After a confidence-boosting 9-1 midweek Notts Senior Cup win over Real United, Rainworth Miners’ Welfare were brought back down to earth in the Premier Division of the Northern Counties East League.
A 4-3 home defeat to Retford United, who were languishing in the bottom three, left Rainworth sixth bottom and nine points clear of the relegation zone.
Rainworth had more chances and possession, but United showed more passion.
Rainworth went close on 11 minutes when Adam Valentine reached the ball before Matt Harris and it was cleared for a corner.
From the flag kick the home side had two efforts on goal blocked and, when the ball was cleared upfield, Cameron Dear outran the defence and slotted past Ben Townsend.
Rainworth equalised from a short corner between Matt Sykes and Tomas Poole with Jack Barnett’s deft clip finding the top corner.
They should have taken the lead on half-time when an excellent move saw Harris through on goal, but his effort was blocked.
Rainworth started the second half with purpose and Poole ran past defenders before firing over.
The home side went behind when Brad Kilner reacted the quickest to a free kick.
Rainworth were unlucky when Phil Buxton’s goal-bound shot was deflected to the keeper. Buxton then had an effort blocked and Liam Morris shot over.
Buxton and Morris combined to set-up Harris for a second leveller.
But in the 78th minute Rob Ludlam unluckily toe-poked in an own-goal to restore Retford’s lead and Jake Ashton converted a rebound to make it 4-2.
When Sykes’s goal-bound shot was deflected, Harris made no mistake to give Rainworth hope. In the final minute they seemed to certain to snatch a point, but Morris’ shot was cleared off the line.
RAINWORTH MWFC: Townsend, Herbert, Claxton, Buxton, Ludlam, Mansell, Gregory (Brewin), Barnett, Harris, Poole (Morris), Sykes. Sub (not used): Griffin.
Referee: Paul Buck