Late strike earns point

A GOAL three minutes into added time earned Hucknall Town a point from a tough opening Evo-Stik League, Division One South opener at Newcastle Town last Saturday.

After early sparring by both sides, Brett Marshall’s side withstood first-half pressure from the Staffordshire side, including three chances from corners from which Andy Bratt and then Paul Whalley, twice, were unable to hit the target with headers before Marco Adaggio hit the outside of the framework.

Aaron Carter fired over from another corner before the hosts were denied by Hucknall keeper Jason Fisher, who saved in a one-on-one with Newcastle’s Neville Thompson, who also had another chance but fired across the face of goal.

Half-time arrived goalless, after which Fisher again thwarted Thompson.

The hosts had shouts for a penalty when Adaggio appeared to be brought down but the referee awarded the free kick right on the edge of the penalty area.

Fisher then produced a fine double save to keep out efforts from Adaggio. Jack Harrison then fired over from a free kick before the hosts finally broke the deadlock when Thompson headed home from a cross by Kyle Diskin.

Hucknall survived a second penalty shout when Jack Harrison’s cross appeared to be clearly handled in the box, but the referee again waved away the appeals.

Hucknall finally found an equaliser deep into added time when what appeared to be a deflection after a tackle was deemed to be a back pass by the match official.

From the resultant free kick, Yellows skipper Corey Nightingale fired home the leveller from five yards.

There was even time for Hucknall to go close to a winner but Kieran Watson dragged his effort wide.

All in all, a point away from home in the first game of the season is more than acceptable and not too many teams will come away from Newcastle Town with much over the coming season.