A LATE flurry of cards overshawdowed Retford United’s clash with Liversedge on Tuesday, as Badgers earned a point.
Three players were given their marching orders by the referee, in a tense second half.
There were changes to the United line-up as Ben Parlby and Liam Slack made their first starts of the season, with Under 19s Bobby Johnson and Reece Thompson on the bench.
Shaun Nesbitt had an early effort saved by the home keeper, who did well to tip Gav Cooper’s shot away for a corner.
For Liversedge, a quick free-kick almost caught out the Retford defence as Tate Williams crossed for Chris Wood and his header was ballooned over the bar by James Rothell.
Chris Hanney crashed a shot against the crossbar for the home side and then on 26 minutes Wood turned the ball into the net for the opening goal.
Retford looked for an immediate response, but couldn’t get the ball down to get in a meaningful chance.
It could have been 2-0 before the break but Wood’s effort was cleared off the line.
In the second half Slack was hauled down in the box, but the referee, who had been frustrating both sets of fans, failed to see the incident and waved for play to continue.
A turning point came in the 56th minute when Daniel Cooper was cautioned for a foul on Nesbitt on the corner of the box.
Seconds later Cooper stupidly kicked the ball away and the referee had no option but to give a second yellow and send the Liversedge defender off.
Retford then levelled.
Gibril Bojang was cautioned for a foul and Johnson stepped up to hit the ball past the wall and into the bottom corner of the net.
On 75 minutes the game took a turn for the worse, with players from both sides involved in a fracas in the United box.
After consultation with his assistant, a straight red card was shown to Retford’s Cooper and Liversedge’s Wood for their part in the incident.
The final 15 minutes saw Retford try and push forward with their one man advantage, Adam Scott’s pass to Nesbitt made the keeper work to save, then a glancing header from Johnson after a free-kick was sent into the box by Scott almost sealed victory for the visitors.
In stoppage time, the points could well have been heading back down the M62 when Steve Phillips’ effort was fired at the keeper who did well to keep hold.
United now face New Mills in the FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round on Saturday afternoon at Cannon Park, after the Evo-Stik side beat Mickleover on penalties in their replay.
l ON Saturday Badgers lost 2-0 at home to Bridlington Town.