Retford United continued their momentum to keep up the pressure at the top of the league with a 2-1 win at relegated Selby Town on Saturday.
It took the Badgers several minutes to get into their stride, Selby having an early free-kick that hit the roof of the net with Jason Fisher at full stretch, but the league leaders soon took control and Danny Hayes’ through ball for Karl Slack was well controlled, only for the effort to be fired wide.
The opening goal came on 12 minutes, Slack the scorer after a superb pass from Chris Baugh.
Slack took the ball in his stride before unleashing a shot from the edge of the area to beat Ciaran Gibson and put the Badgers into the lead.
Adam Scott linked up well with Carl Haslam only for his effort to roll wide, then Scott and Haslam linked up again, Haslam this time getting through but his first touch had too much on it and the keeper was able to get down to smother the ball at the second attempt.
Adam Colton, making his full debut for Retford, played a long ball forward for Slack but he was beaten in the air by the keeper.
Retford continued to push, Scott curling in a free-kick looking for Lee Mellon at the far post, but the header was wide, then a good run from Colton saw him cross into the box for Scott, however he couldn’t control and another chance went begging.
Selby, much like in the game at Cannon Park a few weeks ago, never gave up and went close with a corner that was eventually blazed over the bar by Abbas Sadeghian.
Haslam managed to get past the Selby back four, picking up a pass from Colton, and shot across goal, but the ball went wide with the keeper at full stretch, and another effort for the United frontman was hit at the keeper.
Danny Hayes stood firm to block the path of Craig Aspinall shortly before the break, and as the whistle blew, United finished the half with another good effort, Haslam again getting through only to be blocked by the keeper to keep the score at 1-0.
The second half was only four minutes old when Selby levelled the scores, Sadeghian’s shot low into the bottom corner beating Fisher to give Selby a fresh purpose, and with nothing to lose pushed for a second goal, Aspinall tested Fisher moments later.
Eventually, the Badgers pressure paid off and United scored their vital second goal, as good work between Slack and Colton saw the former Worksop player notch his first goal for the club on 64 minutes with a sweet shot from the inside of his left boot.
As the game ticked down, Retford won a free-kick on the edge of the area after Baugh was fouled, the ball was played in by Brown looking for the head of Danny Hayes, but he couldn’t find the target and the ball rolled out for a goal kick.
The two goals were enough and Retford maintained their place at the top of the league, however were dropped back to second spot on Easter Monday after Bridlington’s victory against Armthorpe put the East Coast side back in the driving seat.
With both clubs now level on games only two points separate them and the final four games look set to add to the excitement with the Badgers travelling to Bridlington for the final game of the season.
United now have three home games on the bounce starting with the visit of Nostell MW on Saturday (14th), Thackley (21st) and a midweek game against Staveley MW on Tuesday 24th before the season closes on 28th April away at Bridlington.