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Collingham stay third in Central Midlands League North Division after 1-0 win over Retford United.

By Connor Thompson

UNLIKE their ground-share and league rivals Newark Town, Collingham have gone from strength to strength in their Central Midlands League North Division campaign.

After picking up three points against Staveley Reserves last time out, Collingham were once again the victors.

This time they faced Retford United, a side hot on their heels.

COLLINGHAM and Retford United (black and white stripes) shake hands before kick-off at Station Road. Credit: @CollinghamFC on Twitter.
COLLINGHAM and Retford United (black and white stripes) shake hands before kick-off at Station Road. Credit: @CollinghamFC on Twitter.

Collingham ran out 1-0 winners in the Station Road fixture, as Chris Funnell’s effort proved to be the only difference.

Saturday’s opponents, United, must be sick of the sight of Collingham’s orange and black hoops, as on all thee occasions they have gone head-to-head this season, the Station Road side have come out on top.

Twice in the league and once in the Floodlit Cup.

In front of a bumper crowd, Collingham took kick-off and from the off the intensity was high and promised a fast-paced and gripping encounter.

The first notable chance fell to the home team on 13 minutes as Ryan Rushen was foraying down the right wing.

He set up Jackson Buckthorp but his miss-kick saw the chance skew wide.

United countered with a long ball approach and their direct style was rather hit and hope instead of targetting space in behind in the early exchanges.

The visitors did eventually cause a threat just before the half-hour mark when a corner-kick was met firmly by United’s commanding central defender.

But his effort was turned wide by the quick reactions off the recovering Collingham defender.

Moments later the ball was sent up the other end and Collingham worked a goal out of nothing.

The goal came from a mistake by the United keeper, who misjudged a back pass and hit the ball straight up in the air.

Funnell was first to react and took the ball out the sky before side-stepping a defender and tucking the ball past the helpless keeper.

Having gone 1-0 down, United continued their direct approach and on the stroke of half-time they fashioned another chance.

United striker Jimmy Eyles ran clear of the defence and beat the onrushing Craig Rhodes in the Collingham goal, but his effort bounced off the post.

The second-half saw the visitors change their build up as they dominated possession in the opening exchanges.

However, the Collingham defence replied and answered with a tight formation of bodies as they defended stoutly.

United continued to apply pressure but their chances were limited to deep crosses into the box as they failed to trouble the Collingham keeper.

The frustrated at the lack of chances was evident when the United centre half was shown a straight red following what the referee interpreted as an elbow to the face of Collingham’s striker George Asplin.

The win keeps Collingham third and moves them six points clear of United, who remain in fifth.

On Saturday, Collingham travel to Rotherham to face Phoenix, who are currently sat on 14 points in eighth.


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