The FA Cup trail started for Retford United on Saturday as Heanor Town were the visitors to the Jones & Co Stadium the winners awarded with a tie away at Belper Town.
Richard Sennet was forced to make changes to the side with Brett Lucas and Craig Fisher both away, with Matt Hassett making his first start of the season.
The game got off to the worst possible start for Retford after 90 seconds, Heanor going in front as Alex Haughton managed to find the back of the net from Courey Grantham’s rebound.
Liam Wilkin found the net shortly afterwards, but he put the ball past the keeper with help from his arm - he immediately held up his hands in apology and the goal was rightly disallowed.
Haughton looked for a second goal in the first ten minutes, but as he broke forward Hassett did well to block the shot.
Retford had the ball in the net again, and again the effort was not allowed, Wilkin this time denied by the offside flag.
The swirling wind was making it difficult for both sides as the ball seemed to hang in the air from goal kicks and clearances making it difficult to judge where it would drop.
Kieran Debrouwer had a shot at Barford that was easily saved, then Retford eventually found the equaliser on 16 minutes - Reece Thompson cutting in off the right and firing the ball past Mark Frost in the Heanor goal.
Thompson found himself in another good position but the ball took a bobble before he could hit the shot, and Jake Stannard was inches wide with the keeper caught out by his drilled effort.
Thompson then headed a Danny Smith cross wide, before a long kick by Barford caught by the wind, allowing Wilkin to run through and shoot wide.
Another goal kick would have been talked about for a long time as again the wind took control, but the backpedalling Frost somehow stretched far enough to catch the ball, denying Barford an unexpected birthday present.
Retford were in control, and three minutes before the break Wilkin showed great control to get past the defence and coolly slot the ball under the advancing keeper to put Retford into the lead.
Heanor started the second half with Grantham breaking through only to be stopped by Andy Walkden, and they would pay for that chance missed on 49 minutes when Thompson scored his second of the game.
After a throw in was headed clear, he controlled the ball just inside the box before unleashing a shot past Frost.
Andy Walkden lost out to Debrouwer, luckily the ball in was across goal and out for a goal kick, then Grantham had a chance putting his header wide.
Thompson was denied a hat-trick as his first touch let him down, but as the game wore on Heanor were unable to capitalise on their few chances.
Retford ran out 3-1 victors and booked a trip to Belper Town, the current home of former manager Peter Duffield and assistant Mick Godber.
The match will be played on Saturday 31st March at 3.00pm, moving the scheduled League game against Parkgate to Tuesday 5th November.
United now play two home games over the Bank Holiday weekend, with Pickering Town visiting on Saturday and a first ever meeting against Athersley Recreation on Monday.