Lifeless Town suffer three defeats in five days

TYEISSE 'TJ' NIGHTINGALE -- added an injection of quality when he came on off the bench
TYEISSE 'TJ' NIGHTINGALE -- added an injection of quality when he came on off the bench

THREE more defeats in the space of five days have injected fresh alarm into the growing crisis at relegation-threatened Hucknall Town.

Two of the setbacks came in the Evo-Stik League, Premier Division, leaving Town perilously close to the drop-zone with 12 matches to play. They have not won a league game since way back on November 13.

If only history had repeated itself and the floodlights had failed again at Watnall Road on Wednesday night (March 9).

For the sorry Yellows slipped further into the relegation mire with a turgid performance against Buxton.

Their negative, dull, lifeless 1-0 loss was enough to have fans reaching for the floodlights fusebox with their screwdrivers.

The game was rescheduled from January, when some lights at Watnall Road failed, causing the clash to be abandoned after 63 minutes with Buxton leading 1-0.

If only both sides had settled on that result back then. At least the 186 crowd could have stayed at home instead to watch Tottenham Hotspur progress in the Champions League against AC Milan.

Town manager Tommy Brookbanks opted for a 4-5-1 formation but it succeeded only in stifling his side’s attacking intent. They did not test visiting ‘keeper Scott Hartley once.

Buxton might be flirting with the promotion play-offs but they were far from anything special.

They looked vulnerable when Town added some spark to their attacking play with the introduction of Tyeisse ‘TJ’ Nightingale and Tris Whitman from the substitutes’ bench in the 63rd minute.

As it is, The Yellows are now in the bottom four after Mickleover Sports beat Chasetown 3-2 on Thursday night (March 10).

Against Buxton, Brookbanks made five changes to the side that lost to Bradford Park Avenue in the league cup two days earlier. And the early signs were positive as they started brightly.

However Anthony Griffith Junior’s 35-yard pea-roller free-kick in the third minute was to be their only effort on goal throughout the first half.

Buxton bossed the possession, finding Town’s defence in resolute mood as a weak Michael Towey header and a low Scott Maxfield shot from 18 yards represented the only action of note.

The Bucks were physical as well, which seemed to rattle the home side. Their tally of ten fouls in the first half, to Town’s four, shows how the Derbyshire side put themselves about.

The visitors grabbed their winning goal ten minutes into the second period when left-back Tommy Agus crossed from deep and, after striker Mark Reed had won the initial header, tall midfielder Towey nodded over the line from six yards.

Four minutes later, Town crafted a chance as Dean Gent went on a lung-busting run from halfway before playing in David Graham, who failed to connect properly when well placed.

Town’s best chance also fell to Graham on 71. The ball dropped to him just inside the box but after controlling with his chest, he volleyed just over.

The Yellows continued to toil as fans headed for the exit. On this kind of showing, the lights might just be about to go out on their stay in the top flight.