Boss refuses to be too downbeat after Hucknall Town setback

Hucknall Town manager Andy Graves, who expects "a rollercoaster ride" to the end of the season.
Hucknall Town manager Andy Graves, who expects "a rollercoaster ride" to the end of the season.

Manager Andy Graves refused to be too downbeat after Hucknall Town suffered a big blow to their title chances with only their second league defeat of the season.

Matlock Town Reserves ended tabletopping Town’s six-game winning streak on Saturday by beating them 3-2 in the South Division of the Central Midlands League. And it allowed Sherwood Colliery, who thumped Teversal Reserves 7-0, to draw level with them on points in first spot.

Graves said: “We’re obviously disappointed. We weren’t at the game and allowed Matlock’s play to happen.

“They are a very good young side who played nice football. They were the best technical side to play against us this season.

“We resorted to long balls and we didn’t have a good enough tempo. The first half let us down as we didn’t take our chances. We lacked composure.

“However, although everybody is going to be panicking, it was just one bad performance. We are still top of the league.

“There’s a long way to go this season. It’s going to be a rollercoaster ride. One thing is for certain: life’s not boring at Hucknall Town!”

A slow start for Hucknall led to defender David Leak making an unfortunate slip which allowed Matlock’s Matt Coleman to score his first goal of a hat-trick.

The Yellows opened their account through Devante Reittie, who had already missed two golden opportunities to score earlier on. But his equaliser was all for nothing as Matlock went in to the break with a lead due to a clearance by young goalkeeper Keaton Sharpe ricocheting off of a Matlock player to Coleman, who profited.

New striker Tavahn Tyrell levelled for Hucknall once more after he converted an Elliot Pitt cross. But Matlock bagged their winner no more that 30 seconds later when a long-range toe-poke found its way through a crowd of players to striker Coleman, who converted past the inexperienced Sharpe.

Another new striker, young Niall Towle, was introduced with 15 minutes to go and he made an impact in the manager’s eyes, even though he couldn’t produce an equaliser.

“Maybe I should have sent Niall on earlier,” said Graves. “He gave us some real momentum.

“However, we are still looking for another new striker. We have a potential player lined up and we should know soon whether or not he will be joining us.”