Retford United were unable to stop Scarborough Athletic from being crowned NCEL Premier Division champions on Saturday, as they went down 2-0 at the seaside.
Just short of 900 packed into the Queensgate Stadium, with a party atmosphere, as Badgers looked to spoil the celebrations.
Scarborough had the first attack as Ryan Blott sent in the ball for James Bennett, but Bobby Johnson made a superb block to clear the danger.
Retford mounted an attack, Adam Scott breaking forward, but his run was halted.
Scarborough took the lead on 16 minutes, a ball into the box was met at the far post by Bryan Hughes who managed to get it past Ayden Duffy to put one hand on the trophy.
Retford looked for an immediate response, Scott having a rasping shot that stung the hands of Aaron Reid for a corner, then Reece Thompson picked up a pass from Johnson but was flagged offside.
Kyle Hadley was next to go close for Retford, his fierce shot again tested Reid who had to fingertip the ball round the post at full stretch.
Retford were certainly not out of the game and had a shout for a penalty when Richard Medcalf was brought down in the box, but the referee deemed the challenge fair.
As the half ended, Scarborough had two chances, the first falling for Tony Hackworth whose shot on the turn was inches over the bar, then Paddy Miller sent his free kick straight at Duffy. The second half started with a succession of Retford corners, Brett Lucas rising to head the ball on target but it was cleared off the line, then Scott’s shot looked good, only to be punched clear by Reid. A Scarborough free-kick into the box had Duffy scrambling to clear as he lost control under pressure from Tom Adams.
Danny Smith did well to block Bennett’s shot as Scarborough won three quick corners, but couldn’t make any count.
On 76 minutes, the second goal came for Scarborough, captain Hackworth hitting the ball through a crowded box before turning to celebrate with the fans in the stand, and with news breaking of Brighouse’s three goal lead at Barton being reduced to one, there was a sense of celebration in the air.
In the final stages, the news from Brighouse was that the score was level which meant Scarborough were likely to be champions and the flags started to wave into stoppage time.
Retford went close for what would be a consolation goal as Medcalf fired just wide from Liam Slack’s knock down, but the final whistle soon sounded and the fans spilled onto the pitch in celebration, the trophy presented to a jubilant Scarborough.
Retford travelled to Barton Town on Wednesday evening (24th) for the first of a back to back clash as Barton are the visitors to the Jones and Co Stadium on Saturday.