Crisis point

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DAVENTRY Town’s season reached crisis point at Burnham on Saturday.

A one-sided contest left Mark Kinsella’s men still searching for a first Central Division goal in almost seven hours of football.

The Town have drawn a blank since Stuart Hendrie’s first-half goal at Woodford Halse on Boxing Day and are now only half a dozen points clear of the relegation places currently occupied by Marlow and Fleet Town.

Burnham goalkeeper Andrew Bayliss did not even have to get his shorts dirty to keep a cleansheet against a Daventry side which went close to scoring only twice through substitutes Craig Milligan (header tipped over the bar) and Howard Forinton (shot blocked).

By contrast, Joe Mellings brought off a couple of fine saves in the second-half to deny an average Burnham side which ruthlessly exposed the visitors’ shortcomings from full-back right through to frontrunners.

Manager Kinsella has given his squad every chance to prove themselves this season.

But he will now have to show a ruthless streak by introducing new blood if the Town are to avoid a possible return to the under-threat United Counties League.

Hard-working midfield man Adam Confue limped out of the contest in the closing stages, injury-prone Claudiu Hoban bruised his knee before the game even started and the Town failed to score just as they had done in recent league encounters with Marlow, Bedworth and Leighton Buzzard.

Playing into a stiff breeze Daventry launched an aerial bombardment which was easily nullified by the big Burnham defence.

In the first-half Daniel Willment broke the deadlock after 16 minutes with a well-struck shot from 20 yards following a quick throw-in.

Harry Pritchard then fired wide from close range as well as clipping the crossbar. The Town’s only other first-half contributions came through yellow cards for both Luke Edwards and Hinckley loan signing George Thompson.

The second-half performance was even less convincing despite the introduction of all three permitted substitutes. Milligan and Forinton at least forced goalkeeper Bayliss to break sweat either side of a another goal for Burnham in the 64th minute.

Lewis Driver forced an initial fine save from Mellings but the same player recovered his composure to drive home the rebound.

But Burnham made certain of their first success in six games courtesy of a late third goal from Lee Togwell.

By then Mellings had again done well to deny Pritchard but the general poor passing, lack of confidence and feeble finishing did not bode well for Tuesday night’s Red Insure Cup third round tie with in-form Rugby Town.