Strong end to record-breaking season for Hucknall Town

Hucknall Town FC v Southwell City FC, pictured is Joe Ashurst
Hucknall Town FC v Southwell City FC, pictured is Joe Ashurst
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Hucknall Town look to be ending a record-breaking season on a high, smashing in 12 goals in two games this week.

Despite missing out on promotion from the Central Midland League, this has been the best season so far under boss Andy Graves and they can still end it with silverware with a League Cup final looming at the end of the month.

A 7-0 home mauling of Southwell City on Saturday was followed by a 5-0 win at Blidworth on Wednesday and Graves said: “I think we can still finish third, though Sherwood would have to slip up and they’ve got a couple of games left as well.

“But we want to finish as high as we possibly can.

“With seven goals on Saturday and five last night, plus two clean sheets, I have got to be pleased with that. Obviously players know they are playing for their places in the cup final squad now.

“We also want to consolidate at least fourth place.

“We have moved the football forward again. I know some people will only judge it purely on promotion.

“But after the win at Blidworth this has now become our best season to be honest, statistically. So we’ve got to happy and hope we can finish on a high with the final.”

He added: “Statistically, results-wise and goals scored, points per game ratio, goals scored ratio, goals against ratio, clean sheets, we have broken loads of records this season believe it or not since going right back to when Steve Burr was the manager and won the Unibond League.

“Okay, Dean Barrick took them to the FA Trophy final. Other than that this is probably the best season.

“We haven’t won promotion, but this is still a reality check. We are still stabilising the club. We have got a fantastic stadium being built.”

Graves said the club would continue to progress at a pace it could afford and they would not destabilise the club by throwing money at promotion.

“People have to realise – the football will come when we can progress it quicker than what we are doing now,” he said.

“We are doing the best we can with the resources we’ve got.

“While I am manager I am definitely not going to be de-stabilising the club and chucking stupid money at things.

“We’ve heard some right rumours about what some of our players have been offered for next season.

“This is teams from our league and it’s ridiculous. We do things properly and we will get there eventually. All we ask for is patience.

“The football has been good – no one can criticise the football at all.

“We have lost six games in a whole season and closed the gap on the teams at the top with regards to winning the title.

“We look after ourselves. We shouldn’t really be worrying about what other clubs do. This is Hucknall Town. We’ve made it stable. We’ll make it even more stable and try to take it forward again next year.”

Hucknall have enjoyed great runs in the FA Vase and League Cup this season, but Graves feels they have not helped the league cause.

And he cites the late Vase exit in the derby against AFC Mansfield as a crucial factor in a slump of results.

“Irrespective of whether we win the League Cup or not, we’ve had a good season,” he said.

“But we’ve looked back at that rich vein of form when we were in the FA Vase and doing well in the league and League Cup and if we’d changed three of those cup wins for league wins we would be right up there still. But there was prestige with the Vase.

“Personally we feel the way we went out of the Vase in added time against AFC Mansfield, we didn’t recover as well as we would have expected to. It did hit confidence a lot and that showed in our league form.

“But we have always been fairly strong finishers so we’ll keep going hopefully and take is right through to the final.”