Andy Graves to make changes to Hucknall Town side for Rainworth Miners Welfare trip

Matlock Town Reserves v Hucknall Town.'Hucknall Town manager, Andy Graves.
Matlock Town Reserves v Hucknall Town.'Hucknall Town manager, Andy Graves.

Hucknall Town make the short trip to fellow Nottinghamshire side Rainworth Miners Welfare on Saturday, looking to extend their unbeaten start to the season.

Andy Graves’ Yellows sit second in the East Midlands Counties League Premier Division table after three wins and two draws from their opening five 2019/20 fixtures.

They also successfully navigated their way into the second round qualifying of the FA Vase last Saturday following a dramatic 4-3 extra-time win over Holbrook Sports.

An away tie against Lincolnshire-based Bourne Town, of the United Counties League Division One, awaits on Saturday 14th September, but before then is a trip to the Wrens.

Graves said: “We’re looking forward to it. They’ve not won a game yet but they won’t be easy to beat on their own ground, they will want to prove a point as Holbrook wanted to.

“We used to play each other in the Evo-Stik and we’re not that far away in terms of location and distance so it’ll be an interesting game.

“I want a better performance to last week and I think the lads will be prepared to put in a better performance as well.

“We’ve got lads back so there will be changes for that game from the Vase tie, based on what we want to do in the league.”

And added: “I don’t think some players did take their chances (against Holbrook). We gave players a chance and all we ask for is everyone to work hard.

“We don’t have individuals, we don’t have egos, I don’t think some of the work rate was there last week and some of them may regret it this week.”

Reflecting on the dramatic 4-3 Vase win over Holbrook, Graves said it was a “strange game”.

“We had numerous players missing but felt we should have done better in normal time when we were very slow and lethargic,” he said.

“We did create chances - they cleared one off the line - but I don’t think they had their first shot on target until they took the lead in the 85th-minute when they scored.

“Fortunately we brought Matt Brian on and he equalised inside normal time after their time-wasting tactics backfired on them, twice.

“We still didn’t perform to the levels we can do in extra-time, they got two soft goals and we were 3-1 down. Adam Short scored a great header then I turned to the bench.

“We only had one option, a goalkeeper on the bench, and after we’d had a chat we decided to put Jake Pearson up top to cause some mayhem and he certainly did.

“He helped the team get two goals in as many minutes, had an assist, and we’d pulled one out of the bag.

“Their time-wasting gave us the extra two minutes. We were superb for the last five minutes. The other 115 minutes we were way below the standards we’ve set.

“But we’re in the next round and we’re the next round. If you can play like that and win then it might stand us well for the rest of the season.”