Hucknall Town look to make home advantage count against Swanwick PR

Hucknall town v Holbrook sports. Game abandoned. Hucknall manager Andy Graves
Hucknall town v Holbrook sports. Game abandoned. Hucknall manager Andy Graves

Hucknall Town will look to make home advantage count when Swanwick Pentrich Road visit Watnall Road on Saturday, writes Matt Brooks.

The fixture, initially scheduled to be played at Swanwick, was switched this week due to the conditions of the Highfield Road pitch.

But Yellows boss Andy Graves is not underestimating the calibre of opposition, home or away, when the fourth-placed Swans visit.

They overturned Central Midlands Football League South Division leaders Matlock Town Reserves 3-2 on their own patch last week.

“They are always tough,” said Graves. “It would have been tough up at their ground and it’ll still be tough at our ground.

“They are a very good side, fourth in the league and not in a false position, so it will be a very tough game.

“They contacted the league, with a doubt about their pitch with all the rain, and suggested a reverse fixture. The league got in touch with our secretary and it was all agreed.

“I was up at our ground this morning and it’s looking okay. It drains pretty well and our groundsman will be working on it today and tomorrow in the lead up to Saturday.”

Hucknall go into the match second in the table and four points behind Matlock with three games in hand on the back of a 2-2 draw with Mickleover RBL.

After falling behind early on, Adam Nelson and Matt Brian put Hucknall ahead before Jordan Phillips fouled an opponent in the box and the visitors scored the resulting penalty.

Graves said: “Mickleover came into the game in pretty good form but we didn’t think we did enough. We got in front but we missed two chances before half time.

“Second half we huffed and puffed and put them under pressure but we’d shot ourselves in the foot by giving away a stupid penalty. Someone dived in rather than standing on their feet, gave a silly penalty away and that was the equaliser.

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“We couldn’t break them down after that, they were resilient and their keeper made a few good saves.”

Hucknall are back at Watnall Road on Tuesday night (19th March, 7.45pm kick off) when Basford United visit for a Notts Senior Cup semi-final.

“Realistically, on paper, we shouldn’t live with them,” said Graves.

“But it’s on grass, I think they’ve lost about 10 games away on grass this season, it won’t be pretty after we’ve played on it from Saturday.

“I’ve always said it’ll have to be a good team to beat us. Likewise, we’ll be up for it and we’ve got nothing to lose.

And added: “We’ve got league games in between the two cup semi-finals this month and they’re the big ones for us - I think we’ve got 10 cup finals.”