FA Cup First Qualifying Round: Retford United 1, New Mills 2
TWO STEVE Moore goals ensured New Mills progressed into the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Cup at the expense of Retford United.
The warm conditions saw a cautious start to the game and it took until the 11th minute for the first significant effort on goal.
Moore was rewarded when he intercepted the defender’s header and his resulting shot was saved low down by Jack Ward.
Skipper Carlos Meakin, playing in an unaccustomed centre-half role, nearly gifted Retford the lead in the 14th minute.
His intended square pass across the back line went straight to Shaun Nesbitt whose first-time shot cannoned back to him off the inside of the upright. His second stab at goal was thankfully saved by the scrambling James Coates.
As the half progressed, The Millers grew stronger and started to exert some concerted pressure on the Retford goal. Twice in quick succession, Moore glanced headers goalwards but the first was deflected wide and the second grazed the crossbar.
Once again though, New Mills were very nearly architects of their own downfall ten minutes before the interval.
The defence thought that a tame goalbound effort would roll harmlessly to Coates but Jake Stannard showed great anticipation by nipping in and instinctively stabbing the ball towards goal and his quick thinking wasn’t rewarded as the shot hit the top of the crossbar.
The visitors crucially drew first blood in the final minute of the opening half. Dave Fitzpatrick’s sweet left-foot delivered a trademark corner kick which was only half cleared and the ball fell kindly to striker Steve Moore who bundled home from no more than four yards.
The same player was again in the right place nine minutes after the interval to double The Millers’ advantage. Again Fitzpatrick was involved as this time his left-wing cross found Harry Noon whose downward header bounced up to hit the bar but like every good forward, Moore was lurking with intent and decisively drilled the rebound past Jack Ward.
Retford’s keeper then kept his side in the cup tie with an outstanding save to deny Luke Horrocks’ controlled shot which seemed destined for the bottom corner.
That save seemed to galvanise Retford, and within two minutes they grabbed a lifeline. New Mills never recovered from Horrocks carelessly giving the ball away and the ultimate recipient was substitute Steve Phillips whose deflected effort crept home.
Within two minutes, Phillips then came within inches of getting his side back on level terms but for the third time in the afternoon, a home team effort rattled the woodwork with Coates beaten.
Retford pushed for the equaliser but never really seriously threatened The Millers goal.
New Mills: Coates, Bowler, Fitzpatrick, Barras, Ormesher (Millen), Young, Meakin, Headley, Noon (Cox), Moore (Needham), Horrocks.