Nelson fall off the pace after mad 15 minutes costs them vital win

George Melling netted twice for Nelson in their 4-3 defeat at home to Hanley
George Melling netted twice for Nelson in their 4-3 defeat at home to Hanley

Nelson twice let two-goal leads slip as they lost their top of the table clash with Hanley Town to a last-minute goal on Saturday.

The Blues were left pointing the finger at the referee after a number of bizarre decisions ultimately cost them at Victoria Park.

The Admirals went ahead after seven minutes as Sakeel Abdullah teed up Richie Allen for his 15th goal in 13 games.

And 10 minutes later it was 2-0 as defender George Melling emphatically finished a loose ball from a set play.

Mark Fell’s side had chances to put the game to bed, but after the break, it was a different story.

Just before the hour, Chris Turner nicked the ball away from James Pointon, who slipped in the area.

The referee pointed to the spot, despite his assistant confirming there was no contact, and Theo Stair pulled one back.

With 20 minutes remaining, Nelson regained their two-goal advantage as they were iven a corner that was clearly a goal kick, and Melling was aggain on hand to fire into the top corner.

But the Blues went on to ship three goals in the last 15 minutes. Hanley made it 3-2 when Stair was unmarked to net his second.

Then Turner was harshly adjudged to have fouled Neil Edwards, and from the free kick, Stair’s centre was headed in by Michael Morton.

An angry Fell was sent off for his reaction to the free kick decision, and things got worse as Pointon’s free kick skidded past the wall and into the corner at the death to put Hanley four points clear of Nelson at the top.

Tomorrow Nelson are at Daisy Hill in the First Division Trophy.

Nelson’s Development squad have been in action of late.

They recently drew 1-1 at Brighouse, as a second half Mohammed Nabeel strike, along with a string of fine saves from keeper Joe Hudson, ensured the Blues left with a share of the spoils.

The side maintained their unbeaten away record with a 3-1 win at Eccleshill United in their second trip to Yorkshire inside four days.

Louis Percival slammed in the opener from 18 yards, crowning a delightful team move, and they added a second on 37 minutes, again through Percival, curling a free kick into the top corner.

United pulled one back just before the hour mark, but the Blues secured the win when Winter’s shot was handled by a United defender, and Paddy Furey fired home the penalty.

Percival had a later spot kick saved, but Nelson saw out the game.