Demolition derby: Worksop batter beleaguered Retford to go second

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The woodwork, good goalkeeping and some poor finishing spared Retford United from a double-figures defeat at the hands of Worksop Town on Saturday.

As it was, there was enough good finishing, and some bad goalkeeping, as Tigers totally dominated the Bassetlaw derby for a 6-0 victory and second place in the NCEL Premier.

Worksop won’t be happy with the first half showing, an awful pitch and poor decisions to blame.

The second half was a procession however, with all but a minute or two spent in the Retford half, Conor Higginson completing his first ever hat-trick as a Tiger.

The game had a scrappy start, but Worksop still looked dangerous early on.

Andy Ofosu’s sharp turn allowed him to cross to the back post, Phil Roe heading goalwards, keeper Matthew Leese making a fine stop.

On eight minutes Conor Sellars played a one-two with Higginson, getting the ball back and slotting home.

It was almost 2-0 on 15 minutes, Roe and Higginson linking, Roe firing over.

The game took on a stop-start feel, not helped by the setting off of a pair of smoke bombs by fans standing behind the Retford goal.

But with nine minutes left in the half, Tom Elliott released Sellars and the midfielder provided a deft finish.

Retford’s first shot on goal came from the halfway line, Liam Wilkin attempting an audacious effort, lofting the ball over Jon Stewart but wide of goal.

In first half stoppage time Worksop secured the win, Ofosu swinging in a cross that Retford failed to clear, Higginson nipping in, shifting to his left foot and hitting the net.

Badgers replaced James Bytheway with Martin Woodhead at the break.

But it was Tigers who started like a team with something to prove, Jake Scott slotting Higginson in one-on-one and the striker somehow put the ball wide of goal.

Three minutes after the break he took a couple of swipes at a bobbling ball and hooked home after Roe had found Jona Wafula.

Ofosu was unlucky all afternoon, shooting across goal and seeing Leese save when Sellars played him in.

Sellars’ free-kick found Sam Liversidge, who volleyed onto the post.

Worksop’s fifth arrived in comical circumstances, Leese kicking thin air when a back pass bobbled, Higginson steering home his third from an acute angle.

Sellars was cruelly denied a treble of his own when his free-kick from the left hit the angle of post and bar.

Retford’s first chance of the second half came in the 83rd minute, a free-kick headed at goal by Wilkin and saved comfortably by Stewart.

Play went straight down the other end and Adam Ward’s perfect cross found Ofosu, but the beleaguered Leese pulled off a sublime reaction save to tip over the bar.

Wafula then strode into the Retford area and when a pull back to Ofosu was the best option, he blasted wide.

Tigers grabbed a sixth with four minutes left, Jack Hawkins’ shot blocked, Ofosu’s effort just about saved and spilled, Chris Whincop rounding off the scoring from two yards out.

Retford United: Matthew Leese, James Bytheway (14 Martin Woodhead 46), Jason Swannack, Jordan Hardman, Ben Marro, James Vernon, Jack Dean, Jimmy Walker, Liam Wilkin, Lee Adam (12 Tom Gilmore), Ben Muirhead (15 Joe Knowles 67). Subs: 16 Ashley Shannon, 17 Tom Fuller.

Worksop: Stewart 7, Wafula 6, Roe 7, Henshaw 7, Liversidge 7, Burgin 7, Sellars 8 (Whincop 67), Scott 8, Ofosu 7, HIGGINSON 8 (Ward 61), Elliott 8 (Hawkins 72). Not used: Waddle, Whincop, Jordan.

Referee: Chris Hunter. Assistant: Andew Cuthbert, Wayne Gray.

Goalscorers: Sellars 8, 36, Higginson 45, 48, 59, Whincop 86

Yellows: Swannack 68

Attendance: 447