HUCKNALL Town’s season went from very bad to a lot worse on New Year’s Day as they fell to a 13-0 defeat at Loughborough Dynamo.
Only eight players were available to play for the Yellows, and despite a spirited first-half display fitness levels eventually told in the second-half as Dynamo ran in ten more goals.
Speaking to the Dispatch this week, Town manager Jason Truscott said the experience was a slightly surreal one but that it was vital the match was played.
He said: “We’d had no game last Saturday but there was a good turnout at training on Sunday, and when I left home on Tuesday morning I was led to believe we had 14 players available for selection.
“It was only when we got to the ground at Loughborough that it became apparent a few people had switched their phones off and gone AWOL and we were suddenly left with eight players.
“It was important to get the game played no matter what because we don’t want to further incur the wrath of the league, but the whole situation sums up the way things are the club at the moment.”
Truscott felt the players that did take part in the game deserved huge credit for the work they put in, but that ultimately they could be no match for their opponents from a fitness perspective.
He added: “There were times in the first-half where Loughborough were putting the ball out for throw-ins unchallenged and I couldn’t help but think that if we’d had 11 players then we could have made things a lot more difficult for them.
“If we’d had the legs in the second-half then I think we could have kept the score down to a much more respectable level, but in the end we were just over-run and couldn’t cope, which inevitably resulted in Dynamo scoring more goals.
“The Loughborough fans and players didn’t celebrate any of the goals in the second-half, such was the surreal nature of the situation and the fact that I think they had great sympathy for our plight.
Tuesday’s loss followed a similarly-humiliating 8-1 defeat at home to Rainworth Miners Welfare on Boxing Day, with the Yellows, having had to revert to amateur status in recent weeks, remaining bottom of the Evo-Stik Divison One South table and seven points from safety.
Hucknall were due to host an open training session at Watnall Road last night (Thursday) with the possibility of players being taken on by the management team ahead of the home match with Brigg Town on Saturday.
And Truscott is confident that game won’t see a similar problem to that encountered on New Year’s Day.
He said: “I think we’ve got about 18 to 20 players signed on. We had a couple with family in hospital over Christmas and some went off on holiday, but this is the kind of thing you have to deal with when you’re operating at amateur status and not paying players.
“When I came to the club we had 32 players but I only received assurances from four of those that they were willing to stay on, and I can’t praise those guys highly enough as it shows they’re here not for the money but for the good of the club.
“It’s proved difficult to persuade players to come, especially over Christmas and even from lower levels. But I don’t want the fans to get too negative. It was always going to be a difficult sell to any players and we’re working really hard behind the scenes to put things right and I’m determined to stave off relegation.”