DAVENTRY Town are right back to square one again after a mediocre Hayes side scored winning goals at the start and finish of the second-half at Communications Park on Saturday.
The result all hinged upon an eighth minute penalty awarded when the visitors man-of-the-match Tom Duffy pulled down Scott Cross whose spot-kick was then easily saved by Hayes’ goalkeeper Simon Grant.
Everything about the Daventry striker’s body language said that the ball would be placed to the keeper’s left and so it proved to be. Next time Josh O’Grady looks a better bet from 12 yards.
Following the excellent 1-0 win over play-offs hopefuls Biggleswade Town this was a woeful performance. No-one wanted to take responsibility in front of goal, defensive clearances were aimless and there was little evidence of players wanting to run off the ball.
Mid-table Hayes were no great shakes themselves but took full advantage after a first-half which yielded half chances for Cross and Nathan Hicks as well as Hayes’ wing man Lewis Ochoa.
The visitors were quickly out of the blocks after the interval. In the 48th minute the Town defence failed to clear a harmless-looking free-kick allowing Matt Woods to fire home the opening goal through a crowded penalty area.
With Grant looking wobbly in the Hayes’ goal at times both Ashley Robinson and Adam Confue headed on to the visitors’ crossbar before Connor Duffy, one of three brothers in the Hayes team, missed an open goal.
In the 88th minute an incensed Aaron Parkinson thought he had been fouled by Kevin Chakaodza in the build up to the second goal but an under-seige referee allowed the volley to stand.
A minor scuffle then followed at the end of a 90 minutes which had seen five yellow cards, all but one of them awarded for dissent.
Parkinson and Callum Burgess were the Daventry culprits.
This latest defeat left Mark Kinsella’s side with only five points from 14 recent league games. This was a precarious Central Division position only one point ahead of Fleet Town in the relegation zone before this Saturday’s six-pointer in Hampshire.