Retford United slipped to their first away defeat of the season at the hands of Pickering Town on Saturday, going down 2-1.
The Badgers’ frustration led to the loss of Rob Sanderson late in the game to a red card.
Pickering started stronger, Josh Greening making a long run forward, but losing his footing at the vital moment.
Danny Smith fed Liam Wilkin who tried to get into a shooting position, his shot was seemingly handled by a defender but the referee waved play on.
Jody Barford was called into action to save an effort from the home side, then a free-kick by Lewis Taylor was hooked away by Jake Stannard for a corner.
Pickering kept up their momentum, Harry Coates having a shot at Barford, and for Retford Reece Thompson had a decent shot at the keeper.
Greening broke through again, despite going down in the box, nothing was given and Barford was able to collect.
Pickering broke the deadlock in the 26th minute, a run on the left and shot by Joe Danby got past Barford.
The hosts were on the attack once again, Greening testing Barford with a dipping shot that was tipped over the bar, then the crossbar was rattled as Pickering had the bit between their teeth.
Chris Batchelor won a corner as Barford had to turn his shot round the post, the corner was sent in and the loose ball was played out for Lewis Taylor to strike home to put Pickering two up.
The second half saw much more pressure from Retford, Ben Muirhead went down in the box, and again there was nothing given despite the appeals.
A long kick out by Barford caught the wind, but the bounce in front of the Pickering keeper was kind and he was able to catch the ball.
Jack Cross won a free-kick, Muirhead sent the ball into the mix, but Craig Fisher couldn’t meet the ball in the air.
Retford kept on pushing forward, Thompson had another chance saved, then Wilkin scuffed his shot wide.
Ged Dalton should have done better when he broke free, clean through with only Barford in his way, his shot hit the foot of the United keeper.
The referee had words with Richard Sennett after it appeared the ball had been handled outside the box by Callum Myers, the Pickering keeper, the Badgers boss receiving a warning from the man in black.
Danny Smith then sent the ball into the box, with the Pickering arms raised for offside, and it found Wilkin who fired his effort at the keeper.
Un 78 minutes Richard Medcalf found the net, shooting through a crowded box to put United back into the game.
With five minutes left Sanderson was red carded for foul and abusive language, disputing another controversial decision, and Pickering should have made it 3-1 as Tony Hackworth shot wide from a good position.
United host Parkgate FC on Saturday.