Retford optimism short lived as Parkgate hit them for six

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Retford United’s new found optimism was short lived, after Saturday’s victory was followed by a chastening 6-1 defeat at Parkgate on Tuesday.

Not even Brett Lucas’ return to a patched-up Badgers side could prevent them from being hit for six.

Craig Laight missed out through work and injuries kept out Matt Thornton and Jason Swannack.

The opening exchanges were even, but this came to an abrupt end after 10 minutes as Retford were unable to clear and blind clearance sat up perfectly for Scott Preece to half-volley into Matthew Leese’s goal.

Leese was at fault when he delayed a clearance and had the ball stolen from his feet, watching in relief as a shot rolled wide.

A minute or so later the home goalkeeper played the same game of chicken with Adam Lee., but the Retford man’s charge down didn’t make enough contact.

Parkgate went 2-0 up when Jack Dean’s poor pass allowed the home team to pounce and Adam Stapleford Jones hit the net after Leese made a good initial save.

Retford were unlucky when a low cross from Kyle Hadley on the right was begging for a touch to take it over the line but Lee, Liam Wilkin and Aaron Richards were unable to make it.

Just before half-time a swift break down the right caught the Badgers defence napping and a perfect cross was met by a volley from Preece as he hit the roof of Leese’s goal again.

If Badgers were hoping for a second half fightback, they made the wrong start – again failing to clear their lines, allowing Piers Bond to make it 4-0 on 47 minutes.

A good driving run down the left from Wilkin earned the Badgers a deserved corner and from the resultant set piece a cute flick of the heel from the striker had to be cleared off the line.

The second corner from Jimmy Walker during the same passage of play found Brett Lucas in acres of space and he grabbed the visitors a consolation goal with a powerful header.

This gave the Badgers a five minute rally.

The best move of this spell was a long ball from David Buck which Wilkin latched onto only to see his lovely shot go just high and wide.

Half an hour into the second period Parkgate stole the ball down the left with three breaking in red, leaving substitute centre-half Danny Swain and Leese stranded, and Preece was on hand to secure his hat-trick.

Shortly after the re-start tempers flared in the middle of the park with Retford captain Lee surrounded by the home team, with an apparent attempted head butt from a home player, after a couple of wayward challenges from the Retford number 10.

With about five minutes to go Parkgate rounded things off with a Danny Kabeya shot from a well-worked position that appeared to deflect off a Retford heel to deceive Leese.

Before the week began interim manager Rich Williams would have targeted three points from the six on offer, but after the highs of his all-important first victory against Liversedge the disappointment in this performance will be hard to swallow.

It’s back to the drawing board as Retford need to re-group ahead of the visit of seventh-placed Heanor Town on Saturday at the Jones & Co. Stadium.