Nervous Hucknall Town are sweating on the availability of key player Joe Ashurst as they aim to take another step down the road to FA Vase glory this weekend.
Ashurst (pictured) was controversially sent off in the goalless draw at Rainworth Miners Welfare on Saturday that maintained Town’s unbeaten start to their debut season in the East Midlands Counties League.
But Town have lodged an appeal, which is being heard on Friday, and if he is cleared, he will be free to play at Bourne Town in the Second Qualifying Round of the Vase.
“It was a very harsh red card,” said Town boss Andy Graves. “Players went in for a tackle, and there was a tangle of legs.
“The linesman, who was four yards away, didn’t give anything, but the referee ran more than 30 yards with a red card in his hand.”
Despite Ashurst’s dismissal as early as the 35th minute, the Yellows were the better side against a Rainworth outfit yet to win this term.
“I was very happy with the performance,” said Graves. “We played exceptionally well, apart from putting the ball in the net.
“The best thing about the game was keeping a clean sheet because we have been giving away some silly goals.”
None more silly than in the previous round of the Vase when Town beat Holbrook Sports 4-3 in an astonishing tie when all seven goals came in extra-time and Town hit back from 3-1 down to win with ten men with the last kick of the game.
Tomorrow’s Lincolnshire opponents, Bourne, are bottom of the United Counties League’s First Division, which is on the same level of the non-league ladder as Town.
Graves added: “I don’t know much about them, but we will be prepared. Teams have got to be good to beat us.”