Town’s play-offs push in tatters now

Chris Timons action

Chris Timons action

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A LIMP and lame defeat at home to rock-bottom minnows Quorn has left Hucknall Town’s promotion play-off chances in tatters.

The Leicestershire outfit arrived at Watnall Road without a single win to their name away from home this season. In fact, they had won only five of their 33 games in total, leaking 71 goals.

But they returned home with a 1-0 victory that owed as much to Town’s ineptitude as Quorn’s courage.

It meant The Yellows have taken just two points from a possible 12 in their last four games, three of which have been against teams in the relegation zone.

And it left them an impossible nine points away from the play-off places, with just nine fixtures to complete.

In the absence of injured midfielder Anthony Gregory, boss Des Lyttle handed a debut to new signing Theo Smith, who is back at the club for a second spell.

But he must have wondered what he had walked into as the home team produced a performance that triggered withering criticism from fans.

The first period lacked quality of any note, with neither ‘keeper being tested.

The best chance fell to striker Phil Massingham, who blazed over from ten yards when winger Seb Lake-Gaskin supplied a dangerous cross from the left. But the biggest talking-point was a nasty confrontation between top scorer Grant Ryan and Quorn skipper Ashley Robinson just before the interval. Both ended up in the book — as did visiting midfielder Dan Marshall only seconds later for an ugly tackle on Town’s player/coach Craig Armstrong.

The second half started much more brightly. Lee McAnulty fired over from 20 yards and Massingham headed wide, while at the other end, Tony Edwards should have done better than nod over from just six yards before forcing James Lindley into a fine save.

However it was 68 minutes before Town finally conjured up an effort on target. And as the goalless frustration grew, they ran out of ideas.

In contrast, Quorn, whose side contained three ex-Yellows in Jay Smedley, Fabian Smith and Rob Norris, gained confidence. And after seeing a goal disallowed for offside, they began to sense a rare victory.

Another terrific stop by Lindley turned a half-volley by Smith round a post but it was only a stay of execution for The Yellows because yet another disappointing defeat came to fruition two minutes from the end.

A long throw by full-back Robinson found its way to centre-forward Kris Nurse, who flicked the ball home for Quorn’s winner.

When the final whistle blew, you could have heard a pin drop among the Town faithful. They reckon it can’t get much worse than this.