Andy Graves happy as Hucknall Town seal the points

Hucknall Town manager Andy Graves

Hucknall Town manager Andy Graves

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Hucknall Town boss Andy Graves praised his side’s performance following their 3-2 win over South Normanton Athletic reserves.

Athletic went ahead early on before Hucknall came back in style to go 3-1 ahead.

Speaking after the game a satisfied Graves said: “The win was more important than the performance, which I thought was good overall.

“Apart from giving away a needless corner early on and the free header for their second goal, we played well in difficult conditions.

“Players wer losing their footing due to the rain. It was a lovely pitch but with the grass very short players were not getting a lot of purchase and at times it looked like they were on an ice rink.

“I was pleased for Leon Aikman to get a goal and has the game wore on he became the influential player we know he can be and it will have done his confidence no harm.

“Matt Brian started his first game following his brief stay at Heanor and scored what was to be the winner – he will need a game with the reserves before Saturday’s big game against Selston.”

The game was less than five minutes old when a mix up between Joe Atkinson and Cameron Davidson gave away needless possession, with the danger temporarily averted at the expense of a corner.

The corner was delivered and another mix up between Matt Brian and Mike Randal allowed a free header to reach the back of the net.

The Yellows responded quickly and for the majority of the half the ball was in the South Normanton half and their quick passing had Normanton on the back foot, but several yellows players were finding the underfoot conditions tricky to keep their footing.

Brian turned and saw his effort go wide of the post and Leon Aikman hit a thunderous drive which the keeper made a superb one handed save from.

Parity was restored when Aikman ran through and shot between the legs of the advancing keeper and Hucknall went ahead when Dave Leak headed home from a Jamie Crawford corner.

The second half saw the Yellows again press up the slope and get behind the Normanton defence, but they defended well and, at times, the final ball just let the Yellows down.

Brian shot from the edge of the box and his effort went through the keepers hands to give the Yellows’ a cushion.

Normanton defended resiliently and later pulled one back from a corner with Brian not picking his man up allowing a free header.

Town kept pressing but could not add to their tally and with both defences on top Hucknall had to settle for a workmanlike three points.