RETFORD United scored a dramatic late winner on Tuesday night, to seal a third victory of the season.
The 2-1 win at fellow strugglers Frickley Athletic was their third triumph away from home.
Frickley had control of the match for the opening period.
Mark Whitehouse should have put his side in the lead early on, but couldn’t make contact with a cross from the right hand side.
Retford had an effort after a long throw from Niall O’Brien was cleared as far as Sam Foulds, but his shot was straight at the keeper.
Frickley took the lead after 11 minutes, John Knapper was penalised for handling the ball in the area and a penalty was awarded.
Ashley Burbeary stepped up to beat Luke Herriott.
Retford were struggling to keep hold of the ball and Burbeary managed to shake off Rob Austin to fire a shot at goal, but watched as it sailed over the crossbar.
Knapper tried to make amends for his earlier error, shooting a fraction wide of the upright from distance.
A corner was sent in by Michael Blythen, the ball dropped to Steve Brammer at the edge of the box, but his shot was over the bar.
Retford found the net on the half hour, John Knapper firing the ball in from the edge of the box, but the flag had been raised for offside.
Frickley then went to the other end of the pitch and scored a second, Simon Sturdy rising to power a header past Herriott, but it too was wiped out by the raised flag of the assistant referee.
As the first half ended, Retford went close again, Blythen beating the offside trap and seeing his shot blocked by the keeper.
The second half started brightly for Retford, an O’Brien throw was challenged in the box by Nicky Ellis, with O’Brien picking up the loose ball, but his effort was off target and over the bar.
Blythen found himself in a good position, but struck his shot wide.
Retford kept pushing for the equaliser and it was only a matter of time before it would come.
The introduction of Steve Owens in place of John Knapper paid dividends immediately.
The United winger broke forward, played in Blythen and he won a corner off the leg of James Kay.
Brammer’s corner found Blythen, and he got up to head the ball in off the underside of the crossbar to put Retford level on 67 minutes.
As the game wore on, Retford grew in confidence and O’Brien’s header from another Retford corner went wide, then United watched on as Ryan Hindley’s free kick was well over the bar.
Bradley Grayson should have lput the hosts ahead after he was found unmarked in the box, but he was unable to get a final touch on the ball.
It was to be Retford’s night, however, as in the 90th minute, a corner was played into the box, cleared by the Frickley defence, only for O’Brien to send in a looping header over everyone and into the back of the net to give Badgers a fully deserved win.
The five extra minutes of stoppage time were played out and at the final whistle, the relief and joy on the Retford players’ faces was clear for all to see.
Retford will be looking to keep up the momentum at the weekend as they travel to Marine FC.
They then return to Cannon Park to face Nantwich Town on Tuesday evening.
l ON Saturday Northwich Victoria were too strong for Retford United today, triumphing 4-1 at home to the Badgers.
Retford took the lead on 24 minutes through Joe Boggild, but Andy Fowler and Tony Evans put the hosts ahead.
Evans got his second on 78 minutes before Louis Barnes wrapped up the scoring.