THE wintry conditions were the least of Steeton’s worries as their poor form continued with a 2-0 defeat to Nelson in the NWCFL First Division North at Marley on Saturday.

The Chevrons were much improved from their 4-1 loss to Pilkington in midweek, but a first-half injury to goalkeeper Stuart Cross left them fighting an uphill battle after the interval, with substitute Jahro Parchment, who is a striker, unable to stop a comfortable victory for the visitors.

With 11 minutes gone, Nelson had the first opportunity of the afternoon when tricky winger Dylan Meredith found space down the left-wing, but his shot across goal brushed the top of the crossbar.

From the resulting goal-kick, Cross found Andy Briggs, who was denied by an outstanding tackle in the box, before his strike partner Kayle Price shot straight at Jack Little, as Steeton began to see the better of the play in an end-to-end start to proceedings.

However, it was the visitors who had the ball in the back of the net midway through the half after a free-kick came back off Cross to Sebastian Julien, with the Nelson captain firing in the rebound from an offside position.

Cross twice saved from Max Cane as the horrendous conditions worsened at Marley, while Briggs fired wide at the other end, with both sides struggling to find the crucial final touch in a goalless first half.

With Cross unable to continue after fracturing his finger on the stroke of half-time, and with no substitute goalkeeper on the bench, Parchment volunteered to spend the second half between the sticks.

The substitute produced a string of saves as Nelson started the second half brightly, but he was helpless to stop the visitors from opening the scoring with 56 minutes on the clock.

Some neat build-up play saw the ball fall to Brian Mabhena, who showed fantastic skill to weave past two defenders in the box before firing a strike across goal and into the top corner.

Minutes later, Kit Lloyd blazed over the bar from five yards out, whilst his brother Charlie fired long-range efforts high and wide of the Steeton net as Nelson looked to build on their lead.

The Chevrons found themselves temporarily down to 10 men when midfielder Josh McKiernon was sin-binned, however, they were not out of the match, with Briggs and Price forcing Little into saves, before Tom Robinson saw his 25-yard strike tipped over the bar.

But it was not meant to be for the hosts, with a cross from the right-wing evading Parchment, gifting the onrushing Joe Savin the simplest of tap-ins at the near post to double his side’s advantage at the death.

Nelson were denied by a goal-line clearance as they looked to add a third in an action-packed injury time, before Alistair Morgan headed over the bar at the other end, but the visitors held firm to seal the three points.

The result leaves the Chevrons just three points above the relegation zone, ahead of a local derby against mid-table Campion on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

Steeton are on the lookout for a new goalkeeper ahead of that clash, with poor Parchment unlikely to be asked to don the gloves any more.