With Christmas only 3 days away a trip to Retford to see Retford United v Thorne Colliery FC in the Black Dragon Central Midlands Football League (North) Division was a welcome diversion.
Retford United play on the edge of town where there is ample parking. I was greeted by two teenagers manning the gate, another selling score cards for the youth team, three teenage girls selling meat raffle tickets and another teenager looking after the food/drinks kiosk. Without such volunteers I’m sure the club would struggle, thank you. The facilities are good with a covered seating area one side and some cover behind the goals but the best was the club house which was large, comfortable, showing the days football scores and warm.
Retford United were formed in 1987 and have played their football in higher divisions but a dedicated team are trying hard to get them back to that level. Their opponents have been around since the 1920’s and spent most of their time playing in the Yorkshire League.
Retford United 3 Thorne Colliery FC 2
The almost flat pitch was very soft after days of rain yet very playable and the game was underway with both teams trying to play the ball out of defence rather than just hoof it up field. Leon Osborne was lively up front for Retford and it was no surprise when he cut in from the left and curled the ball into the top right corner for the first goal on 9 minutes.
A shot of his on 23 mins trickled up a defenders arm and it was adjudged to be hand ball and Leon Osborne obliged with the penalty sending the ball to the right and the goalkeeper to the left. The floodlights came on as celebration or because it was the shortest day of the year.
Retford should have been out of sight but a miss kick by the Retford goal keeper hit the Thorne number 11 and bounced into his net. Osborne’s display was rewarded with a hat trick just on half time when he swept home a good cross from the right.
Into the second half Osborne again had the ball in the net but was judged to be off side and soon after was subbed off.
Thorne did not give up and another terrible mistake by Retford’s goalkeeper, fumbling a corner from the left, gave them an easy tap in to make it 3-2. A rising full moon over the Retford club house must have been a good omen for them as they hung on for the win.
All in all a good afternoon but the chips were unfortunately just warm and a bit soggy, gaining a score of only 43. The price of £1 for each of the coffee and chips was amazing value.