Retford United 2
Scarborough Athletic 3
FOR the second time in a week, a two goal lead was wiped out as Retford United slipped to defeat.
Just days after their 4-2 defeat at the hands of Barton Town Old Boys in the League Cup, they fell at the hands of Scarborough at Cannon Park.
Struggling to field a full strength side due to injury and unavailability, Retford called on two Under 19 players to take to the bench.
Goalkeeper Ayden Duffy was missing due to prior commitments, so Badgers made the late signing of Rainworth Miners Welfare stopper Alessandro Barcherini for one game, giving the Italian a chance to get 90 minutes under his belt after a lay off with an eye injury.
United were without Rob Sanderson, Shaun Nesbitt, Kyle Hadley, Scott Bibby and Jake Stannard so expected a tough game against one of the favourites for the league title.
Much like the midweek match against Barton, United were in front with only seconds on the clock, a corner floated in found Liam Slack who powered his header past Steve Wilson.
Retford were two goals to the good on 13 minutes, Slack going one on one with the keeper, his shot was blocked only to the feet of Brett Lucas who opened his Retford account with a piledriver.
Barcherini did well to block a shot by prolific striker Ryan Blott, then the visitors had another effort that flashed across goal, going wide.
Adam Scott had a free-kick wide on the right wing, Bobby Johnson rising to attack, but he could only head over the bar, whilst at the other end, Peter Davidson lifted the ball over Barcherini’s goal.
Scarborough huffed and puffed but couldn’t find a way past the United defence, Tony Hackworth’s shot into the arms of his former Notts County team-mate Barcherini.
It wasn’t until the 69th minute that the game turned.
A corner was met by Scarborough’s Sam Denton and Barcherini couldn’t keep it out.
Indecision between Denton and Wilson almost sent in Johnson who pushed well to win a throw, and Retford would rue their missed chances as Scarborough went into the last 10 minutes looking for an equalising goal.
Shouts by Scarborough for a handball went unheard by the referee, but he did give a controversial free-kick on the edge of the box with four minutes remaining, hotly disputed by the United players and supporters.
Blott stepped up to take the free-kick, Barcherini having no chance as the ball flew into the top corner.
With the scores level, Retford tried to defend, but on 89 minutes were left gutted as Hackworth somehow found a way through to win it for Scarborough, sending their travelling fans into delirium, and receiving a booking for his celebration.
United almost found a vital leveller in the last minute, James O’Neill’s ball in was hit on target by Andy Walkden but the keeper managed to keep hold of the ball and ensure it was Scarborough who returned to the coast with all three points.
United face Barton Town again on Saturday as they travel to the Euronics Stadium for the league clash (3pm).