Two late goals, including an injury-time winner dedicated to their seriously-ill kitman, sent emotional HUCKNALL TOWN into the semi-finals of the Central Midlands League Cup.
Visiting Doncaster outfit Harworth, who play in the league’s North Division, Town looked to be heading for defeat as they trailed 1-0 with only six minutes left.
But skipper Joe Atkinson equalised and then substitute Adam Nelson bagged a dramatic goal in honour of popular club loyalist Colin Corbett, who was in hospital after suffering a stroke.
“Colin had become really poorly again overnight, and Adam was chomping at the bit to get on and score the winner for him,” explained Yellows boss Andy Graves. “He kept his word with a brilliantly well-taken goal.”
Nelson latched on to a superb through ball by new signing Niall Thompson to round the ‘keeper and slot home from an acute angle, sending the travelling Town fans into raptures.
Now those fans will be on the road again next Wednesday night for the semi-finals when The Yellows take on Belper United, who sit just above them in the South Division table. The winners will meet either Mickleover Royals or Clifton All Whites in the May final.
Last Saturday’s tie was hampered by a strong, swirling wind, which blew Ben Waplington’s corner on to the bar in a goalless first half. And Town’s hopes were hampered by an injury to influential midfielder Leon Aikman, who had to come off after only 15 minutes.
Both goalkeepers made fine saves, including Town’s Mike Randle, who was standing in for the absent James Beddingham. But Harworth took the lead five minutes into the second period with a first-time shot from Tommy Durrant that carried in the wind and squeezed past an unsighted Randle.
To their credit, Town refused to panic, kept their patience and were rewarded when a well-flighted free-kick by Elliott Pitt found Atkinson leaping highest for a header over the ‘keeper.
TOWN LINE-UP (4-4-1-1) -- Randle/ Henry, Leak (man-of-match), Atkinson, Pitt/ Evans, Rigg, Aikman, Waplington/ Thompson/ Hamilton. SUBS USED: Davidson, Nelson, Maxwell.