Hucknall Town 2-0 Harrowby United (United Counties League Division One) 29.01.22
Hucknall Town braved harsh conditions to beat Harrowby 2-0, making it six straight wins for Andy Graves men.
It was a second half show from the Yellows that brought home the points, with goals from Sam Sims and Grant Ryan within five minutes of each other enough to separate the two sides.
Town named two changes from the side that won 3-0 at Lutterworth, with Louis Kinnerley starting in goal and Ryan making his first start since November in place of Matt Brian.
It was a cagey first half at Watnall Road, with heavy wind having a big impact on the quality of the game, ensuring that neither side cut out a clear opportunity in the opening 15 minutes.
It was Jordan Phillips who got the first opportunity, as an in-swinging corner from Joe Ashurst was smashed onto the post via his head with 15 minutes played.
Just seven minutes later, Town hit the post again courtesy of birthday boy Craig Westcarr, who did well to work half a yard on the edge before lacing an effort onto the same post that was hit before.
There were more injuries in the first half than there were goals, regrettably, with Hucknall midfielder Aaron Lamb going down with a head injury following a collision, and then again with a back injury following a strong tackle 20 minutes later. The youngster was able to carry on after some brief treatment on both occasions, however.
The second half grew much livelier for both sides, as Harrowby midfielder Yeniberitz sliced an effort towards the bottom corner after being laid off, but Kinnerley was equal to the tame effort.
The chances all fell to Hucknall as the clock reached the hour, with Westcarr forcing a fantastic save from Stainsby in the Harrowby goal, before the striker looped a header just over the bar from a fine Courtney Bartley delivery.
The deadlock was finally broken with 65 minutes played, as Westcarr broke in behind on the right-hand side to slip in Sims, who steadied himself before smashing a strike into the top-right corner.
It was Westcarr who provided the second, as he again found space on the right to whip a gorgeous ball over to Ryan, who beat the ‘keeper to the ball to head into a gaping net just four minutes after the opener.
There were few chances in the remainder of the game as The Yellows successfully shut their visitors out to seal a well-fought 2-0 win.
Speaking after the game, Graves said: “I thought it was a tough game. First half we had to manage the conditions (Hucknall were kicking into the wind for the first half) but I thought we managed it well.
“I said that before we went out that if we manage the conditions, we’ll give ourselves a platform for the second half and we did. And in that first half we hit the post twice as well. So I was happy.”
On what the result means for the club’s league position, Graves said: “Well it’s what we have always said, we take it one game at a time, play to the best of our abilities and it’ll have to be a very good team that beat us, unless we beat ourselves, that’s always been the case.
“It would take a very good team to beat us when we perform.”
Hucknall Town: Kinnerley, Bartley, Short, Leak, Brown, Sims, Phillips, Lamb (Butler 70), Ashurst (Brian 73), Ryan (Maxwell 81). Westcarr.
*Article provided by Louis Wheeldon (Football Correspondent).
*Main image @HucknallTownFC Grant Ryan was amongst the goals for the Yellows.