Kirby Muxloe 2-2 Hucknall Town (United Counties League Division One) 18.09.21
Hucknall Town will be pleased to extend their unbeaten league run to 7 games but may return to Nottinghamshire thinking they should’ve had more than they got out of their 2-2 draw at Kirby Muxloe.
Hucknall dominated for large portions of the match, including the very start as Craig Westcarr fired straight at Alex Egner after being found in behind. Hucknall’s persistent pressing and quality on the ball allowed them to fashion a large deal of quality chances, and it wasn’t long before one went in, as Westcarr got it right from close range after a quality ball in from Ollie Brown.
Town continued to see the vast majority of the chances go their way, but failed to score again in the first half, with Louis Kinnerley heading wide from Courntey Bartley’s cross and Sam Sims firing over from the edge of the box from Joe Ashurst’s set. A decent chance fell for Westcarr as he was put through by Sims, but as the chance closed he hit a tame shot between 2 Kirby defenders which didn’t trouble Egner.
Egner was worked well a few minutes later, beating away a much better effort from Westcarr after a brief scramble in the box, before again denying him from close range after another great ball in from Bartley. Watson-Quilter, who was lively for Kirby, had a pair of decent chances created for and by his brother on the opposite flank, but both were headed wide of the mark.
Jake Pearson flew off his line to deny Quilter a 1 on 1 chance, before Linford Jenkins cleared a low drive from Jack Gunn off the line, after a loose pass across goal from Aaron Short caught Pearson out and left Gunn with a huge chance to equalise.
Short made amends with a fantastic tackle to deny a Kirby counterattack after another good Egner save denied Jamie Crawford, before Joe Ashurst saw a tame effort parried away and then headed over a Westcarr cross.
Right on the brink of half-time, however, Kirby equalised against the run of play. A loose Ashurst pass fell at the feet of Watson-Quilter, who picked out Gunn in the area. He forced himself a tight shooting angle against Pearson and poked home for 1-1.
After the interval, it was all Hucknall yet again. Ashurst saw a shot ricochet out to Kinnerley, which was fired wide just before another great ball from Ashurst met his head from close range, but he couldn’t hit the target on the stretch.
A huge chance to reclaim the lead fell to Joe Ashurst, after Crawford saw a shot saved and Kinnerley had his rebound deflected into Ashurst’s path, but Town’s number 10 smashed over from 12 yards.
Jenkins started to get a lot busier as the half trickled on, making several good tackles whenever Kirby threatened, and his stout defending allowed Hucknall to break away and regain the advantage. The ball worked its way out to Kinnerley, who’s low cross was deflected into the path of Joe Ashurst, who slotted home smartly to give Hucknall another deserved lead.
Town nearly had another as a curling strike from Kinnerley went narrowly wide, before Kirby finally started to wake up. Kirby constantly worked the ball out to Watson-Quilter, who beat Ollie Brown several times on the flank to work balls into the box but saw all of them cleared by the resolute Jenkins, who himself should’ve scored a close-range header after losing his man from a corner moments later.
It was a chance they were left to rue, as Kirby equalised quickly after. It was another cross from Quilter after beating Brown which was half-cleared away to Kirby substitute Max Lowe, who worked himself half a yard under pressure from Bartley before steering a great finish past the helpless Pearson to snatch an equaliser.
The chances were much more evenly spread after the goal, with Dan Barber heading over from Jack O’Brien’s free kick, before Kinnerley headed home at the other end from Bartley’s cross before being denied by the flag. Grant Ryan returned from suspension off the bench after his reserve hat-trick on Tuesday, but he couldn’t mark it with a goal as he fired just wide from a difficult angle.
Another O’Brien free kick was headed on goal by Adam Parry, but Pearson flew across to make a wonderful save down low, before Barber missed a golden opportunity to win it late on. A cross in from the left-hand side found him in the area, but he glanced wide with the goal at his mercy.
Another huge chance came as a Eugene Francis cross was volleyed on goal by Westcarr but was headed away emphatically by Josh Gunn. From the counter, Kirby again tried to play down the right through Quilter, but this time Ollie Brown made a crunching tackle to break the chance down.
A late Pearson punt was cleared away, and Bartley showcased some fantastic one-on-one defending against a Kirby substitute to deny him a clear chance, before finally the whistle blew on an enthralling contest in Leicestershire.
Hucknall Town: Jake Pearson, Ollie Brown, Linford Jenkins, Aaron Short, Courtney Bartley, Sam Sims, Jordan Phillips, Joe Ashurst, Louis Kinnerley, Jamie Crawford, Craig Westcarr. Subs: Grant Ryan, Eugene Francis.
*Article provided by Louis Wheeldon (Football Correspondent).
*Main image @KirbyMuxloeFC the Ratby Lane Ground hosted Hucknall in an entertaining draw.