Atkinson inspires Town on return from injury

Hucknall (yellow/Black) v Linby (red/Black) - Hucknall Town manager Andy Graves - Pic by James Williamson
Hucknall (yellow/Black) v Linby (red/Black) - Hucknall Town manager Andy Graves - Pic by James Williamson

Hucknall Town returned to winning ways with a 3-1 victory away at Collingham FC.

Boss Andy Graves was pleased, but would have liked his side to be more ruthless.

He said: “Obviously the three points were the most important thing today to get us back on track, again we created an awful lot of chances but we need to be more clinical in front of goal.

“Joe Atkinson brought that stability to the back four which also gives everyone confidence.”

Joe Atkinson returned to the heart of the defence after the removal of his stitches, Kajally Danso moving to right-back with youngster Dwayne Ngamdi on the left and Junior Harding in the centre alongside Michael Banister - Cameron Davidson moving to the right of midfield.

Again Town started well but squandered numerous chances as they have done in previous weeks, Niall Thompson, Leon Aikman and Dave Leak partners in crime. Collingham were neat on the ball however they lacked a cutting edge to trouble Town’s back four.

Town finally broke the deadlock when Aikman scored.

Dave Leak then carried on a forward run from his own half and received a lovely weighted pass from Aikman, Leak took the ball into the Collingham penalty box, dropped his shoulder and placed the ball past the keeper for 2-0.

For the third successive game, Town gave away a sloppy goal within two minutes of the re-start after James Beddingham tipped a free-kick onto the upright, the ball bounced back and the Collingham player had a simple task of heading the ball into the net.

Not for the first time, the sequence of bizarre refereeing decisions reduced both teams to 10 men, first the Collingham player was given two yellows for shirt pulling although no advantage was gained by either and then Town’s Cameron Davidson was given a yellow after cleanly winning the ball in a 50-50 challenge.

He was then shown a second yellow for what the referee decided was deliberate hand ball even though the ball was blasted at him from three yards.

Collingham’s young keeper made half a dozen good saves to deny Thompson and Aikman before Aikman himself made the game safe with a well taken third.

Graves leads his men into FA Vase action now, at Coleshill Town, a club from two divisions higher.

He said: “That should not frighten us as we more than matched teams two and three levels higher during pre-season and in doing so we beat Heanor Town who top Coleshill’s league.”

Hucknall Town: James Beddingham, Kajally Danso, Dave Leak, Joe Atkinson, Tom Crisp, Cameron Davidson, Michael Banister, Junior Harding, Leon Aikman, Dwayne Ngamdi, Niall Thompson. Subs: Adam Nelson-Thompson. NotUsed: Montell Gatland & Josh Henry. MOM: Joe Atkinson.