Gary Thornton’s play-off plan hampered by Hunslet’s hit-and-miss home form

Hunslet head coach Gary Thornton
.Hunslet head coach Gary Thornton
Hunslet head coach Gary Thornton .
FINDING a cure for chronic homesickness is Hunslet coach Gary Thornton’s top priority.

The 30-16 loss to Workington Town two days ago was Hunslet’s fifth defeat in nine Betfred League One matches at South Leeds Stadium this year, where they were also knocked out of the Challenge Cup and 1895 competitions.

By contrast, the Parksiders have won eight of their 10 away fixtures, their only defeats coming at Workington and leaders Whitehaven.

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“We didn’t play well,” Thornton said of the latest home disappointment.

Hunslet's Dan Hawksworth.Hunslet's Dan Hawksworth.
Hunslet's Dan Hawksworth.

“Neither did they. Both teams’ completions were around 50 per cent and it wasn’t a great game.

“I just can’t put my finger on it or get to the bottom of it, but we are just not performing at home.

“It was a very flat performance and very disappointing bearing in mind the three away wins we’ve just picked up.

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“It looked like we’d picked up a bit of momentum so it was disappointing to slip up at home again.”

Hunslet are fourth and complete their regular-season campaign at home to second-placed Oldham, on Sunday.

The league leaders will go up automatically with the next five teams heading into play-offs to decide the second promotion place.

The opening round sees third at home to fourth and fifth hosts sixth.

“The pressure’s on now,” Thornton admitted.

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“We can’t really afford to slip up this week or we will be down to fifth.

“We’ve got to pick up a win to maintain that fourth spot, which would mean we get another chance if we lose in the opening play-off.”

Hunslet are likely to face Oldham without Dan Hawksworth (concussion), Adam Robinson (suspected broken finger) and Simon Brown (ankle) after all were hurt against Workington.