CREWE FC hit rock bottom of the Mid-Cheshire League Division One after a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Knutsford on Saturday.
The luck Ian O'Reilly's side have had to endure of late shows no signs of changing. The better side on the day, Crewe came within four minutes of gaining a valuable point before the visitors snatched it away.
Now they face a huge task at home to high-flyers Barton, who are third in the league with six games in hand.
O'Reilly admitted he is downhearted, but not defeated. 'I am gutted and the lads were gutted. If I am honest nobody deserved to win that game. It wasn't pretty. A poor spectacle to watch and I imagine equally bad to play in.
'But they hadn't had a worthwhile shot on goal when the ball bobbled and their man trickled one in the net. It is hard to take but I can't ask any more of the lads.
'They gave everything for the cause. It was bad luck and I hope it turns in time for Christmas.'
Danny Massey, Martin Cauldwell and Steve Parker had all gone close to breaking the deadlock before the goal.
O'Reilly added: 'Barton are good but we were unlucky to lose 2-0 against them earlier this season and we have to believe we can get something from the game.'
Former Crewe Alex defender Paul Rennie has signed for Crewe FC.
Manager O'Reilly said: 'It's a great signing for us and his talking and knowledge alone will make a difference. His experience is vast and that can only help our younger lads.'
Meanwhile, Chris Hampshire left Crewe FC for Nantwich Town. Crewe FC kick-off against Barton at 2pm, at the Cumberland Arena. The reserves, who did not play at the weekend, travel to Styal.