REPORT: Worksop Town 0-3 Retford United

GAINSBOROUGH Sunday League round-up.
GAINSBOROUGH Sunday League round-up.

Worksop Town were humiliated by neighbours Retford United, losing the Bassetlaw derby 3-0 in front of almost 600 at Sandy Lane.

Badgers had lost all four of their previous NCEL Premier outings this season but looked stronger and hungrier than Tigers, who played like a completely different side from the one that beat Garforth 5-1 in midweek.

Most in attendance and perhaps even some in Retford colours might have feared a similar scoreline in favour of the hosts.

But in difficult conditions, Retford outmuscled their more fancied hosts and were fully deserving of victory.

Disappointment turned to anger at the final whistle as Worksop players and Mark Shaw were involved in brief ugly scenes after the manager was targeted by what he called personal abuse.

Worksop had an early chance to test Retford keeper Adam Valente, who featured for a Worksop Town Supporters XI in pre-season, but Steve Woolley curled his free-kick wide of the left hand upright.

Sean Sherwood tested the referee’s leniency, first swiping Callum Harrison’s legs with a petulant kick and then going in late on Kyle Jordan, somehow managing to escape a yellow card.

Retford were denied an opener by the reflexes of Tigers stopper Jon Kennedy, the veteran throwing himself backwards to palm out Daniel Murray’s back post header.

It wasn’t a particularly impressive start from the home side, struggling to complete passes and being out hussled in some of the 50:50 exchanges.

The ball did end up in the Worksop net, Jake Park benefitting from a deflected shot and sticking the rebound past Kennedy only to see the offside flag raised.

And a minute later he attempted to lob the goalkeeper from 30 yards, only succeeding in lifting the ball into Kennedy’s arms.

Worksop fashioned the next chance, Jordan coming in from the left and curling the ball just past the far post.

Tigers began to as sert themselves, Jordan again trying his luck only for a defender to head the goalbound shot wide and then barging into the box and going to ground, the referee unmoved by penalty appeals.

But the visitors went in front after another poor passage of play from Tigers, a scramble on the edge of the box allowing Park to sidefoot home from 20 yards.

Mark Shaw’s side should have levelled instantly, but when Jordan Hodder’s cross found Jordan in the area, he waited and waited before shooting straight at Valente.

The second-half started as scrappy and ugly as the first half ended and Worksop came close to a goal befitting the occasion, Richard Adams challenging Valente for a loose ball and sparking a scramble that Retford eventually cleared.

Shaw had seen enough from the struggling Alex Nightingale and opted for a change, striker Mark Fereday coming on.

Things could have got much worse for Tigers had Daniel Murray not seen his first shot blocked by Kieran Fenton and put his second wide.

Somes was guilty of a glaring miss from just four yards, putting Jordan’s sliderule cross over the top, the front man’s blushes spared by an offside flag.

That was his last contribution, midfielder Matty Parkin taking his place.

Before the youngster could make a significant impact, his side were 2-0 down, Murray getting to the ball first at the near post to head home a corner and give Tigers a mountain to climb.

It wasn’t until the last ten minutes however that Worksop managed to trouble Valente, Jordan denied by the keeper from close range, Adam Scott seeing a long range volley palmed over.

And then came the final suckerpunch, a Richard Adams back pass trundling towards Kennedy who didn’t get to it before Nial Sultan, the Retford winger nipping in, rounding the keeper and completing a magnificent afternoon for the Badgers.

The final whistle was followed by tense scenes as a couple of home players were involved in an exchange with their own fans on the touchline, stewards having to calm the situation after Shaw confronted a supporter he claimed had ‘crossed the line’ with abuse.

Worksop: Kennedy 5, Hodder 5, Johnson 4, Adams 5, Fenton 5, Nightingale 4 (Fereday 52 5), WOOLLEY 5, Harrison 4, Somes 4 (Parkin 65), Scott 4, Jordan 5. Not used: Pugh, Wesley, Hawkins.

Retford: Valente, Wyld, Shaw (Lucas 58), Wisdom-Lockwood, Melvinne, Hawley, Sulton, Sherwood (O’Connor 77), Park, Murray (Walters 77). Dunn. Not used: Wesley, Sykes.

Referee: Mr Mark Curwood.

Assistants: Mr Mark Thomas, Mr Lewis Saunders-Johnson

Goalscorers: Park 40, Murray 72, Sultan 83

Yellows: Hodder 47; Sherwood 44, Hawley 67, Park 87, Sultan 90

Attendance: 594