Retford 1-4 Hall Road Rangers

Hall Road Rangers picked up a second successive league win as they ran out 1-4 winners at Retford FC on Saturday. The hosts showed some early threat as a free-kick was dealt with effectively by Hall Road keeper Tom Macauley. Chris Spinks had an early chance for Rangers in the 4th minute when he drew a save out of Retford keeper Jon Kennedy.

Rangers took the lead in the 13th minute courtesy of Rich Medcalf’s 1st goal of the season. Both sides produced numerous opportunities in what was a quite open affair. This was epitomised in a sequence in play which saw Tom Bennett have a shot blocked by the Retford defence after some good build-up from Hall Road. Subsequently, this led to a breakaway counterattack by Retford which resulted in a double save from Tom Macauley.

Eventually, Hall Road started to exert a sustained amount of pressure on the Retford defence as they looked to extend their lead. This pressure paid off in the 31st minute as Alex Knaggs got on the end of a corner and headed home to bag his 4th goal of the campaign after he peeled off his marker. Sam Robinson could have made it 0-3 a few minutes later when his effort was easily saved by Jon Kennedy.

The Rangers defence had to deal with some pressure from the Retford attack in the early stages of the second half. There was an opportunity for James Piercy to score in the 53rd minute when he headed wide from a corner. 

A double change was made by Hall Road nine minutes later as recent signings Reece Moody and James McGarry both came on to make their debuts as they replaced Rich Medcalf and Chris Spinks respectively.

Moody made an instant impact as he increased Hall Road’s lead in the 66th minute. Meanwhile, McGarry nearly got himself a debut goal as his free-kick was tipped behind for a corner by Jon Kennedy. This set-piece resulted in a James Piercy header which went over the bar.

Fellow substitute Luke Bullement was heavily involved in the build-up to Hall Road’s 4th goal as his effort was handled in the box by a Retford player. The referee pointed to the spot and Reece Moody stepped up to dispatch the penalty in the 86th minute to make it a brace on his Hall Road debut.

Retford got a late consolation in the 89th minute through Jake Scott’s deflected free-kick which prevented Rangers from picking up a clean sheet. The Choughs almost pulled another goal back deep into stoppage time as a free-kick went over the bar.

Hall Road joint-manager Dave Ricardo was delighted with the collective performance from the players.

“For myself, this’d been coming. We could see the progress made in the group and, coupled with the additions we’d made recently, it was no coincidence that we got a result and a performance. We can be better for sure and, for the targets we’ve set internally, we’ll have to be. As long as the guys show the same willingness to go alongside the quality we now have, we won’t be far off.

There were too many above-average performances to single anyone out individually but, as a management group, we’re proud of the way they’ve taken certain changes on board and grown.

Tuesday night at home to Grimsby Borough will be a big step up. However, it’s a game we should look forward to. There’ll be changes made, but all in the group now know what’s expected of them. More importantly, they’re able to carry out the instructions given” he said.

Report by: Oliver Harsley