RETFORD United slipped to a third straight defeat, after a fortnight’s lay-off, when they went down 3-1 to Liversedge at home on Saturday.
United welcomed Richard Medcalf, recently signed from Barton, into the starting line up, partnering Bobby Johnson in attack, and Brett Lucas kept his place in defence with Rob Sanderson returning to the bench after illness.
Badgers boss Richard Sennett was without Tom Dorgan and Liam Slack who both were ill on the morning of the game.
Retford got into the action early in the first half, as good hold up play by Medcalf saw him find Johnson but the ball was too heavy and rolled out of play for a goal kick.
Liversedge whipped a cross into the box, Matt Bugg couldn’t get up high enough to connect in front of goal.
The visitors were in the lead as early as the seventh minute, Adam Jarrett stretching to push the ball past Ayden Duffy in the United goal, which spurred on Retford to push for an equaliser.
A corner ball for Retford, after good work between Kyle Hadley and Johnson, was sent into the box by Adam Scott, Lucas rose unchallenged to power his header towards goal but had his head in his hands as the ball cleared the crossbar.
Scott made a move on the left, getting to the byline before sending in a cross that was met by Johnson, but like Lucas, he couldn’t find the target.
A long ball upfield by Liversedge almost caught out the United defence, Duffy having to stretch to touch the ball away from the oncoming Gibril Bojang.
On 21 minutes, the scores were level, another United corner sent in by Scott was met at the near post by Lucas for his second goal in as many games, as he thumped the ball past Ryan Blythe.
A cheeky back heel by Medcalf almost set in Hadley, but the ball ran out of play just before Hadley could get to it, then a good run from the United winger forced Danny Cooper to clear for another corner kick.
Liversedge struggled to clear the ball with another corner given to Retford, this time Scott found Andy Walkden who headed over the bar.
James Rothel tried to take back the lead for Liversedge, his drive curled up and over the bar but Duffy had it covered.
Medcalf, looking for a goal on his debut, did well as he had an effort wide on the left, the ball curled towards goal, but into the arms of Blythe.
Retford won a free-kick that was sent into the box, Walkden getting a touch, but the referee saw a foul.
The second half started with good build up play by Retford, Johnson and Medcalf both getting into the box but unable to get in a shot, then Ward fired over from outside the box.
Liversedge’s Ryan Wood tested Duffy, but the United stopper was untroubled.
A great run by Johnson made strides into the box, his effort was parried for a corner, then Scott had a curling shot that was close, but again, missing the target.
On 52 minutes, it was Liversedge who took the lead, Curtis McMahon slipping in behind the defence to slot the ball past Duffy.
The last quarter of an hour saw a flurry of chances for both sides, Hadley breaking through to get in front of goal, but before he could compose himself to have a strike, the ball ran loose and was cleared by Liversedge.
Then on 76 minutes, McMahon was the scorer for the visitors as they went up field to grab a third.
A late effort by Shaun Nesbitt was close, but Liversedge held on and returned to West Yorkshire with the points in the bag.
Next Saturday (8th) sees a short trip to Staveley Miners Welfare in the league, then the re-arranged game against Barton Town away the following Wednesday (12th).