Hucknall Town to stage Notts FA Senior Cup final

FIT FOR A CUP FINAL -- Hucknall Town's Watnall Road ground is to stage the Notts FA Saturday Senior Cup showpiece.
FIT FOR A CUP FINAL -- Hucknall Town's Watnall Road ground is to stage the Notts FA Saturday Senior Cup showpiece.

Hucknall Town are to host this season’s most prestigious match on the Nottinghamshire non-league football calendar, it has been announced.

Proud Town will stage the final of the Notts FA Saturday Senior County Cup at Watnall Road on Tuesday 29th April.

The match is Notts FA’s annual showpiece event and has previously been held at the grounds of all of the county’s Football League clubs, Nottingham Forest, Notts County and Mansfield Town.

Indeed when Hucknall themselves last won the trophy, it was at Notts County’s Meadow Lane ground back in 2003 when Phil Starbuck’s side defeated Teversal 2-0.

The Yellows’ fall from grace means they have not contested a final since that night. But the decision by Notts FA proves that, despite their financial woes in recent seasons, the Hucknall club’s facilities remain among the best on the non-league circuit in Notts.

Hucknall will also be hoping the Senior Cup final can boost their coffers, via business in the Talk Of The Town social club both before and after the game.

It’s the first time Watnall Road has staged the final since 2012 when Eastwood Town beat Clifton 2-0.

The match looks sure to be a high-quality contest because the two semi-finals, scheduled for next midweek, feature four of the highest-ranked clubs in the county.

On Tuesday, Retford United host Rainworth Miners Welfare. And 24 hours later, holders Carlton Town entertain Basford United.

Carlton, who hammered Sutton Town 5-2 in last season’s final at Coronation Park, Eastwood, and Rainworth sit tenth and 11th respectively in Division One South of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League.

While Basford and Retford sit third and seventh respectively in the Premier Division of the Northern Counties East League.

Basford, managed by ex-professional strikers Martin Carruthers and Chris Freestone, are very much the Nottinghamshire non-league team of the moment, having swept through the leagues via three consecutive promotions.

The dates and venues for all of Notts FA’s county cup finals, in Saturday and Sunday football, have also been fixed.

On Saturdays, the Intermediate Cup will be at Eastwood Town on Thursday 24th April and the Junior Cup at Arnold Town’s Eagle Valley Stadium on Tuesday 22nd April.

On Sundays, the Senior Cup has been earmarked for Tuesday 1st April at Eastwood Town, the Intermediate Cup for Thursday 3rd April at Arnold Town and the Junior Cup for Tuesday 8th April at Arnold.

The Sunday Senior Cup final could yet be contested by Hucknall side Green Dragon, who are bossed by one of the few women managers in men’s football in the county, Norma Hatfield. Weather permitting, Dragon take on Gedling Inn in the first semi-final this coming weekend.