Hucknall Town back in title shake-up, says boss Andy Graves

Hucknall (yellow/Black) v Linby (red/Black) - Hucknall Town manager Andy Graves - Pic by James Williamson
Hucknall (yellow/Black) v Linby (red/Black) - Hucknall Town manager Andy Graves - Pic by James Williamson

Hucknall Town boss Andy Graves believes his side are back in the hunt for honours in the CMFL Division South, following a 2-0 win over Mickleover RBL on Saturday.

Goals from Joe Atkinson and Kajally Danso made sure of all three points for the Yellows as they made it an unbeaten month of February and moved up to second in the table.

It was Town’s third win from four - the other a draw to Clay Cross Town - as Graves’ side made the most of home advantage, with all four games taking place at Watnall Road.

A morale-boosting 4-1 victory over then top of the table Belper United at the end of January started the unbeaten run, followed by a clean sheet over Keyworth United.

And Graves believes momentum is with his team, as the race for the title hots up.

“We finished January well,” he said. “I was pleased with that win over then top Belper and we have carried that on in to February. Draw against Clay Cross was the only blot but we’ve done well.

“It’s put us back in the mix. Selston had pulled away a little but they lost last week and they’ve got some tough fixtures coming up. It’s almost a round robin for the teams around us at the top.

“It will be interesting to see where we are after they have played each other. Sherwood and Selston have to play Belper twice. There’s still a long way to go and it’ll go right down to the wire.”

He added: “All we can do is keep concentrating on ourselves. The pressure is on them a bit. We just need to keep going and collecting as many points as we can. We’ll see where it takes us.”

Reflecting on Saturday’s win over Mickleover, Graves thought the margin of victory could have been more if it were not for the impressive performance of their number one.

“It was a good win,” he said. “We could have won by more and probably should have but their keeper pulled off four or five really good saves. Their keeper had a very good game and we missed a few chances.

“At least we’re creating. I’d much rather have that than not at all. Mickleover were never going to just lie down and we had to work for the points. A clean sheet was also pleasing.”

Hucknall don’t have a scheduled fixture this Saturday and are next in action on Wednesday (March 9) in the Floodlit Cup. A semi-final clash against Sherwood Colliery awaits the Yellows.

“It’s ridiculous that we don’t have a game,” said Graves. “All the fixtures we have and we’ve not got a game on Saturday. We’d rather be playing so some of the first team will play in the reserves.”

He hopes to have Niall Thompson back for the cup tie at Watnall Road (7.45pm kick off) against a Sherwood side that ended Selston’s 18-game unbeaten run on Saturday, in a 3-1 win away.

Hucknall Town Reserves continue to set the pace in the CMFL Reserves Division with a 14-game unbeaten run of their own. Graves praised the work being done by reserves team manager Paul Stevenson and assistant Matt Farmer.

“They’re doing fantastic work with the reserves,” he said. “We’re all as one at the club and work closely with each other. There’s some good, young players in there and they’re doing really well.”