RETFORD United secured their third pre-season win over Evo-Stik League opposition on Saturday, beating Carlton Town 5-2 at the Bill Stokeld Stadium.
It was Carlton who drew first blood on six minutes, Daniel Fletcher opening the scoring at the far post after the United defence had failed to clear a cross.
The hosts were looking lively in the opening 10 minutes, but were soon pegged back when Corey Nightingale rose to head Badgers level from a free-kick in the 9th minute.
The match was played in very hot conditions and the players were allowed water breaks through the game, and just before the referee allowed the first one, Retford were in front.
On 20 minutes, Jamie Brown, playing his first game of pre-season, made a run on the left and crossed to the near post with Will Tomlinson making no mistake as he hit the back of the net to send alarm bells ringing through the Carlton camp.
The visiting side were not happy with two key decisions in the first half, Dean Rick involved in both. Firstly he raced into the box and was clearly felled, but this went un-punished by the referee who allowed play to continue. Shortly before the break, Rick was once again fouled, this time on the edge of the box, but again the appeals went unheard, with Rick having to limp off at the break and take no further part in the game.
The second half was only two minutes old when Liam Corrigan extended the lead, meeting a ball from Tomlinson after Brad Well’s initial shot was cleared.
There was a glimmer of hope for Carlton on 76 minutes, Ian Brown poking the ball past Jason Fisher to put the hosts back into the game, however, that slender defecit would only last for five minutes as a well worked goal, created by Wells and Adam Scott saw Warren Hatfield rise to head home Retford’s fourth, and two minutes later, Hatfield bagged his brace, getting into the box to slide the ball past the advancing keeper and put the game beyond doubt.
Retford have one more friendly left against Worksop Parramore on Wednesday evening at Sandy Lane, before the season starts with a home game against Barton Town Old Boys on Saturday.