Second half goals rush sees Hucknall win Vase derby

Hucknall Town FC v Eastwood CFC, pictured is Joe Ashurst

Hucknall Town FC v Eastwood CFC, pictured is Joe Ashurst

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Four second half goals saw Hucknall Town progress to the first round proper of the FA Vase after beating local rivals Eastwood Community FC 5-0 at Watnall Road.

A decent crowd of 200 plus saw the Yellows take a seventh minute lead through Joe Ashurst.

But they could easily have been three up before then as Dave Leak saw one header clear the bar when unchallenged and another saved by the keeper followed by a ballooned shot from Jamie Crawford.

After taking the lead Town, rather than press home their advantage, took their foot off the gas.

This allowed Eastwood more possession and their bright right winger got past Elliott Pitt on a couple of occasions with the threat then cut out by Town’s central defenders.

Eastwood’s best chance of the half came from a free kick taken by ex-Hucknall U19 player Paddy Webb but, although bent neatly around the wall, it lacked enough power to beat Mike Randall, who got down well at the foot of the post.

Eastwood did get the ball in the net but the flag went up before it was headed home for offside.

Eastwood’s keeper then had to make an excellent reaction save from his own defender after the ball was sliced after a hard driven low cross.

The opening 10 minutes of the second half saw Eastwood again have possession but they didn’t create anything of note during this spell.

Then Josh Henry followed up from a Yellows counter-attack and smashed the loose ball into the net to make it 2-0.

A couple of substitutions helped Hucknall turn the screw even more and within five minutes Matt Brain had scored and quickly followed that up to make it 4-0.

Adam Nelson came on and continued his ‘super sub’ impact when he scored the Yellows’ fifth on the stroke of full-time.

Boss Andy Graves said: “We made a few changes today, some forced and some by choice, which gave us an opportunity to look at different combinations”Some worked, some didn’t, but overall we were pleased to get through what we thought would be a tougher game.

“We did have to remind ourselves at half-time of the standards we have set and what was a comfortable lead could have been more so if we had taken the chances presented.

“After a couple of changes during the second half those standards returned and from our point of view the scoreline reflected the fact we finished chances better in the second half.”

TOWN (4-2-3-1): Mike Randall, Josh Henry, Dave Leak, Jordan Phillips, Elliott Pitt, Michael Banister (Cameron Davidson), Leon Aikman, Jamie Crawford (Mitchell Slawson), Matt Brian, Ashley Whitt (Adam Nelson), Joe Ashurst. Subs not used: Montell Gatland, Cayne Maxwell.

TOWN MAN OF THE MATCH: Matt Brian.