BADGERS boss Richard Sennett had to shuffle the pack, but his side were unlucky not to have returned from Mickleover with at least a draw.
With players injured or unavailable, Retford United went two goals down in the first 25 minutes, but matched their Evo-Stik counterparts for most of the game.
Rob Sanderson rose to head the ball into the keeper’s arms fearly on, and a superb pass from Adam Scott found Kyle Hadley, but his run was stopped as the ball was collected by the keeper.
Mickleover took the lead on 12 minutes, Brad Munn breaking forward to slot the ball past Jack Ward.
Gav Cooper fired an effort just off target as Retford pushed for a leveller, but they were two down on 23 minutes, Alex Steadman firing a shot from the edge of the box that was too much for Ward.
Retford were straight on the attack and a scramble in the box saw Cooper pulled over as he tried to line up a shot, and Mickleover were able to clear.
Shortly before the half hour, Retford pulled a goal back, Cooper getting through with only the keeper to beat, lifting it into the empty net.
Shaun Nesbitt made a run to the line, his low cross had the keeper at full stretch, but there was no Retford touch.
As the first half came to an end, a mix up in the United defence almost gifted David Moon a goal, his ball flashed across the face of goal, with Sanderson clearing.
In the second half Scott curled in a ball looking for Liam Slack, but despite stretching to win the ball, the keeper managed to keep hold.
Slack n saw another effort inches wide of the post, and Scott could have done better with a free-kick after he was cut down just outside the box..
Ward was forced into a good reaction save low to his left as Mickleover looked to put the game beyond their visitors, but it was the Badgers who had the better chances in the second period.
It was another positive workout for Retford, who host Porthmadog from the League of Wales on Saturday (3pm).