Two unforced individual errors in the last 15 minutes sentenced HUCKNALL TOWN to another frustrating afternoon in the Central Midlands League’s South Division.
Just when Town looked set to hold to a goalless draw a Mickleover Royal British Legion side now as high as fifth in the table, they pressed the self-destruct button.
In the 75th minute, left-back Jamie Comery dived in to a challenge, instead of staying on his feet, enabling winger Matt Landers to stroll inside and lay off a simple ball for Ben Stockley to sidefoot past ‘keeper James Beddingham.
And then five minutes later, Eugene Francis fell asleep at a corner, leaving the man he was meant to be marking, Rob Selby, free to head home the second.
The goals handed Mickleover a victory they scarcely deserved. Indeed it was a match that could have gone either way.
The home team were big and strong, boasting years of experience, and capable of some fine football played at a good tempo and with a fair amount of skill.
But Town’s youthful side were more than a match and received plenty of praise afterwards from the Mickleover management, who described them as the best footballing outfit they had played all season.
As so often this term, all The Yellows lacked was that extra bit of quality and know-how in the final third, plus the ability to take their chances.
In the opening half, Cameron Davidson, Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe, Joe Lomax and Leon Aikman were all guilty of spurning good opportunities.
Goalkeeper Beddingham also had to produce two very good saves. But even at 0-0, Town were confident that they had laid a solid-enough platform to go on and bag their first win in eight games.
The confidence increased in the second period when Mickleover were restricted to counter-attacks.
At the other end, Aikman took too many touches when jinking his way into the box, Lomax unleashed a fierce shot that flew wide and ex-Millwall and Leyton Orient Nigerian Ogedi-Uzokwe was tackled at the last minute when through on goal.
So you can imagine the anguish in the Town camp when Mickleover delivered their one-two sucker-punch.
Yellows boss Andy Graves refused to be too downbeat, particularly as he was missing, for various reasons, a host of players, including Alex Arnold, John Whetton, Adam Whitemore, Johnny Hamilton, Ben Waplington, Jeremy Moran and James Rigg.
Said Graves: “It was a disappointing result but a good performance. We were also pleased to give 17-year-old defender Jack Ford his full league debut.”
Town now have three more matches to play this term -- at home to Bilborough Pelican this coming Saturday, away to Allenton United next Wednesday and finally away to Swanwick Pentrich Road on Saturday 3rd May.