A big win-in every sense of the word -as Hallam avoided the banana skin they had worried about before heading for Cannon Park yesterday in Toolstation NCEL Division One-but those fears proved unfounded as the Countrymen kept up their pursuit of a place in the Play Offs for the third consecutive season with a 6-0 win at bottom side Retford United –and their Management trio were all happy to be on their feet after the win, writes Colin Muncie.
The visitors led 2-0 at the interval watched by a crowd of 113 at the Jones and Co. Stadium thanks to Mitch Dunne (20 mins) and Gareth Griffiths (33); and after the break, the Countrymen stepped up a gear through James Reed (46) and another three from the prolific Dunne (55, 65 (pen) and 83 mins) taking his tally to 29 for the season to take the three points home to Sandygate.
Joint Manager Steven Whitehead felt that it was a job well done “It was an exceptionally professional performance from start to finish. From 1 to 16 they were all class today with their attitude, but it’s on to Tuesday now and our focus is on getting three more points”
Joint Manager Scott Bates was pleased that his players seized control after a sluggish opening period “ Today was definitely a potential banana skin; we pointed out to the lads “don’t be evidence that anything can happen come 5pm”; we had a slow start but grew into game. Credit to all 16, we are going to need each and every one of them over the next couple of weeks and all of them have their part to play”.
“Nobody who has won anything has done it with eleven players, you need strength in depth” Scott added. “In the second half I thought we were bang on our game, and deserved the score line”.
Assistant Manager Dean Bamforth was also relieved that his pre-match risk assessment hadn’t materialised. “We talked about banana skins and I felt today was possibly one of those, but I thought we were professional from start to finish. They couldn’t have complained if we’d got double figures. We’ve always worried about playing teams below us but our wins over Bolsover and now Retford have put that to bed”.
“But for me it’s now gone, we’ll enjoy the weekend and move on to Rosso at home on Tuesday”.
Photograph by Jon Knight.