Relieved Hucknall Town celebrate first win for 15 weeks

WONDER GOAL -- new striker Courtney Bonnick, who set Watnall Road alight with the opening goal
WONDER GOAL -- new striker Courtney Bonnick, who set Watnall Road alight with the opening goal

Relieved HUCKNALL TOWN are back on the winning trail after finally banishing a bleak run of results either side of Christmas.

The visit to Watnall Road of bottom-of-the-table whipping-boys Calverton Miners Welfare provided a perfect opportunity for The Yellows.

And they didn’t waste it, winning 3-0 for their first victory in the Central Midlands League’s South Division since 5th October when they beat Real United.

It was a sequence that spanned nine matches in the league and 13 in all competitions.

Yes, Town have been hampered by injuries and suspensions, plus one or two players leaving the club.

And considering that, their form hasn’t been that bad. Indeed their last six games have now yielded only one defeat.

But that next victory had become a monkey they needed to get off their backs before progressing into the second half of the campaign.

Calverton were no pushover, even though they have failed to win all season and had picked up only three points from 20 outings. Indeed they showed lots of resilience and made Town work for the points and show patience.

However, once new striker Courtney Bonnick had broken the deadlock with a superb goal of the highest quality just before half-time, The Yellows’ dominance was always going to be rewarded.

Bonnick showed brilliant technical skill to volley home from outside the box - and delight another good-sized crowd.

Leon Aikman made it 2-0 on the hour mark when receiving the ball from captain Cameron Davidson to score for the second running.

And Davidson, relishing a new midfield role, wrapped up the triumph when netting his third goal in as many matches after Aikman had repaid the favour 14 minutes later.

Although they were without John Whetton (work commitments) and Jeremy Moran (injured), The Yellows looked more balanced than they have for some time.

Tom Crisp returned on the left side of midfield, while new signing Adam Whitemore enjoyed an excellent debut, albeit in the unfamiliar role of left-back, adding much-needed experience.

Whitemore helped give Town a solid platform at the back, alongside Montel Gatland, Josh Henry and Alex Arnold, who produced another outstanding man-of-the-match display.

Crisp almost scored early on when a free-kick, destined for the top corner, was superbly tipped over the bar by Calverton’s young ‘keeper, who has been catching the eye of Football League clubs.

Had that gone in, the floodgates might have opened. Instead the visitors funnelled many men behind the ball to stifle Town’s attacks.

But once Bonnick had struck, the home side were always on top and could have added more goals.

Nick Morgan twice delivered teasing crosses -- only to find no-one on the end of them.

As for Calverton, their best chance fell to former Yellows striker Kamar Davis, whose shot was turned round a post by goalkeeper James Beddingham.

Town manager Andy Graves will now be keen to make it back-to-back wins when his side travel to Grantham this weekend to take on Barrowby, who are also below them in the table.