IT was another tough week for Town with two narrow defeats in the space of three days, that see them exit the League Challenge Cup and in need of valuable points at the bottom of the league.

Thursday night saw the arrival of AFC Darwen to Ruskin Drive, and a slow start form the home side, coupled with a top class strike saw them 0-1 down after only six minutes.

Ten minutes later and the visitors had doubled their advantage, but Town dug in and managed to hold their own until the break.

The second half started the complete opposite to the first, with Town levelling the score within 12 minutes of the restart.

Firstly through top scorer Elliott Hughes, who netted after some nice play between the forwards, quickly followed by Dale Korie-Butler who found himself in space and finished well.

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Town were flying, but their poor game management, which has cost them so dearly this season, was evident again.

Almost immediately, a lack of concentration in defence gifted Darwen another goal and knocked the wind out of Town’s sails.

The home side dug in and pushed for an equaliser and would probably have had it, if a very strong shout for a penalty wasn’t ignored by the referee. The game ended 2-3 and Town had to quickly turn their attention to Saturday’s league clash versus in-form Nelson.

It was Town’s turn to start on the front-foot this time, and after just five minutes, Elliott Hughes strolled past his defender and crossed low for Jamie Apperley to finish at the near post.

The cliche of being vulnerable after scoring has never been more true than in this game and Nelson levelled a few minutes later after some less-than-solid defending.

On the half-hour mark, a scramble in midfield led to some “high spirits”, which saw Town captain Jesse Robinson dismissed along with Nelson’s Mitchell Bryant.

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Town began the second half as quickly as they did the first, with yet another goal from Elliott Hughes (18 goals in 16 games) putting the home side 2-1 up. The next sentence writes itself, and Nelson’s Sean Ince was on hand to gobble up their equaliser.

Town showed that they’ve not given up yet, and although they will finish bottom of the pile in the league, the more points they can accumulate, the more chance that they can avoid relegation amid the complex machinations of lower league football.

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Ben Cartwright was the quickest to react after the Nelson keeper misjudged the flight of a corner and put his side ahead for the third time in the match.

Unsurprisingly, it took only two minutes for the opposition to equalise for the third time in the match.

Playing ten aside for the majority of the game, less than 48 hours after the Darwen match was beginning to show, and the home side struggled to create any more clear-cut chances.

Even so, it was harsh on the team when they conceded again in the 84th minute, (making it 3-4 to Nelson) to leave them with nothing to show for their effort.

Town are away at Garstang this Wednesday in the League Cup, before playing Chadderton in the last home league game of the season at Ruskin on Saturday - 3PM Kick Off.

Pictures: Mary Castogiovanni