A dogged defensive display saw Hucknall Town victorious in a close 2-0 derby win at Linby Colliery Welfare.
Former Linby player Mitchell Slawson scored a spectacular overhead kick just a minute after young defender Ben Jones’ long range strike deflected past Daniel Bowder in the hosts’ goal.
The three points in the derby on Saturday means that the Yellows have won eight of the opening nine matches and sit at the top of the Central Midlands Football League South Division.
The match at Church Lane saw two very evenly matched teams struggle to claim dominance in the opening half-an-hour with the pitch playing its part in making sure neither team could play confidently.
As the game approached half-time, one of the stand out performers of the match Ben Jones took his second ambitious shot of the match on the 36th minute. Unlike the first effort, this strike cannoned off of one of the Linby defenders and sent Linby goalkeeper Daniel Bowder rooted to his spot.
Hucknall’s first goal had a hint of fortune about it but there was no luck involved in the goal which doubled the Yellows advantage. Only a minute later, ex-Linby player Mitchell Slawson converted a cross in sensational style.
The ball was hung in the air on the edge of the box only for Slawson to do the unthinkable as his acrobatic effort nestled in to the top right corner.
After a moment of magic, the game was reset back to a tight tussle which was expected of this derby game.
Despite many missed opportunities for Hucknall, the attacking intent was certainly there and allowed the Yellows’ defence to take the plaudits as they kept their third clean sheet in a row. Returning captain Joe Atkinson had another stellar performance commanding the back line which was compromised of Ben Jones, Lenford Jenkins and centre-back David Leak.
Ben Jones had the most notable game as his hard work and determination down the right flank gave keeper Michael Randall a very quiet game and Devante Reittie a lot of ammunition going forward.
Andy Graves was very pleased with the performance: “I thought it was a professional performance, it’s not the easiest ground to come to. Especially with the ground conditions and it being a local derby. We had to be patient, once we broke them down we got another quick goal. To be honest, we could have had another five or six.”
HUCKNALL: Randall 6, Jones 9, Leak 7, Atkinson 7, Jenkins 6, Banister 7 (Hawkins 6), Phillips 8, Slawson 7 (Hubbard 6), Reittie 5, Ashurst 4 (Danso 5), Crawford 6.