RETFORD United took three points on Saturday in dramatic fashion, as they beat Armthorpe 3-2.
New goalkeeper Ayden Duffy made his debut, with Jake Stannard returning, in an entertaining match.
As early as the fouth minute, Retford had the ball in the back of the net , Stannard heading in after a long throw by Shaun Nesbitt, but it was chalked off by the referee.
United had a corner moments later, but Andy Walkden couldn’t find the target.
Danny Frost did well to get into the box, his ball to James O’Neill was struck well, but over the bar.
Armthorpe won a free-kick just outside the box, United’s wall doing its job to charge down the shot and set up an attack that was cut out by the Armthorpe defence.
On 13 minutes the visitors took the lead, Ben Muirhead’s effort had Duffy at full stretch, unable to get a touch on the ball as it nestled into the bottom corner.
Bobby Johnson saw his run blocked as Retford pushed for an equaliser.
It came on 19 minutes.
A yellow card was issued to William Biggs, the Armthorpe keeper after a desperate clearance outside his box, crashing into Nesbitt as the United striker made ground on goal.
The free-kick was taken by Johnson giving Biggs no chance as the ball was superbly struck and gave Retford the deserved equaliser.
Johnson and Stannard combined well to get Stannard into a good position but the keeper was down to smother the ball.
Paul Ashton had a shot over the bar for Armthorpe then a distance effort was well off target as Armthorpe tried to force their way back into the game.
There was great vision by Nesbitt to take a quick throw into the path of Kyle Hadley, only for the defence to force him to turn away from goal.
Another throw by Nesbitt almost caught Biggs out, forcing the Armthorpe stopper to palm the ball over the bar for a corner kick.
The ball was sent into the box by Johnson, flicked on to Walkden who struck the crossbar.
A good run by Nesbitt got him into the box, staying on his feet under the challenge, his ball out for Graeme Severn was passed back to Nesbitt who challenged the keeper, the ball falling for Hadley who couldn’t find the target.
United took the lead on 40 minutes, Hadley found Nesbitt who tore down the left wing to put the ball across goal, past the reach of the keeper, and Stannard couln’t miss as he crashed ball home.
Half-time saw the introduction of Armthorpe’s player manager Leo Fortune-West and the former Doncaster Rovers hit-man was in the thick of the action as he pushed and shoved Rob Sanderson as Armthorpe defended a corner, forcing the referee to have words with both players.
United were on the attack again, Johnson heading over, then Duffy had to head clear from the edge of his box as Armthorpe threatened.
A good cross from Stannard in for Nesbitt was cut out by Fortune-West and shepherded back to his keeper, then good link up play between Johnson and Liam Wilkin, on as sub replacing Nesbitt, set up Stannard but the flag was raised for offside.
Fortune-West was playing himself as a utility player, covering in both attack and defence, going down in the box to the cries of the Armthorpe fans behind the goal, but the referee immediately waved away the appeals, as former Retford player Craig Aspinall fired over the bar.
Hadley sent in Wilkin forcing Biggs out of his box again to clear, then a poor pass by Fortune-West was played straight to Stannard, his shot inches over the bar.
Steffan Cairns levelled the scores with nine minutes left on the clock, a shot from the left side of the box drilled in past Duffy.
But things were to change with a flurry of activity in the closing stages.
Fortune-West got into a good position, his shot took a touch off Duffy and hit the post, then out for a corner, whilst Retford went close through Hadley as his ball was a whisker away from the upright.
Deep into stoppage time, in the 93rd minute, a cross into the box was flicked on by Sanderson for the waiting Wilkin to head past Biggs to retain the lead for Retford.
Armthorpe went straight up on the attack, the ball was floated into the far post finding Fortune-West who managed to squeeze the ball through the crowded box and into the net, sparking jubilation from the Armthorpe contingent, but that soon turned sour as a raised flag ruled out the goal.
The Assistant Referee deemed the ball to have gone out of play from the corner kick.
This sparked angry scenes that were waved away by the referee who then blew the final whistle and Retford were victorious.
The referee showed a red card to Muirhead as the players were returning to the dressing room for something he said to the officials.
Retford now travel to Winterton Rangers on Wednesday evening before travelling to Spalding United in the FA Vase on Saturday.