Toolstation NCEL Division One
Retford United 2-2 Selby Town
Nine man Selby Town escaped from relegation candidates Retford United with a point following a dramatic match.
Selby had to fight-back twice and also cope with the dismissals of Alex Robinson and goalkeeper Paul Hagreen.
Christian Fox, with Captain Ryan Gothard serving the last game of his suspension, unsurprisingly played the same team as started against Armthorpe Welfare. Charlie Clamp took the Captain’s armband. Fox’s options were limited and Town could only name four substitutes, Reuben Pearse, Ben Lock, Danny Snaith and V J Malhotra.
As the game started it was clear that The Robins were missing Gothard’s calming, organising, influence at the back. Retford’s main tactic was to hit early balls over the top to get Selby’s back line on the turn so their forwards could run towards goal. Selby’s defence simply did not cope with this especially in the first half. Both the defensive line and goalkeeper, Hagreen, gave unusually nervous performances throughout.
Selby had more than one warning before Retford took the lead, on four minutes, with a shot that Hagreen really should have saved. This buoyed Retford and their balls over the top continued to be successful. In reality it was only their poor finishing that stopped them increasing their lead. Selby struggled to make an impact but did have chances which they were unable to convert. The Badger’s goalkeeper, aided by solid defending and profligate finishing, kept Selby at bay.
In the first half the only thing worse than Selby’s performance was the performance of the referee. Poor all through the game, the referee was at times barely in control, and seemed unduly influenced by the shouts of players and crowd alike. He sent off Fox, and then gave Alex Robinson a red card after a tackle .This looked harsh, especially as a two footed leg breaking lunge that fortunately missed, had gone completely unpunished moments before.
Words were obviously spoken at half time and with Danny Snaith on for Gary Collier, the ten men attacked the game with purpose. It didn’t take them long to get parity and in the forty sixth minute George Foster-Vigors opened his Selby account with a bullet header from a corner.
This spurred Selby on but they were caught lacking at the back in the fifty eighth minute allowing Retford to retake the lead. Selby kept going with several Selby players running themselves into the ground for the cause. Deservedly Selby equalised through Dale.
Just when Selby fans were beginning to think of an unlikely three points Town went down to nine men. Hagreen denied a clear goal scoring opportunity from yet another ball over the top and was correctly sent off. Sam Cable became emergency goalkeeper but the nine men of Selby dug in and had probably their best spell in the game. Sam Cable had little to deal with in the final 15 minutes.