Hucknall train their sights on Badgers again

Hucknall Town v Eastwood Community in the CMFL Challenge Cup Quarter Final, Saturday February 11th 2017. Jamie Crawford in action for Hucknall.
Hucknall Town v Eastwood Community in the CMFL Challenge Cup Quarter Final, Saturday February 11th 2017. Jamie Crawford in action for Hucknall.

Hucknall Town will aim for a quickfire wining double over Central Midlands League South title rivals Eastwood Community at Watnall Road this Saturday.

Hucknall took the honours in the first of their two successive home games with the Badgers last weekend, winning 2-0 in the League Cup quarter-finals.

But boss Andy Graves admitted he would readily swap their place in the semi-finals for the three points up for grabs this weekend.

“The league is very much our priority so I would gladly swap last week for three points this Saturday,” he said.

“But, as we are still in both competitions, we will try our best to win them.”

Hucknall go into the game in fourth place on 38 points, with four games in hand on second-placed Eastwood and nine points adrift of them.

“I don’t think we learned too much more about Eastwood last weekend,” said Graves.

“We just know it will be another tough game this Saturday – they always are.

“They have changed their style a little and seem to play a bit more football than they used to, which makes them a much more dangerous side.

“But when they drop back to their old style, putting tackles in, that played into our hands actually.”

He added: “They started off playing football, but once the frustration set in there were one or two tackles flying around and we knew we’d got the upper hand.

“Hopefully, it will be the same on Saturday. We had to graft, obviously, due to the conditions. But we tried to play as much football as we possibly could.

“Hopefully it will be the same on Saturday. We like to play football no matter what the conditions are. We are not a long ball, route one side. If we all work together we should be all right.”

Graves is hoping he won’t have to make too many changes to this preferred starting line-up.

“We had a couple of enforced changes and a couple by choice last weekend,” he said. “We will have to make a couple of changes this weekend too, not by choice.

“But it will be a pretty strong side and hopefully the weather will be dry for us to get the pitch prepared as it suited us last week.

“I noticed Paddy Webb was missing up front for Eastwood but otherwise they looked to be pretty much full strength.”

Hucknall escaped the mass postponements after last weekend’s snow and will stay off their pitch until the weekend.

“We won’t be training on it as the groundsman wants to work on it,” said Graves.

“It played all right last weekend to be fair to say it had all that snow on it.

“We were one of the only games that got played locally which is credit to our groundsman.”

Hucknall fans can meet with Graves and other club officials in an official questions and answers session before the game on Saturday.

He said: “I have the Q&A with supporters, hopefully if they turn up, at noon on Saturday before the game and we obviously have things to tell them.

“We’ll give them the info they want and tell them about the new ground.”

Another bonus for Hucknall the last two weeks is local televised coverage of their games.

“We’ve been lucky enough to have the game covered by the Notts Non-League Football TV Show the last two weeks and the highlights are on YouTube which makes things interesting and is better for me as I can watch things again,” he smiled.