Toothless Hucknall Town fall foul of Eastwood revival

PLUGGING THE LEAKS -- commanding Town centre-back Dave Leak shows why he took the man-of-the-match award.
PLUGGING THE LEAKS -- commanding Town centre-back Dave Leak shows why he took the man-of-the-match award.

Frustrated HUCKNALL TOWN became the latest victims of the admirable Eastwood Community revival in the Central Midlands League’s South Division.

After months as the rock-bottom, winless whipping-boys, league newcomers Eastwood have suddenly found their feet. And they repeated a shock upset the previous month against Bulwell by beating Town 1-0 to continue their climb up the table.

The triumph was particularly satisfying for two of the Coronation Park club’s directors, Ben Martshall and Brian Willows, who are Hucknall-based businessmen. Paul Macfarland is the manager masterminding the resurgence. And although his team’s route-one style of football was branded ‘hoof and boot’ by his Yellows counterpart, Andy Graves, it is proving mightily effective.

Not for the first time this season, Town paid the price for failing to convert their chances, leaving Graves fed-up but philosophical.

“Eastwood could have had no complaints if we had won,” he said. “But it would have been an injustice to them. Eastwood’s style is not pleasing on the eye, but it is serving them well and they wanted it more than we did. They deserved at least a draw, if only for their resilience.”

Graves was not happy that his side failed to reproduce the fine football that had beaten high-riding Belper United the previuous week and added: “Our performance was nowhere near the standard we have set. The quality in the final third and in front of goal cost us yet again. There was also a lack of application from certain players, which will be addressed.”

The only goal came late on when the physical presence of burly striker Kyle Hall led to a shot by Nick Hewer that deflected past stranded ‘keeper James Beddingham.

In a game constantly interrupted by an over-zealous referee, Town’s best chances fell to Adam Nelson and Aaron Evans. Nelson crashed a shot against the bar and had a goal disallowed for offside. Evans was denied by a last-ditch goalline-clearance and then, in the dying minutes, he lashed wide from close range.

TOWN LINE-UP (4-5-1) -- Beddingham/ Maxwell, Leak, Atkinson, Crisp/ Davidson, Robinson, Evans, Aikman, Pitt/ Nelson. SUBS USED: Brown A., Whiteley.