Ollerton Town’s Wembley dream is over for another year after they were knocked out in the first qualifying round of the FA Vase in a 3-2 loss to Retford United on Saturday.
It was the home side who started the game the brighter. Lewis Bingham broke free down the right and his lob had Valente beaten but it struck the bar and bounced to safety. Mark Carter then had a great opportunity for Ollerton but he could only send Brandon Shaw’s cross just wide of the upright.
It was no surprise when Ollerton opened the scoring after a quarter of an hour. Josh Bowkett got his fifth of the season when his first time shot from the edge of the area found bottom corner.
Retford, however, struck back and went ahead from two free-kicks. The first was sent in deep to the far post before finding the back of the net off the shoulder of Brett Lucas. Ten minutes later and Kyle Wesley turned in a free-kick from an identical position beating Joe Hankey in the Ollerton goal.
Just before the break, Ollerton nearly equalised. Bowkett got the ball just inside the area and his shot across goal went inches wide of the target.
It took until a minute into the second-half before Ollerton finally levelled. A Tom Cooke cross was flicked on by Josh Dodd and Carter was on hand at the far post to strike his first Ollerton goal.
But with what was Retford’s best chance of the second-half, they scored what proved to be the winner. Charlie Sykes pounced on a loose ball before running through and slotting past Hankey.
Ollerton started to build some strong pressure on the Retford goal. Sam Stretton fired over from the edge of the box, Tom Cooke saw a well struck shot acrobatically tipped over the bar before Bingham saw an outstretched volley go wide of the goal.
Carter then found some space in the area but his shot lacked the power needed to test Valente, before a cross to the far post found Bingham and his pass across the face of goal was waiting to be tapped home, but no Ollerton player got near to it.
Then came the best chances of the half. A ball over the top found substitute Chris Hewitt free, and his header had the beating of Valente who was caught in no man’s land, but the ball landed agonisingly wide of the target.
With the final attack of the game, Ollerton and Hewitt broke free again but the Ollerton front man appeared to be caught in two minds whether to shoot or pass and a Retford defender got back to save the and help ensure their progress.