Goal-shy Farsley Celtic again paid the price for missing their chances as they slipped to a 2-0 defeat at Buxton.
The National League North trap door inched further open, with the Celts three points from safety after a game which again exposed their lack of cutting edge, with the strugglers scoring just six goals in their last nine league and cup games.
On another day, maybe The Celts could have got more from a game in which they were too negative in the first hall, before improving in the second.
Farsley created the best string of chances early in the first half, when a succession of corners led to Adam Clayton being denied his first goal of the season with his two efforts both being blocked on the line.
Buxton struck back by going close themselves eight minutes before the interval when Connor Kirby’s free kick threatened to creep inside of Max Dearnley’s near post.
The hosts then took the lead on the stroke of half-time when a well-struck volley by Jak McCourt deflected off a Farsley shirt to wrong foot Dearnley and give Buxton the lead with their first shot on target.
Boss Russ Wilcox started with centre back Tom Allan occupying a wide left forward slot – a move which again failed to reap reward, and Farsley improved after the break with the arrival of pacy Theo Williams.
Farsley went close early on, after a ball over the top found Frank Mulhern. The forward rounded Richardson and with the goal at his mercy from a tight angle he could only find the side netting.
Russ Wilcox’s side have made good use of set pieces so far this season and they almost found the equaliser from one when Andy Butler’s header was cleared off the line from a corner.
The Bucks had a golden chance to double their lead when an error from Clayton allowed Sam Osbourne in on goal who forced a strong save from Dearnley to keep the Celts in the match.
Farsley’s best chance to equalise came with seven minutes left to play when substitute Danny Devine’s acrobatic volley forced a world-class reaction save from Richardson, before Mulhern fired over from several yards out at the resulting corner.
The two missed chances were to ultimately define the game.
Just two minutes later the result was then put beyond any doubt after a mistake at the back from Farsley slipped Diego De Girolamo through. The substitute rounded the on-rushing Dearnley to finish into an empty net and make it two.
After 11 weeks of playing every Tuesday and Saturday it was understandable that some of the players are starting to look a little leggy.
Russ Wilcox will probably look to freshen up his side ahead of Tuesday’s visit of play-off hopefuls Darlington, the first of four home games on the bounce which will surely define The Celts’ season.
With only nine games left, Farsley have a tough run in, with promotion hopefuls Darlington, Brackley, Alfreton and Chester all still to come.
Time will tell whether The Celts’ inability to get what they deserve out of games this season will haunt them come season’s end at the end of April.
Boss Russ Wilcox felt his side had done enough to win the game: