Having disposed of First Division South leaders Wythenshawe Amateurs in the previous round, Lairds set about their Nottingham opponents from the start, but found Retford hard to break down in the opening exchanges, with their keeper producing only one real save in the first half.
This proved costly in the 33rd minute when an exchange of passes saw Alex Wonham net for the visitors and maintain the lead until half time.
The game continued in the same frame during the second period as both keepers made fine saves during the half, but with only minutes remaining on the clock a superb cross from substitute Regan Ruben was well met by Ben Wood to head the ball goalwards and it was helped into the net by a despairing defender to level the tie at 1-1 after 90 minutes.
A Penalty shoot-out was needed to provide a winner, and this became a very exciting part of the fixture as Ellis Bolton fired home the first for Lairds, but Retford levelled with their opener.
Ben Kerr then had his spot kick saved before Nathan Davidson saved the visitors’ second attempt.
Gabriel Kabwalo put Lairds 2-1 ahead and then Davidson saved again, but Regan Ruben then missed before Davidson made it a hat-trick of saves which allowed Ben Wood to blast home the decisive spot kick to give Lairds a 3-1 success and entry into the next round of the competition.
Lairds’ next game is away to Alsager Town on Saturday 1st October.