Badgers off to the perfect start

Retford United 1-0 Pickering Town'Baris NCEL Premier Division'Tuesday 7th August 2012'Cannon Park, Retford.'Gav Cooper in action for Retford.''Jon Knight 07825 047766

Retford United 1-0 Pickering Town'Baris NCEL Premier Division'Tuesday 7th August 2012'Cannon Park, Retford.'Gav Cooper in action for Retford.''Jon Knight 07825 047766

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RETFORD United have got off to the perfect start to the season with two wins from their opening two NCEL Premier fixtures.

Tuesday’s 1-0 victory over Pickering Town followed Saturday’s 3-0 rout of Heanor Town, both at Cannon Park.

The win over Pickering was a hard fought affair, as the visitors were quick out of the blocks, Jack Ward having to punch clear Carl Stewart’s header.

Joe Danby’s effort for Pickering lacked any power and rolled through for Ward to collect, then Gav Cooper attempted a shot from outside the box for Retford but the ball was wide of the upright.

A Retford corner saw Aaran Reid challenge for the ball, the Pickering keeper tangling with Jake Stannard, leaving the United striker in a heap on the floor of the penalty area, but the referee saw nothing wrong.

Badgers were in the ascendancy as Cooper went close at the far post and then Scott fizzed a free-kick just wide.

The goal was coming, and it arrived on 38 minutes, Andy Walkden stretching to hook a corner into the net to set Retford on their way.

It was nearly two when Scott robbed a defender, got the ball into the box and Pickering did well to clear.

The second half saw Pickering apply the pressure as they looked for a leveller.

Liam Salt got into a good position in front of goal but was forced away from goal, laying off for Stewart to have a shot that United cleared.

Jake Stannard went close as he broke free, only for his effort to be blocked by Reid, then just after the hour mark, Pickering thought they equalised, Salt’s header finding the net but being chalked off for offside.

Despite five minutes of stoppage time, Retford held on for three points and a second clean sheet in succession.

On Saturday Retford fans had to wait until the second half for the first goal of the season.

Scott’s corner surprised everyone as it flew all the way into the net for 1-0.

The tally was doubled when Scott’s free-kick found Rob Sanderson and he headed past the keeper for number two.

On the hour, the game was over, a cross into the box was half cleared by Daniel Fields, only to the feet of Jake Stannard, he took his time, committing the keeper before slotting the ball into the back of the net to seal a great opening day victory for Retford.

Retford now start the FA Cup trail with an extra-preliminary round game against Bardon Hill Sports on Saturday afternoon at Cannon Park (3pm).

The winners will facing Hucknall Town and ex manager Brett Marshall in the first preliminary round.