Thackley AFC missed a golden opportunity to climb the ranks as they bemoaned squandered chances during a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Rossington Main, despite favourable outcomes for playoff contenders Garforth Town, Albion Sports, and Penistone Church over the weekend.

In a match where Thackley AFC had their fair share of opportunities, they failed to capitalize on the dropped points by their rivals. The Joint Management side made a single change from their previous 5-0 victory against Knaresborough Town, with Billy stepping in for the unavailable Parsons, allowing Morgan to slot into midfield alongside J. Mitchell.

The action kicked off swiftly under the overcast South Yorkshire skies, with Greaves making early attempts to break the defensive line. However, Thackley AFC’s early momentum was hampered as they fell 2-0 to Rossington Main. Greaves had a strong penalty appeal denied, and the visitors struggled to convert their chances throughout the game.

Despite Rossington Main threatening on the counter and from set pieces, the first breakthrough came from Thackley AFC as Morgan capitalized on a poor clearance, setting up Greaves for a one-on-one opportunity. However, Pollard made a crucial save. Thackley continued to dominate the first half, with Ellison-Tope and Greaves creating promising opportunities, but they couldn’t find the back of the net.

The first half ended with a goalless scoreline, reflecting a competitive game where both teams had their moments. Thackley AFC began the second half with a disadvantage, as Dempsey had been sent to the sin-bin in the first half’s final minute.

Despite the setback, Thackley AFC continued to press in the second half, with Ellison-Tope delivering a corner that Morgan couldn’t convert. Rossington Main led in the 67th minute through Kianga, who turned the ball past Wilson from a narrow-angle inside the six-yard box.

Thackley AFC struggled to mount a comeback, and Rossington Main secured the three points and fourth place with a second goal from Hardy in the 87th minute. Thackley AFC’s late efforts, including a close-range volley from Dempsey, proved futile as they left the field empty-handed.

The defeat leaves Thackley AFC with missed opportunities to capitalize on the stumbles of their playoff rivals, and they now face an uphill battle to secure their spot in the postseason.