Pinchbeck United 0
Wellingborough Town 3
Pinchbeck United’s tough start to the Uhlsport UCL Premier Division season continued with a comprehensive 3-0 home defeat against Wellingborough Town on Saturday.
The Knights trailed 1-0 at the break thanks to Ryan Lovell’s first-half header, before long-range strikes from Lloyd Buckby (47) and Brandon Williams (60) ended the clash as a contest at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field.
Tony Edwards saw a late penalty saved to rub salt into Pinchbeck’s wounds, while they were also indebted to a string of saves from on-song keeper Ricky Lovelace as the Doughboys threatened to add to their tally.
Knights player/boss Ian Dunn admitted that his side were comfortably beaten and felt that Wellingborough looked fitter and more street-wise on the day.
“The better team won,” he said. “But it’s game that we were more than in at half-time.
“There was an element of luck to their first goal – I don’t think the cross was meant, but he miss-hit it and their man was there to head it in. It looked offside, but it probably wasn’t.
“The problem was, for each goal, we allowed the scorer ten or 15 yards of free space. You can’t afford teams that amount of space if you want to win a game of football.
“I thought we looked the better side towards the end of the first half and started to create chances and cause problems.
“But then we committed suicide after half-time with the two goals. These mistakes happen, but they’ve got to stop happening if we want to turn things around.
“We need to be fitter and more street-wise across the pitch. In the end, I thought that showed and was a big difference between the sides.
“It’s been a tough start to the season for us – and it’s not getting any easier with Rugby Town and Deeping Rangers coming up.
“We’ve got our eyes on a few new players; a left back and a midfielder, which I think we really need.
“We need to have more about us as a team. We made things too easy for them – and that’s not how we are. We just let them dominate after the second goal and it has got to stop.
“It was comfortable for them in the end.”
With news signing Tyrone Burton handed a start and the returning Reif Clarke on the bench, Pinchbeck will have hoped to make a strong start.
But they were under pressure early on as Lovelace was forced to deal with two threatening corners before the away side seized the advantage.
With Williams granted way too much space on the left, his cross looped over Lovelace and picked out the head of an offside-looking Lovell – who was free to nod into the empty net.
The Knights’ bench was furious not to see a flag, but Wellingborough weren’t bothered one jot.
At the other end, Pinchbeck were again left to rue the referee when skipper Nick Bishop was brought down in the area. No penalty was awarded.
Ollie Maltby then scooped a chance over the bar following a Bishop cross, while Dan Worthington saw his shot from a tight angle on the right saved.
However, Wellingborough will feel they should have gone in 2-0 up at half-time. Matt Long raced free on the right, only to drag his shot wide of the far post.
They carried that momentum into the second period and doubled their lead with the goal of the game. Buckby, who was one of the top performers on the day, arrowed home a fine finish from 25 yards into the bottom corner after running onto a square pass.
The game was over on the hour, with another strike from distance – this time by Williams – deflecting past Lovelace and into the same corner.
It was almost 4-0 when Buckby slipped a clever pass to Lovell, but Lovelace pulled off a fine save to turn his close-range effort over the bar. The keeper was at it again 15 minutes from time when tipping Long’s goal-bound strike around his post.
There was a glimmer of hope for Pinchbeck when Dunn won a penalty late on, only for Edwards’ penalty to be saved well by Lee Baxter.
There was still time for the save of the match when Lovelace tipped Charlie Hynam’s drive onto the underside of the bar after he cut in from the left, but that was little consolation for the Knights – who are now 17th in the table.
Unbeaten Wellingborough, meanwhile, look like a possible dark horse this time around and currently sit third.
Knights: Lovelace, Worthington, Edwards, Burton, Ross, Nuttell, Gordon, Bishop (Kacirek 64), Maltby, Francis (Dunn 64), Eyett (Clarke 64). Not used: Eyes, Gaukroger.