Buoyant Hucknall Town give Pelican the bird again

TOWN FLIER  - -   happy manager Andy Graves, who has led Hucknall Town to two wins in their opening three league matches.
TOWN FLIER - - happy manager Andy Graves, who has led Hucknall Town to two wins in their opening three league matches.
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Buoyant HUCKNALL TOWN proved that their midweek eclipse of defending champions Clifton All Whites was no fluke.

For they made it two wins from their opening three games in the Central Midlands League’s South Division by beating Bilborough Pelican 2-1 at Watnall Road.

Now they are in the perfect frame of mind for their first big local-derby of an intriguing season that pits them in the same division as Bulwell, Linby Colliery Welfare and Hucknall Rolls Leisure.

For they make the short trip across Watnall Road to tackle newly-promoted Rolls this Saturday (kick-off 3 pm). A big crowd is expected at the Rolls-Royce Leisure Club.

The delight of manager Andy Graves at the form being shown by his new-look Yellows side was tempered only by the postponement of Wednesday night’s scheduled match at home to Mickleover Royal British Legion.

Unbeaten Mickleover, who are one of the favourites for the title, pulled out of the fixture, claiming they would be unable to raise a side.

But Graves retorted: “It’s an absolute joke! We have players out because of work commitments and we also have a reserve game. We will see now if the league show any balls.”

It is up to league officials to decide if Mickleover will be deducted points for failing to fulfil the fixture.

Last Saturday’s victory over Pelican by The Yellow evoked fond memories of the final home match of last season when they thrashed the same side 7-1.

This wasn’t quite as spectacular. Indeed the performance did not reach anything like the standard set in midweek against champions Clifton All Whites.

But a workmanlike display still yielded a fine win against a side who fninished as high as fourth last term.

Chances were few and far between in a dour first half. But Town took the lead when new signing Jack Sanders forced the ball past the ‘keeper after a corner.

Pelican enjoyed more possession in the second period, only to find The Yellows defence looking strong, even though Cameron Davidson had to switch to midfield to cover for the late arrival of Niall Williams..

James Beddingham provided a safe pair of hands in goal, Cayne Maxwell deputised successfully for Montell Gatland and even when Danny Wright had to leave the pitch with a heel problem, Joe Atkinson dropped in effortlessly alongside Dave Leak at centre-back.

Town extended their lead when a near-post corner from Sanders was deflected in off a luckless defender.

And even though Hucknall-based striker Joe Ashurst pulled one back for Pelican, pouncing on a misplaced header back to Beddingham, The Yellows were not unduly disturbed.

In fact, they played their best football of the match in the last quarter of an hour and were guilty only of overplaying things.