Hucknall Town shrug off empty stand and points’ loss

GOLDEN GRAHAM --  Romaine Graham (centre, white shirt) marked his return to Hucknall Town with a goal.
GOLDEN GRAHAM -- Romaine Graham (centre, white shirt) marked his return to Hucknall Town with a goal.

Progressive HUCKNALL TOWN are determined not to let an empty stand and an unwanted disbandment spoil their promising start to the new season.

Off the field, Town were hit for the second time this year by the closure of the main stand at their Watnall Road ground for safety reasons.

And on the field, they were annoyed to learn that Bilborough Pelican have folded after losing their opening four matches of the campaign. This means they will be deducted the three points they won when beating Pelican 2-1 last month.

However, Andy Graves’s men can control only their own destiny and, in their latest fixture last Saturday, they recovered well from the previous week’s local-derby pasting at the hands of Linby Colliery Welfare.

A 3-0 win at home to Lincolnshire new boys, Harrowby Saints, made it ten points from the first six games of the Central Midlands League, South Division season and lifted them to sixth in the table.

The only downside was that fans were unable to watch the game in the comfort of the stand, which was a no-go zone in both the seats and on the terraces.

Earlier this term, safety inspectors at Notts County Council warned Town they must carry out improvements to the stand before it was granted a safety certificate for the season.

The club freely admitted they struggled financially to keep the stand open. But after Saturday’s match, Graves reassured supporters, saying: “It’s just council red-tape. Nothing is unsafe, and I believe it is being sorted.”

As for the game itself, Town took time to find any rhythm and relied early on two high-quality saves by goalkeeper James Beddingham.

But after getting into their stride, they took the lead on an excellent counter-attack, which was superbly finished by striker Adam Nelson.

Just before half-time, new signing Romaine Graham, who is back at the club for his second spell, doubled the lead, crashing a shot into the net after a corner.

And midway through the second half, the points were sealed when Nelson produced another terrific goal, receiving the ball on the edge of the area before cutting inside and drilling into the far corner.

Substitute Ben Waplington should have made it four, but somehow blazed over the bar from six yards after making a fine run to get on the end of a cross by another sub, Cameron Davidson.

Next up for The Yellows is a potentially tricky trip to Swanwick Pentrich Road, of Derbyshire, who sit just above them in the table.