Badgers held by Armthorpe in stalemate

Armthorpe Welfare 0-0 Retford United'22nd February 2014'Toolstation NCEL Premier Division 'Reece Thompson in action for Retford United.''Football images from Armthorpe Welfare v Retford United, Toolstation NCEL Premier Division, The Welfare Ground, Church Street, Armthorpe, England, UK, GBR. 5th February 2014. Image copyright Jon Knight Freelance Photography. No images may be reproduced without prior permission.
Armthorpe Welfare 0-0 Retford United'22nd February 2014'Toolstation NCEL Premier Division 'Reece Thompson in action for Retford United.''Football images from Armthorpe Welfare v Retford United, Toolstation NCEL Premier Division, The Welfare Ground, Church Street, Armthorpe, England, UK, GBR. 5th February 2014. Image copyright Jon Knight Freelance Photography. No images may be reproduced without prior permission.

Retford returned from the short trip to Armthorpe Welfare with a share of the spoils, after drawing a blank in front of goal.

The result leaves the Cannon Park side eighth in the NCL Premier Division, although they have games in hand on five of the clubs above them.

It was a positive start from the Badgers, Danny Smith’s cross looking for Reece Thompson cleared by the Armthorpe defence.

Then a corner was cleared to Ben Muirhead who shot wide against his old side.

Good vision from Jake Stannard saw a quick thrown in to the run of a Bobby Johnson but he couldn’t get control.

A free-kick after Josh Gibbons had handled the ball kept up the United pressure, the ball sent into the box, headed back across goal by Paddy Mullen but the keeper got to the ball before Muirhead could strike.

It was one way traffic for the first 20 minutes, Johnson seeing the ball plucked from the air as he rose to challenge the keeper, then a good appeal for a penalty was waved away as Muirhead was pushed in the back.

Armthorpe’s first effort came through Darren Mansaram, but he was way off target.

Craig Fisher headed wide from a corner before Smith was called into action at the other end of the pitch to clear for an Armthorpe corner as they threatened.

Jay Rollins fired a shot that was saved by Jody Barford, and the ball came off the foot of the post for Mansaram to strike, this time Gav Cooper was on the line to clear.

Former Retford player Craig Aspinall was forced to leave the pitch through injury, only lasting 35 minutes, replaced by Anthony Ryan.

Mansaram had the ball in the net but his celebration was cut short with an offside flag, Retford relieved.

Retford had a good chance themselves at the end of the first half, Stannard’s ball for Thompson took a bobble as it rolled forward, the keeper intercepting.

The second half started with Mullen trying to set Retford on the move, his cross for Thompson was slightly in front of the striker then Keiran Benson fired wide for Armthorpe.

Thompson found himself in the box, his cross for Liam Wilkin was hit too far, and as the game wore on it was looking more and more likely that the deadlock would not be broken.

Ryan’s chance for Armthorpe was saved by Barford.

Wilkin charged forward forcing the keeper out of his box to hook clear.

Fisher was unlucky when his shot dipped over the bar with only minutes to go, then Wilkin was also off target.

It was a frustrating afternoon for both sides who had chances, but couldn’t convert, but it was a point away from home as United move into a busy end of season.

They were due to visit Staveley on Wednesday evening as the Guardian went to print, then host Heanor Town on Saturday.