In-form Collingham ruin Retford’s unbeaten run in the Central Midlands Football League North Division
The title race was blown open as Collingham climbed within a point of second after defeating Retford 3-0 at The Rail.
Retford were the only unbeaten Central Midlands League North Division side ahead of kick-off, but an early penalty from Collingham’s tricky forward George Aspin put that record under pressure.
The penalty was awarded after Chris Funnell got the better of Retford’s centre-half Grahame Severn, which resulted in a late desperate challenge to win the ball back.
Jordan Buckthorp doubled his side’s lead moments before the half-hour mark as the visitors’ direct nature in the final third caused the hosts numerous problems.
With the home side in an unfamiliar position, they became wild and hot-headed in their challenges, and Collingham almost profited from it moments before half-time, when Aspin’s free-kick was well saved by Jon Kennedy in the Retford goal.
After the break, the hosts were more controlled in their play and threatened through Martin Woodhead, but never provided the telling touch.
Having dominated in the second-half, Retford would have felt frustrated when a scrappy break led to a Collingham goal.
Substitute Jake Park was the scorer, as his coolly taken low drive flew past Kennedy, who was rooted to the spot.
The cleansheet for Craig Rhodes and Collingham sees them continue their record of having the strongest defence in the league, conceding just 12 goals, which could prove to be crucial come the business end of the season.
Collingham are on the road again on Saturday as they travel to west Yorkshire to take on strugglers Thorne Colliery, in a 2pm kick-off, and with title rivals Retford inactive, three points would see the Station Road side move into second place.