NCEL Football: Late penalty rescues Retford

Retford United 1-1 Garforth Town'Toolstation NCEL Premier Division'Tuesday 12th August 2014'Jordan Cooper in action for Retford United.''Jon Knight 07825 047766
Retford United 1-1 Garforth Town'Toolstation NCEL Premier Division'Tuesday 12th August 2014'Jordan Cooper in action for Retford United.''Jon Knight 07825 047766

Retford United required a last gasp penalty to rescue a point in their first home game of the new season on Tuesday.

Badgers were trailing Garforth Town 1-0 on 90 minutes when Liam Wilkin was fouled in the box and picked himself up to level from the spot.

It was the Retford side’s second draw in as many games, after Saturday’s 0-0 stalemate at Athersley Recreation.

Retford were given a tough game by Garforth who frustrated them in the first half, United unable to make a clear break into the box.

Tawanda Rupiere saw his shot blocked in the opening minutes for Garforth as Retford started slowly, Leigh Hutchinson having a good chance, but just missing out on the ball on the edge of the box.

The tall keeper in the Garforth box made it difficult for Retford to make the most of crosses and the visitors were quick on the break, Luke Mangham getting past two Retford players on the right, then Nick Black had his shot well saved by Tom Fuller.

Liam Gaughan looked to inspire Retford, his effort hit well over the crossbar, and it was soon after on 21 minutes that Garforth took the lead, a superb effort from distance by Glenn Wood dipped past Fuller at full stretch into the top corner.

Despite the Garforth goal, the game lacked a spark and chances were few and far between with Ben Muirhead’s corner straight at the keeper and Sam Ackeroyd firing straight at Fuller the half-time whistle couldn’t have come soon enough.

A double substitution at the break saw Reece Thompson and Wilkin enter the field with Kyle Hadley and Ben Muirhead making way and they gave the game what it needed, on 52 minutes Retford were celebrating the equaliser as Liam Smith put the ball into his own net from Danny Smith’s cross, but those celebrations were cut short with a raised flag, and after deliberation between the officials a bemused Retford crowd were disappointed when a free-kick was given for offside leaving fans, players and management somewhat bemused.

Liam McFayden did well to rise and win a header from a corner, but this was over the bar, then a Retford free-kick from the right was straight into the hands of Ben Hunter in the Garforth goal.

Retford were much better in the second period and were seeking the equaliser from all areas of the pitch, Jordan Cooper drilling in a shot that was wide, and good work from Hutchinson saw him wriggle away from two players to get the ball into the six yard box before it was hooked away for another corner.

Gaughan then won another corner with another good effort that looked to be on target, but deflected away by the leg of a Garforth defender, the ball sent into the box but United failed to capitalise.

As the game started to draw to its conclusion, Thompson had a chance but there was no power in his header to do any damage, and Wilkin was challenged in the box, but the appeals were waved away by the referee.

Eventually as the clock ticked over 90 minutes, Wilkin’s run into the box wasblocked by Smith and this time the referee pointed to the spot - Wilkin stepping up to fire home the penalty and earn a point for Retford.

United face Stapenhill in the Extra Preliminary round of the FA Cup on Saturday at the Jones and Co Stadium (3pm).

Next Tuesday evening there will be a fans forum with Paul Ward at the Elms Hotel, London Road from 7.30pm. All welcome.