A KARL Slack hat-trick helped Retford United bounce back from a tough week with a 3-1 win at home to Armthorpe Welfare.
Just days after manager Brett Marshall went public with his reasons for quitting the club at the end of the season, his men completed a double over the Welfare side.
Retford took control early as Adam Scott collected Slack’s pass and got to the area, only to be denied by keeper Jamie Green.
It was Slack who opened the scoring on eight minutes, chesting down a pass and hitting an unstoppable effort past Green.
Armthorpe were lucky when the ball struck the hand of Paul Ashton in the box, but went unsighted by the officials.
The visitors drew level after 18 minutes, a scrappy goal scored by Richard Smith from close range as he poked over the line at the near post.
Retford didn’t react to the goal and moments later Steve Carty failed to make a positive clearance and the ball fell for Craig Morley to head towards goal, but his effort was over.
On the half hour, the persistent vocal volleys from the Armthorpe keeper earned him a yellow card.
United maintained their composure and Lee Mellon went close, firing a shot wide.
Armthorpe kept looking for their second, Tom Hyde’s shot curled wide, then Stuart Preston saw his shot blocked by Chris Baugh.
There was nothing Green could do in the 36th minute from a corner as the ball was crossed by Chambers for Slack to rise and power a bullet header into the back of the net.
Hyde had a chance to haul Armthorpe back level but spooned the ball over the bar, and the second half ended with Retford on the attack, Ricky Chambers hitting a superb drive from distance just wide.
Retford started the second half as they ended the first, a free-kick sent into the box was headed on by Lee Mellon for Rob Austin to strike on the volley, the ball straight into the arms of the keeper.
And the game was over on 53 minutes when Slack scored his third of the afternoon.
Scott crossed for Slack, 12 yards from goal, he struck the ball but it hit the top of his foot and looked to be going over, but the groans turned to cheers as the ball looped up and over the keeper into the back of the net.
Carl Haslam and Jamie Brown were introduced to the game with Carty and Scott making way, Haslam making an immediate impact as his run found Mellon who played in Hatfield, only for the striker to hit the ball wide.
Retford pushed to increase the goal difference, a corner was flicked on by Slack for Haslam to put back across goal, Brown’s header going wide.
United have one more home game in March on Saturday (24th) against Hall Road Rangers, then they travel to Bridlington for the much anticipated game against Scarborough Athletic the following week (31st).