Andy Graves pleased with performance of Hucknall Town - but not the referee

Hucknall Town manager Andy Graves was pleased with how his side performed as they drew 1-1 with Birstall United on Saturday.

Monday, 8th November 2021, 10:59 am
Hucknall manager Andy Graves was not happy with the referee.

But he felt that the Yellows would have won the game had it not been for some contentious refereeing decisions.

Oliver Brown’s first-half goal gave Town the lead in Leicestershire before Dom Watts equalised for the hosts with an excellent free-kick from the edge of the box.

Graves was disappointed to travel back to Hucknall with only a single point to show for the Yellows’ hard work after they had two goals controversially chalked off.

He said: “The windy conditions were difficult to play in and the pitch was much smaller than we are used to, but I thought we played fairly well to be honest. We definitely played well enough to win the game.

“We could’ve shown a bit more composure in certain moments but on the whole, I thought our performance was good.

“I thought their goalkeeper made four outstanding saves which ultimately kept them in the game, because they didn’t cause our defence too many problems at all, especially in the second half.

“Some of the decisions made by the referees were crazy. Joey Ashurst scored a perfectly fair goal which would have put us 2-0 up, but it was somehow disallowed for offside.

“We’ve seen photographs since – that were taken from the side of the pitch – that clearly show it was the wrong decision, but there’s obviously nothing that can be done with them.

“I’m not typically one to criticise officials but the decisions they made were hard to ignore and we think we would be sat here with another victory had things been done differently by the referees.

“I can’t blame Birstall for the officials and what happened in the game, because they didn’t have any influence on the decisions at all.”

The Hucknall boss was eager to praise goalscorer Brown, who etched his name onto the scoresheet for the first time this term with a curling right-footed effort from range.

“I was pleased with how Oli did in midfield again,” Graves stated. “He took his goal really well, particularly when you consider that he’s a left-footed player.

“It’s getting tougher for me to choose the team each week because there is competition in every position at the moment. We’ve got six or seven options for the three midfield slots in the team.

“No player has a right to a shirt every week, even if they’re playing out of their skin. We’ve made that clear to the lads from the start and there’s a real sense of togetherness between them at the moment.”

Yellows host Saffron Dynamo on Saturday at Watnall Road.