IT proved to be third time unlucky for Denbigh Town over the weekend.

Having beaten Buckley Town twice already this season, Denbigh suffered defeat in a key Huws Gray Alliance encounter on Saturday.

Looking for a win to move away from the relegation zone, Denbigh were hit by a lacklustre display on the day as they slipped to a slender 1-0 reverse.

Denbigh welcomed Sam Downey back into the side after suspension, while recent acquisition Harley Steel started on the bench.

On a warm spring afternoon, both sides at times found it difficult to control the ball on a hard pitch.

That was down to them having been more used to playing on wet surfaces over the last few months.

Denbigh did have chances to break the deadlock, with Scott McHarrie putting in an excellent cross after some strong work down the right wing, but none of the attackers was around to capitalise on his good work.

Pat Hinchcliffe was proving to be a threat down the right wing and he battled hard all afternoon, but in the main, Denbigh were being thwarted by Buckley’s well marshalled defenders and attempts on goal in the first half were limited.

The game's pivotal moment arrived in the 28th minute as Buckley claimed a 1-0 lead.

Aron Williams was able to break free down the right and he crossed for Jake Roberts.

From his challenge in the air with Denbigh skipper Tony Davies, the ball fell to Shaun Tinsley 10 yards from goal.

Tinsley lifted the ball over defender Stuart Vernon’s head to get the ball onto his left side and he fired beyond home number one Craig Vernon.

Turning to the second half and there was an improvement from Denbigh, who had more of the game.

However, they found Buckley keeper Joe Makaruk in fine form.

He saved well from Hinchcliffe and then minutes later, the goalkeeper denied Lewis Sirrell’s great strike after more good work from Hinchcliffe.

Harley Steel came on for his debut midway through the second half and he impressed with some good footwork and telling passes.

Billy Holmes joined the fray moments later and he put in some strong challenges as Denbigh stepped up their attacks.

As more and more pressure was placed on the Buckley goal, Pat Hinchcliffe saw his screamer of a shot from 25 yards go just wide.

As Denbigh continued to press, Tony Davies had a header well saved by Buckley’s man of the match Makaruk.

As time ran out, even Denbigh keeper Craig Vernon joined the attack from two corners, but it wasn't to be for the hosts.

With three games left to play, Denbigh are targeting two victories in their efforts to stave off the threat of relegation.