Cammell Laird 1907 4 St Helens Town 0.

St. Helens Town 0, New Mills 2.

TWO games played and another two defeats.

When will the next win come for St. Helens Town and when will the next goal arrive?

The positive news for the club came in the shape of the return of Danny Greene from Irlam.

He was one of the shining lights last season, before his move 12 months ago, but he looks a yard or two short of match fitness at the moment. Hopefully, that will return in good time for him to make a difference and help turn around the club’s fortunes ahead of the last 12 games of the season.

The match at Cammell Laird last Tuesday was a dour affair between two sides who looked as though the season could not end quickly enough, yet the Birkenhead side still have a very good chance of promotion via the play-offs in fourth place.

Town gifted them an opening goal as early as the sixth minute through Joseph Malkin and they hardly needed to break out of second gear as St Helens failed to mount any sort of challenge in front of goal, their only two shots sailing high over the bar from a distance out.

The second half was even more embarrassing, Lairds picking off Town at will, with goals from Kynan Mason in the 59th minute, Joshua Maldon in the 76th and Ben Holmes with the final move of the game.

On to Saturday and along with the milder weather came the heavy rain which again took its toll of the majority of the league fixture list. Ruskin Drive’s artificial surface proved a double-edged sword for St. Helens, ensuring the game went ahead, but provided the opposition with the three points yet again.

This time, the beneficiaries were New Mills, twice relegated in consecutive seasons and having slumped to 16th place in the table, only four places above Town, the home side might have been forgiven for thinking they had a reasonable chance of breaking their winless 2018 run.

They started quite well, as they usually do, Liam Diggle going close with two early efforts and Luke Edwards providing a good cross for Mick Furlong to hit just wide of the post, Town’s fragile confidence soon deserted them as their defence failed to clear their penalty box and Jack McConnell fired home at the second attempt to put New Mills a goal up after 16 minutes.

Soon afterwards, Furlong had Town’s best chance of the match, but his well-hit drive being touched over the bar by New Mills’ keeper Oliver Martin, but that was the closest St. Helens were to get all afternoon.

After that, the visitors assumed total control, their individual players, in particular Joseph Armstrong blotting out Diggle, Sam Marshall creating havoc up the wing, Jordan Milne and Aaron Kirk causing plenty of problems in midfield.

Well though Andy Webster and Furlong stuck to their tasks and Diggle, Greene and Edwards tried hard up front, New Mills held all the aces and they wrapped up the points six minutes before half-time when McConnell’s goal-bound shot was nicked past keeper Carl Williams by the clever Jake Pollard, running across from the opposite side of the box to make it 0-2 at the break.

Diggle and substitute Shaun Brady each had half-chances in front of goal in the second period, but the Derbyshire side ran out easy winners.

Those two results leave Town adrift in 20th place with 19 points from 30 games.

Their closest rivals are Bacup, who have 23 points from seven games less and the two sides are set to clash at West View a week on Saturday in Town’s next scheduled fixture after this weekend’s match was called off after Prestwich were drawn to meet Sandbach in the two-legged LWC Drinks First Division Cup Semi-Final. The two teams below St. Helens, Daisy Hill and Nelson, were due to face each other on Monday night in a re-arranged game but prior to that, Daisy Hill had 17 points from 26 games and Nelson 15 points from 27.

Unless Town can put together a winning run, chances are one or both of these rivals could well consign St. Helens to bottom spot as they play their games in hand.