The Badgers Are Back – NCEL Round Up

There’s three Nottinghamshire clubs in the Northern Counties East League Division One this season, Ryan Hindley’s Retford United having been promoted following their Central Midlands North success last time around to join neighbours Retford, and Ollerton Town.

Following a plethora of new signings, the Badgers made their NCEL One bow, with a home fixture, against one of the early favourites, Wakefield, and the Cannon Park side did not disappoint, brushing aside their visitors in a 3-0 win.

A day to remember for Hindley, Jimmy Eyles (who scored twice), the Badgers, and the majority of the 275 spectators who came to watch a new-look side, shine, even after a delay due to match officials concerns over a potential kit clash, the hosts duly taking to the field, in their new away jerseys.

Both sides would be seen to have early chances on goal, but it would be the league newcomers who struck first blood, in under twenty-five minutes as Eyles curled home the opener, the visitors hitting the upright shortly before the interval as one goal separated the sides.

Within minutes of the restart Eyles had double his, and the Badgers’ tally for the afternoon, connecting on the volley at the back post to fire home; it was to be a goal that  sparked the visitors as Wakefield surged forward looking for a route back into the contest.

They nearly found it with twenty minutes remaining, however, an effort from the edge of the box was saved well by Tom Crosby in the home goal before the points were secured with ten minutes left on the clock.

Two of Hindley’s second half changes, Charlie Baird and Igor Mlynarski, they having been on the field for the briefest of time, combined to produce the third goal of the afternoon, the former having beaten his marker on the flank and crossed neatly for the latter to stroke the ball home.

A 3-0 opening day win, lots of positives for them to take from the game, but it’s a quick turn-around now as they make the trip to Dronfield Town in the next outing on Tuesday 1 August (KO 19:45).

RETFORD UNITED – Tom Crosby, Owen Fieldsend, Max Dungworth, Josh Scully (Priestnall, 69), Max Pemberton, Danny Booth, Luke Morris, Brandon Kane (Charlie Dawes, 74), Nick Guest (Igor Mlynarksi, 80), Mark West (Bradford, 74), Jimmy Eyles (Charlie Baird, 78)

Craig Collins and Tom Chambers now lead Ollerton Town as they were narrowly edged by the other league newcomers, 2-1 at home to Clay Cross Town.

The visitors struck first, in the opening ten minutes, following a half-volley from Reece Clegg, some twenty-five yards out, dropped over Hough and into the home goal; then, with a little over twenty having been played, the sides were level, much to the delight to the majority of the hundred-plus crowd when a corner caused some chaos in the visitors box, Ben Southwell on hand to stab home from close range.

Both sides created chances early in the second period, Town’s Connor Eyes getting on the end of a Birch corner, only to see his header saved ten minutes into the half, then Nathan Brettoner, following great work by Ethan Hargreaves, fire across and wide of goal.

Home ‘keeper, Hough, would deny the visitors following a well-hit free-kick with twenty remaining, as the substitutions flowed; Hough again was called into action with seven left, an outstretched leg preventing the visitors scoring before Clay Cross snatched what proved the winner.

A pull-back on the by-line reached Liam Riley and he wasted little time in finishing low past Hough to claim all three points for his side, and an opening day defeat for a host who’ve to dust themselves off quickly ahead of the short trip to Retford on Tuesday night.

OLLERTON TOWN – Dylan Hough, Ethan Hargreaves (Sam Roebuck, 61), Ivo Radzivilovics, Ewan Birch (Tom Sowden, 77), Harry Hurst, Alex Gibbins, Ben Southwell, Ethan Thorpe (Adam Morrison, 67), Nathan Brettoner (Bartek Grzywa, 59), Connor Eyes, Sam Cullingworth (Dan Taylor, 77)

Speaking of Retford, Chris Woodhead’s Choughs also suffered an opening day defeat, they being edged in a five-goal thriller away to Brigg Town, who rocked the visitors by scoring twice in the opening five minutes.

Andy Taylor fired the hosts ahead in the first minute, the assist coming from Daniel Trott, and the same duo linked up minutes later to double the lead, this time Taylor setting up Trott; ten minutes before the break and Haydn Goddard pulled one back for the visitors, the hosts leading 2-1 at the break.

Parity was restored within ten minutes of the restart, Liam Frost with his first of the season to level things up and, as the sides looked to have earned a draw, the hosts’ manager, Brett Agnew, brought himself to score what was a stoppage time winner, in front of a crowd of more than 300.

RETFORD – Jake Sykes, Leon Loftus, Haydn Goodard, Steve Wankiewicz, Alex Boyd, Liam Bennett, Kyle Simpson, Kenan McKenzie-Gray, Harvey Rodgers, Liam Frost, Jack Johnson

It is early day’s league table wise, but Retford United’s 3-0 win on the opening day sees them start proceedings in fifth place (joint third on goal-difference), Retford and Ollerton Town meanwhile are thirteenth and fourteenth respectively.

*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).

*Main image @RetfordUnited Jimmy Eyles scored two goals in a man of the match performance for Retford.

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