Goals fly in at last for wasteful Hucknall Town
Hucknall Town's players had the perfect response to criticism over their finishing with a fine 5-1 away win at Hinckley to move fourth in the table.
Craig Westcarr led the rout with a hat-trick and boss Andy Graves said: “It was a good all-round performance on Saturday.
“We had a good conversation before we even went out for the warm up after what had been said the week before by various people and comments on social meeting.
“We then put that one side and concentrated on what we were doing. We kept it tight and the lads up top put the ball in the net.
“I pointed out to them that it was me who people have a pop at.
“I am the one in the firing line protecting them so they don't have to worry about it and can just go out there and do their job. We are all in it together. “We have a great spirit in the dressing room as last Saturday's social media will have proved and some of the film online. We will do the best we can.”
Hucknall went into the new league set-up unsure of the standard of opposition, but are starting to believe, though Graves warned that Christmas would give a clearer picture.
“We knew there were play-offs and we wanted to aim for those, but the first thing always is don't get relegated. So we are in a good position to avoid that at the moment,” he said.
“But where we are at Christmas will decide where we're going to go.
“I have said to people don't take too much notice of the league table up until Christmas as it can change quite a bit.
“As you've seen, a lot of teams can beat each other. Kimberley are doing really well and other teams have a few games in hand.
“You have to be on your game, even playing against teams near the bottom, or you will drop points.”
He added: “We have had four or five players missing for the two games before Saturday so there were a lot of mitigating circumstances.
“But we are not far off now, most came back last Saturday which gave me a good hand to play.
“That hand proved good so we will probably go with the majority of that this weekend, apart from those who are away.
“We will now look for a bit of consistency and not too much changing if we can.”
On Saturday the Yellows head for Holwell Sports and Graves said: “They are below halfway, even so it will still be a tough game.
“But you make the game as easy as you want with hard work and showing a bit of character. We did that on Saturday and took our chances.”
Graves believes the club can flourish with a Westcarr and Grant Ryan partnership finally together up front as planned.
He said: “Craig was given a different role again on Saturday. He got his hat-trick and played really well, working hard for the team.
“We now just need Grant Ryan to get his goal as he has been working extremely hard and not getting the reward.
“Once he gets firing as well it will be back to the formation and partnership we envisaged at the start of the season before we had to change things quickly when we learned of Grant's suspension and had to find a new partnership on the eve of the season.
“Grant's now getting back to full fitness and they are playing the roles we think will work for them.”