THEY might have missed out on the reunion with former manager John Ramshaw.
But new-look Hucknall Town most definitely did not miss out on three points when visiting bottom-of-the-table Shepshed Dynamo in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, Division One South on Wednesday night (November 2).
Ramshaw, who was a hugely successful Yellows boss between 1995 and 2001, quit struggling Shepshed two days earlier to take over as the new manager of beleaguered Eastwood Town, where he was assistant to current Mansfield Town chief Paul Cox from 2007 until last year.
The Shepshed side he left behind had lost all six of their previous home games in a poor start to the season. And although they battled gamely, stifling Town’s passing game with a robust approach, Des Lyttle’s side came away with a 2-1 victory for his second success as boss.
In a game that lacked quality but certainly not incident, Lyttle was without defenders, player/coach Craig Armstrong (unavailable) and centre-back Romaine Graham (injured), handing shirts to youngsters James Price and Kieran Walker instead. And new signing Corey Gregory left the field injured after only 20 minutes, to be replaced by another fresh face in teenager Lewis Williamson, who is on loan from Notts County.
But Town still took the lead in the 23rd minute when Anthony Gregory’s well-delivered free-kick was met by Callum Lloyd, who timed his run into the box to perfection and volleyed home from six yards.
Shepshed levelled seven minutes later with their first real chance as former Town striker Steve Chaplin pulled the ball back for Lee Weemes to slot home from close range. And as the tackles began to fly in, the home side got a foothold in the game, missing a golden chance when Richard Wilson blazed over.
However they received a flurry of yellow cards and their tactics backfired in the 63rd minute when substitute Ricky Law was sent off for a challenge on Gregory.
With a man up, Lyttle sent on sub Phil Massingham and switched from 4-5-1 to 4-4-2. As Town piled on the pressure, his decision was rewarded when striker Massingham bagged the winner 13 minues rom time. He latched on to a ball out of defence, powered into the box and delivered a fantastic, angled left-foot finish that went in off the far post.
Massingham ought to have added a second moments later with the goal at his mercy. But Town still had to endure a scare or two, especially in the sixth minute of stoppage time when Shepshed’s Luke Smith smashed a 20-yarder against a post with ‘keeper James Lindley beaten.