In welcoming Dinnington Town to Cannon Park on Tuesday night, Badgers boss, Liam Kay, knows that victory would see his side qualify for the knockout stages of the Central Midlands League’s Chairman’s Cup.
Having been placed into a group consisting of both Dinnington Town, and Newark Town, the three rivals knew that, once the restart finally happened, it was going to be tough, and so it has proved.
Three games in for the Badgers and, after the opening 4-1 win over Newark, Retford United have drawn with both Dinnington, and at the weekend, with Newark, the latter one that most connected to the club took as a loss.
However, five points on the board, six better than the rest, and with seven goals in the bag, puts Kay’s charges in a strong position going into what will be their last group game.
“We need to get that win on Tuesday night,” explained Liam.
“Get that and we go through as the group winners; the first game was pretty even in the first half and I had to give the lads a few choice words at the break which saw take over the second.
“Then Dinnington, it’s always tough against them and they’re a big, physical side who do like to bully teams.
“I told the lads that they need to stand up and be counted, show the quality they do have, and it will count.
“As for Saturday, against Newark, we were well on top, comfortable, but were caught on the break in the first half.
“We started the second where we left off but didn’t take our chances, and we had a few of those, but, as the game wore on, they (Newark) were always going to be in it.
“Anybody that watched that game though, they know that we deserved to win that, but they have the quality to get something out of it, which they did.”
Of the three games they’ve played since the restart (five if you add in two friendly matches before the cup competition kicked off), Retford have bagged themselves seven goals in those three group outings, spreading the wealth throughout the squad.
Captain Tom Brook has registered, as has Brandon Ashmore, Adam Daughtrey, Samuel Foulds, Jonathan Fusco, Igor Mlynarski and a Mark West penalty; Westy went off injured in the draw with Dinnington, but Liam Kay is expecting him to play some part in the second meeting – Westy is a hard man to keep down.
As for Mlynarski, a talented enigma in the Badgers starting line-up who is one of many cogs in what is a well-oiled machine.
“Westy has been carrying a knock for about six weeks now,” insists Liam.
“He’s been playing strapped up, played through the pain barrier, and has been a big loss; he will be back though and he wants to play (against Dinnington), even strapped again.
“We’ve got a very good quota of attacking players here though, and it’s showed, which is also a headache for me.
“There’s goals coming from all over the field as we don’t want to be relying on our front two, and that’s great to watch, it really is.
“As for Igor (Mlynarski), he causes many problems, flies past people, and he doesn’t know, or realise, how good a player he really is.”
Retford United host Dinnington Town in their final, Chairman’s Cup group match, on Tuesday night, 19:45KO.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @RetfordUnited Badgers Boss Liam Kay hoping for a win tomorrow.