New signing Jaylee Hodgson made the perfect debut for Hucknall Town with a hat-trick as they bounced back from last week’s shock defeat to thump in-form Blidworth Welfare 6-0.
Montserrat international Hodgson, 36, was unstoppable on his debut and boss Andy Graves said: “Let’s hope he’s not peaked too soon.
“It was fortunate Jaylee became available and I got to know. I had a good chat with him last week and he was quite excited about joining.
“I remember when we took over at Hucknall, he thumped us three times when he played for Clifton and he is a good player. Jaylee is experienced and he showed that on Saturday. I think he had four chances and he took three of them.”
Graves added: “No disrespect to our other strikers, but I brought him in and there were one or two long faces, but he did what he did. They can’t really complain as he did what we didn’t do the week before.”
Hucknall have been without Ashley Whitt, with damaged ankle ligaments, and having to rely on goals from elsewhere to maintain their Central Midlands League title challenge.
“We haven’t had our main striker, Ashley – he is injured still. We signed him thinking he would get 20 goals a season. He had scored five in five before he was injured and he’s been out since September.
“He might be back in a fortnight but he’s going to need some time and probably a couple of games with the reserves as well.
“So most of our goals have come from everywhere. We had scored 34 goals and only nine from strikers. That’s a good thing so we are not reliant on a striker. “The benefit would be if we have a striker that can bang us 20 goals in, we wouldn’t lose too many games.”
He added: “Joe Ashurst goes travelling at the beginning of December, but we’ve brought Ricky Saxby in from the reserves and he will probably be looking to have that position on the left hand side.
“He’s been doing well in the reserves so we brought him in last week. He has played higher but he was unfit and needed to get fit. He got his chance last week, came on and looked bright.
“Again we have looked ahead to where we need to be and what we need to do. So far, so good.”
The weekend before, Hucknall had slumped to a shock 2-1 defeat by bottom side Holbrook St Michaels, despite dominating the game and chances.
“I wasn’t unhappy with the performance the week before. It was just things conspired against us,” said Graves.
“We had chance after chance after chance but, for whatever reason, goalkeeper, decisions and some poor finishing, we lost.
“If we’d have won 14-0 we would still have complained we’d missed chances. It was just one of those days.
“We bounced back, which is what we asked for, and we can’t complain really. Blidworth were on a good run of form.
“They’d won 6-0 themselves the week before, they’d beat Heanor two levels higher than themselves the week before in the Vase, and they beat the previous team two levels higher as well, so they were on good form. So to win 6-0 you can’t complain can you?