Hucknall Town 3-1 Holwell Sports (United Counties Football League Division One) 09.10.21
A spirited and war-ready Hucknall Town fought tooth and nail to overcome a 1-0 setback to win 3-1 at Watnall Road.
Looking to build on an impressive 5-1 win over Hinckley last time out, the Yellows handed a first start of the season to young attacker Aaron Lamb, who joined the familiar duo of Grant Ryan and Craig Westcarr in attack.
The first half did little to entertain the 200 odd fans in the ground, as neither side could carve out a big chance in a cagey affair.
Ryan and Westcarr both had decent early chances, but both saw their efforts blocked behind by a stiff Holwell defence.
Another opportunity came Hucknall’s way in spectacular fashion nearly half an hour later, as Jo Butler jostled the ball away from the Holwell left-back, and attempted an audacious mid-air backheel lob which nestled safely onto the roof of the keepers net.
The breakthrough finally came an agonising 3 minutes before the interval by way of Holwell centre-half Ian Bitmead. A corner was scarcely cleared by the Yellows, and the ball squirmed back for the defender to poke home into the bottom corner.
A scrappy goal that reflected the quality of the half nicely, Holwell saw out the half comfortably before the interval broke a game of no particular quality.
The second half, however, couldn’t have been any more different, as Hucknall found the equaliser near enough straight after the whistle through Westcarr, who fired an emphatic penalty home after Ryan had forced a hand-ball from Bitmead.
Just 5 minutes later, Town took the lead through the impressive Butler, who’s ball to Westcarr on the counter found it’s way to him to smash home on the goal-line.
Unfortunately, a number of very questionable referee decisions followed, as Holwell were denied 2 clear hand-ball penalties by the man in the middle. Hucknall had their share of the poor decisions as well, as Ryan was booked for dissent after a foul on him bizarrely went the other way.
The referee was a busy man anyway, as a number of strong tackles started to get increasingly frequent, particularly from Butler and Cayne Maxwell. Ryan was sure to let the referee know exactly what he thought of him, and was lucky not to be sent off for pure dissent.
Westcarr forced a fantastic stop out of the keeper after being fed by Butler again, before the former Nottingham Forest man turned to creating, after his cut-back for Phillips was lashed home on the half-volley with lethal power from the edge of the box.
Maxwell marred the occasion somewhat with a few minutes left to go, as he needlessly slid in in an attempt to recover the ball and received a second yellow card for his efforts.
Another penalty appeal went ignored, as Junior Gaskin was fouled, but adjudged to be outside of the box by the referee (questionably), before the whistle went on a fixture that threatened to boil over at every occasion.
Hucknall Town: Pearson, Maxwell, Kinnerley, Sims, Short (c), Jenkins, Butler, Phillips, Westcarr, Lamb, Ryan. Subs: Brown, Crawford, Banister, Francis, Hubbard.
*Article provided by Louis Wheeldon (Football Correspondent).
*Main image @HucknallTownFC the players entering the field at Watnall Road.