retford continue to look for a victory at home.

Their stretch now runs to 16 games without a home win in all competitions this season.

On Saturday Badgers face Matlock Town at Cannon Park.