The clock is ticking for Nick Baxter in his bid to become the first player to score 150 league tries in English rugby.

The Pertemps Bees' winger has been stuck on 149 for months, having been held back by a knee injury and his side's poor form.

There was a glorious chance for the former Worcester man to bag that all-important try during Saturday's 36-18 defeat to Nottingham.

With 62 minutes played, Bees had clawed their way back from 15-3 down to level terms when full-back Dave Knight broke free. Knight found Baxter on the overlap and he hared down the line but, as the crowd rose to their feet, he was dragged down centimetres from the line.

A try at that moment would have changed the game. Instead, the Bees crashed to their fifth consecutive defeat.

Amid rumours of retirement at the end of the season for Baxter, Phil Maynard gave his biggest hint yet that the winger won't be around next year.

"Nick Baxter should have scored that try, really," said the director of rugby. "But that's indicative of his injury. He's going to struggle to play in this division next season."

A frustrated Maynard saw his side yet again battle bravely, only to be undone by a powerful Nottingham side in the closing stages.

"The scoreline flattered them in the end but, once again, when things go against you, they go against you. It's a shame, really, because when you're trying so hard, everything can turn into a catastrophe when you make one mis-take. That was the difference today," said Maynard.

Nottingham opened the scoring after two minutes with a Neil Stenhouse penalty and they claimed the first try of the day nine minutes later.

Ben Thompson and Chris Whyles set a swift counterattack in motion before they found hooker Joseph Duffey in unfamiliar territory on the left wing to touch down.

Bees' scrum-half Ben Harvey pegged back some points with a 17th-minute penalty and while Bees enjoyed the bulk of possession for the rest of the half, Nottingham looked dangerous. However, it was not until the second half until the next score and it went in Nottingham's favour. No 8 Nicholas Fitisemanu was sent over by the driving maul and Stenhouse converted.

Ben Gerry kick-started a fight back for Bees on 47 minutes when he leapt over from a line-out, Harvey missing the conversion.

Five minutes later, Adam Billig released winger Allan Gill down the right flank for a second try and, this time, Harvey made no mistake with the conversion.

At that point, the game could have gone either way, but Nottingham soon powered their way back.

Another driving maul went over the line, but this time Lee Morley emerged with the ball while former Bees' fly-half Mark Woodrow sent over the conversion.

Harvey answered back with a 69th-minute penalty but the game concluded with two tries in the last six minutes.

The sin-binning of Will Matthews moments later added a further dent to Bees' hopes.

Firstly, Woodrow converted a penalty try after 74 minutes before replacement Jonathon Wilson set up David Jackson for a converted try.