Hucknall Town come from behind to get seal victory over Holwell
Hucknall Town secured their fifth home victory of the season after coming from behind to beat Holwell Sports 3-1 at Watnall Road.
The Yellows trailed at half-time after a tightly-contested first period but strikes after the break from Craig Westcarr, Joe Butler and Jordan Phillips ensured that the three points stayed in Nottinghamshire.
The comeback win was enough to lift Andy Graves’ side up to third position in the United Counties League Division One ahead of the next midweek round of fixtures.
Graves made one change to the team that started against Hinckley last weekend, with Aaron Lamb taking Joe Ashurst’s place in attack.
Town made a fast start to the game and created a number of opportunities to open the scoring within the first ten minutes. Visiting goalkeeper Alex Smith made a couple of smart saves to deny efforts from both Aaron Short and Cayne Maxwell in the early stages, while Sam Sims went close with a free-kick from 25 yards which flew over the crossbar.
Forward pairing Grant Ryan and Westcarr also caused a number of problems for the Holwell defence early on, with the former heading the latter’s cross wide of the target in the 19th minute.
As the first half progressed, Holwell grew into the contest but the better chances still fell to the Yellows. Not long after the half hour mark, midfielder Butler attempted to lob Alex Smith after capitalising on a defensive mix-up, but the ball landed on top of the goal netting.
Then, three minutes before the break, the visitors took the lead through Ian Bitmead. The centre-back’s initial effort from inside the area was cleared off the line, but he made it to the loose ball first and steered a low shot into the net.
Hucknall’s response to going behind was excellent, with Phillips forcing the Holwell keeper into a good save with a strike from range just two minutes into the second half.
Moments later, Town were presented with a great opportunity to level proceedings after a visiting defender was penalised by referee Gary Coley for handball inside the box. Westcarr stepped up to take the penalty and tucked it away with aplomb to register his tenth goal of the campaign.
Yellows skipper Short then went close to scoring for the second successive match when he nodded Westcarr’s corner onto the crossbar, while Phillips’ header – which was part of the same attacking move – was cleared away.
In the 58th minute, Town took the lead as Butler found the net for the first time since returning from a leg injury. Ryan’s shot from close range was blocked well by the Holwell keeper, but Butler was able to tuck the ball into an empty net after sprinting to keep up with play.
The visitors sought to find a way back into the game from that point onwards, but other than a Harry Allcock shot which deflected off Maxwell and onto the post, they struggled to create too many dangerous situations.
With just over ten minutes left to play, Phillips smashed in Hucknall’s third goal of the afternoon. The versatile midfielder connected with Westcarr’s cut-back brilliantly by powering the ball beyond the keeper on the half-volley with his weaker foot.
Before the final whistle was blown, right-back Maxwell was sent off for a second bookable offence, which means he is set to miss Wednesday’s match away at Graham Street Prims.
Hucknall: Pearson, Maxwell, Kinnerley, Sims, Short (c), Jenkins, Butler, Phillips, Westcarr, Lamb (Crawford 75’), Ryan (Brown 85’)
Subs not used: Banister, Francis, Hubbard