HUCKNALL Town completed a derby double over local rivals Eastwood Town and Ilkeston in the space of four days to add momentum to their preparations as they head into the new football season.
Last Saturday, The Yellows won 1-0 away at Eastwood Town — and then followed up with another clean sheet in a 1-0 win over Ilkeston on Tuesday night.
Manager Brett Marshall says the results offer proof that his side is starting to take shape and that his players are buying into his ethos at the club.
“I think the lads are starting to look a lot fitter.
“I have now virtually got the backbone of my side sorted and I have seven or eight players who are now getting more and more game time as the season looms large.
“The supporters who were there for the last couple of games will have seen the spirit I demand from my teams.
“They are realising the resilience and effort that I demand from my sides.”
Against Eastwood, Hucknall came up against a full-strength outfit who went on to have the better of the first half on their home ground.
But as The Badgers became frustrated and began to change their playing style, The Yellows came more into the game.
In the second period, Hucknall could afford to squander a penalty awarded for handball as Liam Garner made a hash of his spot-kick.
But up stepped Hucknall-born striker Warren Hatfield to sidefoot the winner home around the 70-minute mark after a marauding 40-yard run from Jamie Brown.
Ilkeston, who are bossed by former Hucknall manager and Chelsea player Kevin Wilson, were missing some of their top players.
But Hucknall still overcame a first-team squad in an evenly-matched contest.
The winner came in the second half as Steve Carty played a smart one-two with Hatfield on the edge of the box before finding an accomplished finish from 15 yards.