RETFORD United finally returned to winning ways with a 3-1 victory over Long Eaton United, completing a double over the Derbyshire side.
Badgers started brightly, Reece Thompson and Richard Medcalf showing early promise as the front two – Thompson finding Medcalf who got into the box but couldn’t get space for a shot.
Another run by Thompson saw him cut the ball inside to Medcalf who could only fire at the keeper.
Adam Scott saw his free-kick on five minutes well saved by the keeper, but it was the visiting side that took the lead a minute later when Matt Savage rose to head the ball past Ayden Duffy after a cross from the left, to quash Retford’s early pressure and put them on the back foot.
Savage made another surging run but was stopped in his tracks by a superb challenge by Rob Sanderson.
Retford were dismayed when Thompson made strides into the box, and was tugged over, a defender holding the young striker’s shirt, but the referee had deemed the challenge as legal and Long Eaton were able to take a breather and build again.
Retford were issued another warning after a corner ball was punched out by Duffy only as far as Blaine Hancock who fired the ball on target, Danny Smith in the right place at the post to hook the ball off the line.
Retford were level on 24 minutes, good work to win the ball by Smith was played out for Thompson who got in a cross, Matthaius Gausmann ran into the box to stretch to get a touch and put the ball past Scott Miles in the Long Eaton net for his first goal for the club.
Tom Dorgan sent in a deep cross that found the head of Medcalf, his flicked header was only a fraction wide of the post as Retford gathered momentum and started to control the game for long periods.
A poor defensive error by Long Eaton sent in Medcalf, the ball eventually finding it’s way to Adam Scott whose shot won a corner kick.
The ball was sent into the area, Medcalf met the ball with his head and this time, with the chance going the right side of the post, it was cleared off the line by a grateful Long Eaton defender.
Scott was fouled five yards outside the box, his free-kick was curled in, Medcalf did well to turn the defence away and the ball curled into the net, Scott taking the plaudits to put Retford into a deserved lead.
Once again, Retford caused problems for their visitors, Miles was forced into a mistake with Scott having another shot, and it was a player on the line that stopped the scoreline from increasing.
The half ended with great work by Scott to find Thompson, his shot was deflected to Medcalf who in turn had his effort turned away for another Retford corner.
United finished the half much the stronger side and had it not been for some resolute defending, could have gone in at the break with a more commanding lead.
The second half started as the first ended with Retford on the attack, Kyle Thurman pulled down Thompson on the edge of the box, a free kick given on the edge of the “D” and Scott curled the ball over the wall into the arms of the keeper.
Retford were let off as a Long Eaton shot cannoned off the underside of the crossbar then the follow up shot was tipped over by Duffy, which made the game even more in need of a third goal to put distance between the two sides.
Scott set off on a quick run as Long Eaton challenged a corner, he strode forward with space, playing the ball in for James O’Neill who then knocked into the run of Thompson, but the cross was blocked before it could find a Retford player.
A long throw into the box found Medcalf who set up Gausmann to cross, Thompson rising to head wide, then Medcalf was involved again as he played in Tom Dorgan who won a corner for his efforts.
Scott was giving Thurman a torrid time on the left wing and got past him again to get in a low cross that hit the side netting.
Bobby Johnson made an appearance from the bench, his cross shortly after coming onto the field found Medcalf who scored, but was ruled offside.
Danny Gordon rued his luck when his free header was over the bar as Long Eaton looked to level the scores, but Retford were the more likely to score, with Thompson and Medcalf both looking very lively in attack.
Finally the third goal came, in stoppage time, as Medcalf collected a pass by Johnson, he got into the box and with the keeper well beaten took the time to run across goal and place his shot neatly into the net for his first since joining the Badgers and ensuring all three points would stay at Cannon Park.
United prepare for the festive period on Saturday with a trip to Nostell Miners Welfare, followed by a home game on Boxing Day (3pm) against local rivals Worksop Parramore.
The following Saturday (29th) United play the return fixture against Nostell Miners Welfare at the Jones and Co Stadium.