STUTTERING Chickerell United lost ground in the Dorset Senior League title race once again as they succumbed to a loss away from home against Gillingham Town Reserves.

The Chickens, who have now suffered defeat in each of their last two league games, were put to the sword with goals coming either side of half- time through Gillingham’s Dar-ren Isaac and Jordan Shorr- ocks.

And although Steve Coward’s men missed a penalty to put themselves back in the contest in the second period, they could not break through the Gills’ stubborn resistance.

Manager Coward told Echo-sport: “To be quite honest we dominated the game but just couldn’t score and sometimes you have days like that.

“They went 1-0 up right on 44 minutes and as a manager that changes the whole plan at half- time.

“I couldn’t fault the performance, we kept the ball really well throughout the whole game but they had three chances and scored two of them.”

With leaders Westland Sports winning 5-3 away at Corfe Mullen United, the Chickens are now seven points adrift of the top spot as their run-in begins.

But Coward insists his side’s chances of claiming the league title are not over yet and the Chickens’ chief islooking for an instant response when his side travel to Portland United Reserves tonight.

He added: “Each team still has some tough games to go and can still slip up, results can surprise people so we just have to get back to winning and see what happens.”

Chickens: Boore, Stalker, Bill, Miles, Green, White, Ferguson, S Welch, Stone, Why, Roberts (J Welch 78).