Goal-crazy Hucknall Town save the best for last

TEEN GOAL-MACHINE -- striker Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe, who scored four of Hucknall Town's goals.
TEEN GOAL-MACHINE -- striker Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe, who scored four of Hucknall Town's goals.

Seven-up HUCKNALL TOWN saved their best until last when unleashing an amazing goalfest to batter Bilborough Pelican at Watnall Road last Saturday.

In their final home game of the Central Midlands League, South Division season, Town treated a sizeable crowd to the kind of win they had been threatening for many weeks.

No matter that it was their first since the middle of January, and only their third at home all season. No matter that they remain sure to finish in the bottom five.

This was sparkling stuff to demolish a high-flying Pelican team who, until recently, were in the running for the title.

Nigerian teenager Junior Okedi-Uzokwe capped the landslide with four goals to underline what a shrewd acquisition he has been.

But the match was also a triumph for manager Andy Graves’s tactics. Because his decision to play three in the middle of the park and two wide men enabled Town to dictate play and surge forward at every opportunity.

They were also solid at the back, leaving shellshocked Pelican in disarray, despite the valiant efforts of Hucknall-based Joe Ashurst, who tried single-handedly to galvanise his team into some sort of response.

The visitors were systematically taken apart by a Yellows wide at last adding ruthlessness to the other assets they have displayed all season.

Pelican had no answer to the fluency, work ethic, skill and passion of the locals -- all achieved by a side still containing six players under the age of 19.

The display also had a poignancy attached because it was delivered in front of recently retired club stalwart Geoff Gospel.

The game was the first Gospel had been able to attend since being diagnosed with a serious illness, and before kick-off, he visited the Town dressing-room to pay a heartfelt tribute to the players for their efforts in keeping the club alive.

At the end of one of the most thrilling Town displays in recent years, he ran on to the pitch to congratulate the players, who responded by giving him a guard of honour.

The Yellows’ fireworks were lit by Cameron Davidson, who drove a glorious left-foot drive from outside the box that left the ‘keeper clutching at thin air.

Next, Joe Lomax, who formed a formidable central defensive partnership with Alex Arnold, popped up to net number two from a corner.

Ogedi-Uzokwe’s first two goals completed the first-half scoring. And much to the delight of Town’s now-vocal fans behind the goal, the second half continued in the same vein.

Pelican accepted a fortuitous consolation goal when a shot hit Lomax and looped over ‘keeper James Beddingham.

However, it wasn’t long before Town were at it again. Ogedi-Uzokwe not only completed his hat-trick but also added a fourth and had a goal disallowed, while Davidson also found the target once more.

In a season in which they have often struggled to score goals, it was obviously The Yellows’ best and biggest win.

And with just two more games to negotiate -- at Allenton United (on Wednesday night) and Swanwick Pentrich Road (this Saturday) -- they can now look forward to next season with relish.