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Pinchbeck United lose to Hucknall Town in the United Counties League Premier Division North





Defeat in a game which they couldn't afford to lose has left Pinchbeck United's step five status in the 'lap of the Gods.'

The Knights went down to a 2-0 home loss against relegation rivals Hucknall Town in the United Counties League Premier Division North on Saturday.

The visitors defied a dismissal late in the first half to score twice after the break and take control in the battle to beat relegation.

Action from Pinchbeck's home defeat to Hucknall Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Pinchbeck's home defeat to Hucknall Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Pinchbeck's home defeat to Hucknall Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Pinchbeck's home defeat to Hucknall Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Pinchbeck's home defeat to Hucknall Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Pinchbeck's home defeat to Hucknall Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes

They are now three points clear of Pinchbeck in the league table with just two matches of the campaign remaining.

The Knights had gone into the game buoyed by two back-to-back wins but disappointed manager Lewis Thorogood felt his side hadn't matched those exploits in the crunch clash.

He said: "We just didn't turn up to the occasion which is probably the bit that hurts the most.

"It was very disappointing and the reality is that we're now in the lap of the Gods because realistically Hucknall can relegate us if they win their next game.

"We weren't as positive on the offensive as I would have liked and, at the end of the day, two soft goals have cost us."

Pinchbeck had a gilt-edged chance to take the lead in the opening exchanges as Hugo Hunt rounded the goalkeeper but couldn't force his finish past the covering defender while a posse of visiting players then crowned out Amadu Kanu's follow-up.

Action from Pinchbeck's home defeat to Hucknall Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Pinchbeck's home defeat to Hucknall Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Pinchbeck's home defeat to Hucknall Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Pinchbeck's home defeat to Hucknall Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Pinchbeck's home defeat to Hucknall. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Pinchbeck's home defeat to Hucknall. Photo: Chris Lowndes

The visitors looked like they offered a greater attacking threat and, after Brad Wells had seen an early penalty shout turned down, Knights goalkeeper Lewis Cox made a couple of smart stops to deny Max Scoular and Joe Ashurst.

Hucknall did then have the ball in the net following a corner but the effort was ruled out for offside while Niall Towle flashed an effort wide at the back post.

Pinchbeck then lost defender Josh Simpson to injury but the game looked to be swinging in their favour when Hucknall were reduced to 10 men five minutes before half-time.

Hunt took advantage of a misunderstanding between two Hucknall defenders and raced clear before being brought down by Dillon Rawson who was red carded.

The resultant free-kick was fired over the crossbar but moments later Hunt again found himself the wrong side of the Hucknall defence.

This time he went down under the challenge of ex-Pinchbeck defender Taylor Jaine but the referee waved play on, much to the dismay and anger of the home side.

Action from Pinchbeck's home defeat to Hucknall. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Pinchbeck's home defeat to Hucknall. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Pinchbeck's home defeat to Hucknall. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Pinchbeck's home defeat to Hucknall. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Pinchbeck's home defeat to Hucknall. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Pinchbeck's home defeat to Hucknall. Photo: Chris Lowndes

The visitors safely negotiated the final stages of the first half and came close to taking the lead shortly after ther restart when the ball dropped in the area to Aaron Short whose shot cannoned back off the post.

Home goalkeeper Cox then did well to deny Wells with a fine save before the former Spalding striker made the vital breakthrough for the visitors.

He weaved his way through the home defence and, although Cox and defender Charlie Brooks managed to block his first effort, the much-travelled frontman rifled home the rebound.

Wells came close to doubling the lead shortly after with a header that hit the crossbar while Pinchbeck struggled to find a way back into the contest.

Harry Cranfield and Ben Robson both had headers from setpieces which went wide while there best opening fell to Kanu who shot over when well placed.

The visitors then wrapped up the win in the last minute with Wells this time the provider as he teed up substitute Daniel Odunaiya to slot home a second goal which put the contest beyond Pinchbeck.

Action from Pinchbeck's home defeat to Hucknall. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Pinchbeck's home defeat to Hucknall. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Pinchbeck's home defeat to Hucknall. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Pinchbeck's home defeat to Hucknall. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Pinchbeck's home defeat to Hucknall. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Pinchbeck's home defeat to Hucknall. Photo: Chris Lowndes

Manager Thorogood added: "It was very cagey at the start as you would expect and the first 20 minutes lacked any quality from both sides.

"There wasn't really much in it but we had a great chance early on and didn't put it away.

"I felt it was the right decision for the sending off and the next one five minutes later was identical and, in my opinion, it was also a sending off. I can't see how the referee can define between the first one and the second one but that's bye the bye.

"They went more direct in the second half and we struggled to cope with it. We conceded two cheap goals which we shouldn't have done."

Hucknall can now virtually confirm their survival with victory at Kimberley Miners Welfare on Monday as they boast a far superior goal difference.

If the Yellows drop points, Pinchbeck have a home match with Sleaford Town on Tuesday night where victory would take the fight for survival down to the final game of the season.



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