Crowds dwindled to miniscule levels as Hucknall Town’s sorry season spewed out two more defeats at the foot of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, Division One South.
It was bad enough to see the attendance figure dip below 100 to 95 last Saturday when Hucknall were shaded 1-0 by fellow strugglers Newcastle Town.
But then the counter attractions of Nottingham Forest playing at home and the Manchester United-Real Madrid Champions League tie being shown on TV had an even more damaging effect on Tuesday night’s clash with Leek Town.
For just 55 turned up at fog-shrouded Watnall Road -- believed to be the lowest crowd for a Yellows league game since their Notts Alliance days in the late 1980s.
To rub salt into the wounds, Hucknall slid to a 6-1 defeat at the hands of mid-table Leek, leaving them only ten games in which to prevent relegation.
Manager Darren Kelk had identified the Newcastle clash as one of his winnable fixtures if The Yellows were to survive.
So he must have been delighted to name an unchanged line-up from the team that grabbed the first point of his regime against Lincoln United the previous week.
Sadly, Kelk was not rewarded with the same level of performance, with chances missed at one end and a defensive blunder costing them dear at the other.
The blunder presented Staffordshire outfiit Newcastle with the only goal of the game in the 25th minute. Centre-back Josh Stolworthy’s attempted header back to ‘keeper Michael Yates fell short and after Tom France’s shot had been blocked, Nathan Sutton’s follow-up bobbled in via a wicked deflection.
Of the best openings at the other end, Anthony Rowley had an effort cleared off the line, while Newcastle goalie Dave Parton made fine saves to deny veteran striker Chris Freestone.
The Yellows’ day was summed up in the dying moments when skipper Warren Hatfield sliced a shot wide and Danny O’Donnell had a goal disallowed.
Against Leek, Kelk’s troops battled to the end but never recovered from falling a goal down as early as the fifth minute to Dan Shelley.
It was 3-0 by the break, courtesy of a Tim Grice brace, and although Mitchell Slawson reduced the arrears three minutes into the second period, Leek were soon in control again.Peter Wright struck on 54 and 89 and Michael Thomas on 69.
For The Yellows, Rob Paling struck the outside of a post. But the visitors would have had even more goals but for the heroics of goalkeeper Yates.matches to play in all.