Hurst Green travelled to West Lancashire to face old rivals Burscough Richmond in a game neither side could afford to lose.
The game kicked off in blustery conditions and both sides cancelled each other out in a first half of few chances.
The home side did create some pressure which brought a couple of openings but the half ended 0-0 and the villagers were happy with their first 45 minutes work.
At half time manager Seedall replaced Byrne with Sargeson and the game continued in a similar vein with nothing to separate the two sides.
In matches such as these the opening goal is always crucial and the game rested on two moments of significance.
Leading marksman Alan Coar replaced Walker on 65 minutes and almost immediately he was presented with the best chance of the game. A through ball found him in the clear, he took his shot early but the keeper made a great block and then recovered to save Coar’s follow up.
Five minutes later the Green were one down. Tipton slid in to make a challenge and definitely got the ball prior to making contact with the Richmond forward, however, the referee from some 50 yards away pointed to the spot to the dismay of the away side.
Galliers dispatched the penalty and this saw the home side in the ascendancy and it was a body blow when on 80 minutes Bailey slotted home the second. Despite The Green’s best efforts the match ended 2-0 to Richmond.
It was a disappointing end to the game. If there was one consolation it was the performance of the right sided Ashley Brierley.
It was a disappointing result for the villagers, but assistant manager Neale Brown felt there was nothing between the two sides.
The Green now have three home games (which includes, crucially, the weekend’s opponents) and one away at Lytham. They will need maximum points and will have to rely on other results to see if they can clinch second place.