Badgers back on top

Tadcaster Albion 1-1 Retford United'21 September 2013'Toolstation NCEL Premier Division 'Reece Thompson has the ball cleared as he attacks.''Football images from Tadcaster Albion v Retford United, Toolstation NCEL Premier Division, 2Inspire Park, Ings Lane, Tadcaster, England, UK, GBR. 21 September 2013. Image copyright Jon Knight Freelance Photography. No images may be reproduced without prior permission.
Tadcaster Albion 1-1 Retford United'21 September 2013'Toolstation NCEL Premier Division 'Reece Thompson has the ball cleared as he attacks.''Football images from Tadcaster Albion v Retford United, Toolstation NCEL Premier Division, 2Inspire Park, Ings Lane, Tadcaster, England, UK, GBR. 21 September 2013. Image copyright Jon Knight Freelance Photography. No images may be reproduced without prior permission.

Retford returned to the top of the league table with a 1-1 draw at Tadcaster Albion on Saturday.

In a game that will be remembered for the man in the middle rather than the football, Retford were on the attack early through Reece Thompson.

Brett Lucas was also in the action early, trying to get on the end of Ben Muirhead’s corner as the defence cleared.

The opening 10 minutes were all Retford, as Graeme Severn’s cross was hooked clear by the Tadcaster keeper, before a rare attack from the hosts saw Carl Stewart giving Jody Barford an easy save.

A minute later Badgers were rewarded for their early endeavour.

A cross into the box found the lead of Lee Holmes, who made no mistake as he powered his header past the keeper for a 1-0 lead.

Thompson very nearly made it 2-0 when he broke free, but the keeper blocked his shot.

On 27 minutes Severn was cautioned for a challenge, despite appealing strongly that he won the ball, and the decision would become a factor later in the game.

Jake Stannard’s challenge on the half hour mark then handed Tadcaster a penalty, and Stewart converted from the spot, sending Barford the wrong way.

The second half saw Tadcaster fall foul of the referee, Denny Ingram and Terry Taylor incensed at a decision and earning yellow cards.

On 63 minutes the blue touchpaper was lit after a poor challenge on Severn had gone unnoticed, and a second clip of his heels saw him complaining to the referee, who promptly booked him and sent him off for the first time in his career.

Gav Cooper was also carded, for what looked a good challenge, and Lucas went in the book for halting a Tadcaster attack down the right.

With the man advantage Albion came into the game, before Richard Medcalf was booked for handling as Retford tried to break clear.

In the dying minutes, Tadcaster had two chances as Josh Barrett’s header was just over the bar, and a free-kick from Danny Barrett forced a superb save from Barford to keep the home side at bay.

Barrett then played another shot into the box that looked as if it was an easy pick up for Barford, but somehow the ball slipped through his fingers, but luckily out for a goal kick.

That would be the final action on a frustrating afternoon, however the point put Retford back on the top of the league.

Their next game is on Saturday as Albion Sports are the visitors to the Jones & Co Stadium in a first ever meeting between the two sides.