Hucknall Town defeat Stapenhill to progress in FA Vase

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Hucknall Town progressed to the second qualifying round of the FA Vase to meet Arnold Town after beating Stapenhill FC 4-0.

In the process the Yellows became the only Central Midlands club to go through.

Boss Andy Graves said: “I’m delighted for the players against a very direct and big side that we had to be strong against at set pieces, as I could only see them threatening from them.

“We probably got sucked into a ten minute spell in the first half in copying their high balls which is not our game, but we spoke at half time and the second half the lads made it comfortable and we probably should have had a few more.

“We are in the next round and move on one game at a time and look forward to our league game against Sherwood.

“I should say the support from behind the goal was fantastic and the atmosphere during games gets better each home game, which the players really do appreciate.”

With Dave Leak unavailable due to work, Kajally Danso started in his normal position of centre back alongside Joe Atkinson; Myles Gorey was also unavailable so Junior Harding came back into the midfield.

Stapenhill, who have most players pushing six foot, tried to knock the ball high and long from the whistle and after five minutes became predictable – Atkinson and Kajally more than matching their opposite number in aerial duals.

Town were dealt a blow after eight minutes when Danso slid in on the touchline but as well as winning the ball his momentum took a Stapenhill player and Town’s right back over the line as well.Maxwell damaged his ankle and is likely to be sidelined for six weeks.

Youngster Montell Gatland replaced him, two minutes later Town took the lead when Niall Thompson turn his marker and shot powerfully into the far corner of the Stapenhill goal from outside the area.

The rest of the half saw Stapenhill force corners but Town defended well and James Beddingham commanded his box brilliantly – the brightest piece of football Stapenhill produced on the floor was from a lovely back heel pass but the resulting shot went tamely wide.

Town played most of their football on the floor and gave signs that if they stepped their momentum up in the second half they would produce better chances, Michael Banister especially working tirelessly in Towns midfield.

This was the case as early on in the second half as Leon Aikman started to drive forward with more purpose and after winning the ball in midfield he burst between two Stapenhill defenders and slid the ball wide of the advancing keeper to give Town a two goal cushion.

Town were looking threatening every time they went forward and with a little more care could have doubled their lead – at the other end Beddingham had his only save of note to make as Town allowed Stapenhill too much time on the ball to make space for the shot.

Niall Thompson finally gave Town a more comfortable score line with a his second well taken goal, Town should have made it four when the ball ricocheted around in front of the Stapenhill box with several shots blocked before Aikman smash a shot that came back of the post.

The fourth goal came in added time as substitute Nathan Francis skipped passed his marker and ran in on goal from the diagonal and shot into the far corner of the net to seal Towns passage into the next round.

Hucknall (4-2-3-1): James Beddingham, Cayne Maxwell, Kajally Danso, Joe Atkinson, Tom Crisp, Michael Banister, Junior Harding, Adam Nelson, Leon Aikman, Ben Waplington, Niall Thompson.

Subs Used: Montell Gatland - Maxwell, Johnny Hamilton – Waplington, Nathan Francis – Nelson.

Sub Not Used: Mike Randal.

Town MOM: Kajally Danso.