Depleted Town beaten at home

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Brave Hucknall Town went down fighting at home to Mickleover Sports in their first match since the departure of former manager Brett Marshall.

Two goals in a five minute spell for the visitors secured the points but Sports had goalkeeper Tom Gutteridge to thank for producing a man-of-the-match display to keep their hosts at bay.

The depleted Yellows, who faced a player exodus after the resignation of Marshall in the week, could name just one substitute and it was the visitors who started the better, Eric Graves twice miscuing for Sports whilst Julian Topliss rounded Gutteridge in the Mickleover goal but saw his shot go agonisingly wide of the post.

Mickleover then scored two goals inside five minutes as sub Robert Smith scored with his first touch and Michael Williams headed home number two from six yards out.

Topliss, Ben Spargo and Lee McAnulty were all denied by Gutteridge in the visitors’ goal before the break as Hucknall tried to get back into the game.

The second-half began in much the same fashion as the first with Hucknall keeper Jason Fisher saving from Alex Steadman and Graves but it was that man Gutteridge who was by far the busiest keeper as he saved everything the Yellows threw at him.

Evan Garnett was denied three times, Topliss twice more and James Leggitt’s 35-yarder was touched around the post.

Further chances went begging as Danny Hayes headed over from a corner and Rob Paling tried to place his shot but it went the wrong side of the post.

It was a brave effort from the home side in trying circumstances but they remain bottom of the table.