Blues suffer difficult start to new league season

Tom Bradley was sent off against West Didsbury and Chorlton

Tom Bradley was sent off against West Didsbury and Chorlton

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Nelson have yet to find the net after three games of the new Hallmark Security Premier Division term.

Despite getting their campaign off to the perfect start with a 2-1 win over Steve Harmison’s Ashington in the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup, the Blues went on to suffer three successive defeats in the league.

Following a 1-0 loss to rivals Padiham in the derby at the Arbories, where Marc Young’s header proved the difference, Phil Eastwood’s men were beaten 2-0 by Atherton Collieries at Victoria Park and 1-0 against West Didsbury & Chorlton midweek.

Jordan Cover arrived at the double for the visitors at the weekend with his first arriving midway through the first half when capitalising from a static Nelson rearguard.

And as half-time approached, Cover inflicted further damage when racing clear once more to leave the hosts with a mountain to climb.

Midfielder Oliver Devenney struck an effort narrowly wide of the upright as the Blues looked to hit back in the second half while defender Jack Brooks also missed the traget after surging forward.

Brooks went close again moments later from substitute Craig Lewis’s cross but he glanced his header wide of the post.

Nelson were enjoying their best spell of the game at this point but they did have a lucky escape when the linesman’s flag denied Cover his hat-trick when the forward headed past goalkeeper Steve James.

Blues substitute Sameed Ellahi and full back James Wolfenden had chances to get on the scoresheet at the end but the pair failed to trouble Adam Reid.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday evening, Nelson sunk to 21st in the hierarchy after Matty Kay scored the only goal of the game for Steve Settle’s side at the Recreation Ground.

After Hayden Buckley-Smith kept the away side at bay in the opening half, and Patrick O’Brien shaped an effort over the bar just after the break, Kay settled the fixture.

In the 54th minute the man of the match crafted space at the back post from Richmond Botchey’s wonderful cross before cutting back on to his right boot and fizzing an effort beyond James.

Nelson pushed for an equaliser but their task was made almost impossible when skipper Tom Bradley was given his marching orders with the game approaching stoppage time.

Nelson are in FA Cup action again tomorrow with their tie against Bishop Auckland kicking off at 3 p.m.