Hucknall expecting tough test at Clifton

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

Hucknall Town will have a keen eye on the weather forecast over the coming days as they hope for a return to competitive action this weekend.

The Yellows were left frustrated last Saturday when their scheduled home match against Dunkirk was called off due to a frozen pitch at Watnall Road.

The postponement meant Andy Graves’ side were unable to carry on their ruthless streak having put Shirebrook Town to the sword seven days previously.

But they will get the chance, weather permitting, at Green Lane when they take on fellow Notts side Clifton All Whites this Saturday (7th December, 3pm).

Clifton sit 14th in the East Midlands Counties League Premier ahead of kick-off, with Hucknall second behind Eastwood CFC who beat Gedling to go top.

“It’ll be a tough game no matter where they are in the league,” said Graves.

“There are no easy games. We’ve got to put the hard work in. No-one’s going to give us three points.

“We had to work for it even when we played Shirebrook. It’ll be a tough one on Saturday but hopefully, we can keep our run going.”

Clifton were without a game last weekend when their scheduled trip to Barrow Town was also called off due to the frost biting.

But they returned to action on Tuesday night in the second round of the EMCL League Cup away to Radford, winning the tie 4-2 on penalties after a goalless encounter.

Clifton will be looking to carry that good feeling into the league where they have struggled at home this season, winning just two and losing six of their eight games to date.

Meanwhile, they can take heart from their away record, winning two, losing two and drawing one from their five games on the road so far this campaign.

And they ran new pacesetters Eastwood Community FC close a couple of weeks ago in a 3-2 defeat at Coronation Park in a game decided by an unfortunate own goal.

But they will go up against a Hucknall side with the best away record in the division, having won five and drawn four from nine, and with an eye on returning to the summit.

“We’ve got a good squad so I’m not worried whatever team we put out,” said Graves.

“They all know what’s expected. It was nice to go into the Shirebrook game unchanged - that’s the first time we’ve had two games unchanged - but I think there’ll be changes this weekend for various reasons.”