Ricketts quits as Town slip up again

ROCKED by the news that striker Gary Ricketts has left the club, Hucknall Town slipped up again in their latest Blue Square North match.

Ricketts (33) was the subject of a bid by title-chasing Tamworth, who are managed by former Nottingham Forest and Notts County star Gary Mills and ex-Yellow Darron Gee.

Initially he indicated to manager Bryan Chambers that he wanted to stay at Watnall Road.

But now he has opted to quit after Tamworth offered him the chance of a one-year contract if they win promotion to the Blue Square Premier next season.

He made his debut as a 73rd minute substitute in The Lambs' 2-1 victory over Fleetwood Town on Saturday (March 28).

The news got no better for Town when they were held to a 1-1 draw by fellow strugglers Blyth Spartans at Watnall Road, also on Saturday.

Blyth reached the Third Round of the FA Cup earlier this season before being beaten 1-0 by Premier League Blackburn Rovers.

But they arrived in Hucknall with the worst away record in the league, having won just once in 16 games, taken only six points from 48 and leaked 33 goals.

The Yellows were without not only Ricketts but also centre-backs Richard Liburd and Gary Sucharewycz, who were both injured. In came Jay Smedley and Adrian Hawes, while Dave Kettle was also handed a rare but welcome start.

Watched by a crowd of 239, Blyth took a 15th minute lead through Chris McCabe, who prodded past goalkeeper James Lindley after a long throw by Gary Brown.

In Ricketts' absence, Town unveiled 11th-hour new signing, former Notts County trainee Stef Frost.

But in a scrappy match, spoiled by the wind, it was Frost's 69th minhute replacement, substitute Antwon Bonnick, who salvaged a point 12 minutes from the end.

Bonnick went up for a corner from Laurie Wilson and prsssurised Blyth goalkeeper Mark Bell into fumbling the ball into his own net.

The result extended The Yellows' run of games without a win to nine. It left them stranded at the bottom of the table by six points and adrift of relegation-safety by ten points.

They have only seven matches remaining, beginning on Tuesday night (March 31) with another home game, this time against much-improved Vauxhall Motors.

TOWN LINE-UP -- Lindley/ Smedley Timons Hawes Spriggs Meikle Wilson Wiggins-Thomas Kettle Frost Bacon. Subs: Bonnick, Ward, Walters, Mitchell, Baxter.