Retford United have made a habit of scoring last minute goals against Long Eaton United in recent times, and last night’s game was no exception.
In a difficult match, due mainly to the harsh weather conditions at Grange Park, Badgers netted late on for the third successive game against Long Eaton to claim all three points.
Thunder, lightning and heavy rain didn’t dampen Retford’s cause as they looked to return to winning ways after the weekend defeat to Parkgate at Cannon Park.
Defender Rob Sanderson was welcomed back into the side as Richard Sennett shuffled his pack for a second successive game.
Adam Scott and Craig Aspinall made way with a start for Shaun Nesbitt at right back and Jake Stannard returning up front after deputising in defence against Parkgate.
In the heavy rain of the opening quarter of an hour, an early break by Stannard almost set up Kyle Hadley for a chance, but Long Eaton had the ball covered.
Jack Ward produced a fine block against Matt Savage as the home side looked to make a move forward. Nesbitt played the ball into the Long Eaton box but the hosts blocked two efforts before the ball was hooked away for a corner and Shaun Rickford came close, as Retford continued to pressure the Long Eaton defence.
Hadley then saw his shot roll wide before Nesbitt crossed for Danny Frost, but he couldn’t get a touch in front of goal.
Andy Walkden continued his impressive defensive performance, doing well to block Rickford’s shot then King made a good run but was marshalled by Walkden.
Graeme Severn covered the width of the pitch from the left back position to the right hand corner to cross the ball for Stannard who rose to head the ball on target only for the keeper to stoop low and make the save.
Frost followed up the rebound, but couldn’t capitalise, and another chance went begging.
More chances were to come in the second half, where it seemed the Long Eaton goal was living a charmed life.
Stannard’s free header somehow missed the target, Hadley broke free only for him to be tripped, earning Jordan Hunter a caution, and Danny Frost’s free kick curled over the wall but into the keepers arms.
Ward did well again when called upon as Dominic Jones threatened. Ward stretched to get his fingers to the ball and turned it round the post for a corner.
Adam Scott and Scott Bibby were introduced to the game with Kyle Hadley and Jake Stannard making way. Bibby almost found the net after a long throw by Nesbitt went deep into the box, the header cleared to Bibby who had remained onside despite Long Eaton appeals, but headed wide.
Scott and Bibby saw another chance for Retford go begging, Scott’s effort was cleared to Bibby who put the ball across goal, but there was no Retford player following up.
Adam Scott broke free and raced into the box, the keeper stood firm to close down his shot and was able to collect the loose ball before Scott could find his feet.
Kelvin Mushambi was on hand to clear Scott’s shot off the line after Frost’s initial effort was cleared, then a free kick for Retford into the box was met by Sanderson with a home defender having to head clear for a corner.
With little over three minutes remaining, the ball was sent into the box by Scott and Danny Frost made no mistake as he slammed the ball home to give Retford a deserved three points and a return to winning ways ahead of the FA Cup clash at Hucknall Town on Saturday afternoon.