A crowd of 252 saw Sheffield F.C. suffer their biggest Evo-Stik Division One South League defeat of the season at the Coach and Horses on Saturday.
Sheffield struggled to keep up with visitors Mickleover Sports who looked and played like a team that were two divisions higher.
And with Sheffield fielding four Under 19 players, a 5-1 reverse was not unexpected.
I spoke to manager Ian Whitehorne and he began by telling me: “We started our season with a good basis for a promotion team, but after two cuts in wages and seven top class players leaving , we have found it hard to compete with most clubs.
“Our transfer embargo has not helped us at all because without new blood coming in we have had to rely on a very tight squad of players but thankfully no one left us before the transfer deadline.”
He added: “Now injuries to Algar, Waddle, Turner and Stirrup have not helped us but thankfully all are making good recoveries with Algar playing (on Saturday) whilst the rest are on the substitutes bench.
“Despite repeated enquiries (Andy) Gascoigne is staying with us until the end of the season and will then train in the summer with a professional club in pre season.
“Luck seems to be against us because after playing well in six matches we ended up losing seventeen points in the final six minutes because of lack of concentration.
“We must battle on and avoid relegation at all costs because next season we again have a strong player base on which to build.”
With just six games left to play and ten points above the bottom two clubs their season is far from over as top seven clubs Scarborough Athletic and Belper Town have to come to the Coach and Horses and they travel to Sutton Coldfield Town’s ground with ironically their final game of the season being away at bottom club Kidsgrove Athletic.
It was indeed a poor showing last Saturday but what they lacked in class they made up for in effort with Hadfield heading Club’s consolation goal late on in their 5-1 defeat. Then on Tuesday their match against top of the table Halesowen Town was called off due to a water logged pitch.
Next week gets no easier for them. On Saturday they visit sixth-placed Sutton Coldfield Town and on Tuesday seventh placed Scarborough Athletic are their visitors.
If that was grim reading then it gets no got no better in the Premier Division where already-relegated Stocksbridge Park suffered their seventeenth game without a win when they lost at home to Ashton United 2-0 last Saturday.
They visit A.F.C. Fylde on Saturday and next Tuesday they entertain Stamford at the Look Local Stadium.
In the Toolstations North Counties East Leagues Division One Hallam made it three games without defeat when they visited Yorkshire Amateurs and won 1-0 thanks to a Joe Charlesworth second half goal.
On Tuesday they entertained in form Shirebrook Town and despite losing 2-0 they played reasonably well. On Saturday it is the turn of Eccleshill United to visit.