MATCH GALLERY: Hucknall Town beaten by controversial Sherwood goals

Hucknall Town boss Andy Graves promised to meet disgruntled fans after the Yellows’ controversial 2-1 defeat at Central Midlands League South Division top-five rivals Sherwood.

Hucknall Town FC v Sherwood Colliery FC

Hucknall Town FC v Sherwood Colliery FC

The home side leapfrogged Hucknall into fourth, leaving Town in fifth, 16 points behind leaders Selston but with five matches in hand.

Graves said after the match: “Whenever we lose certain quarters seem to go into meltdown and panic, but without full knowledge of all the facts.

“Their comments — more often than not from the same frustration myself, Phil, players and committee feel — get taken out of context.

“With this in mind and with the backing of the committee, I hope to hold a question-and-answer evening or morning, which fans could attend and also get an update on the new ground.

Hucknall Town FC v Sherwood Colliery FC

Hucknall Town FC v Sherwood Colliery FC

“In the meantime I can be approached before and after games.”

Unhappy Hucknall said both Sherwood goals were down to errors by the referee’s assistants.

The opening goal came from a first-half corner as Leon Aikman appeared to clear off the line in a scramble.

The 83rd-minute winner, after Matt Brian had levelled in the second period, followed a cross with the Yellows claiming the ball had run out of play.

Hucknall Town FC v Sherwood Colliery FC

Hucknall Town FC v Sherwood Colliery FC

Graves added: “I feel desperately for the players after that — and the supporters.

“The phase of play that led to the corner for their opener was influenced by a very poor decision by a linesman, who struggled to keep up with play at the best of times. Then even from the corner he has moved five yards up from the corner flag, so how could he see a ball crossing the line from that position? I despair.

“Then (for the second goal) the ball was out but they were allowed to play on and score the winner from that move.

“It added insult to injury. We are not getting big decisions at an important stage of the season, but we have to quickly move on.”

Hucknall Town FC v Sherwood Colliery FC

Hucknall Town FC v Sherwood Colliery FC

Graves said Hucknall had more than enough chances to win the game, despite the controversy.

“I thought the overall performance was on par with our early season league and Vase form,” he added.

“We still have plenty to play for. With everyone slipping up over the last few weeks things have got tighter for those behind Selston, but it’s given them the first bit of breathing space this season if all games (played) were level – last year they were out of sight.”

Hucknall started well and played neat football that had Sherwood pinned in their own half, but were unable to create a real threat from several corners.

The home side were relying on balls into the channels or the more dangerous ball down the middle. From one of those the initial danger was cleared for a corner. A free header was parried by Mike Randall and the loose ball finally cleared off the line by Aikman following a scramble.

However, the referee’s assistant, who Hucknall said was standing five yards up from the corner flag, indicated the ball had crossed the line.

Hucknall Town FC v Sherwood Colliery FC

Hucknall Town FC v Sherwood Colliery FC

The Yellows responded with Matt Brian testing the keeper in between two huge appeals for penalties being turned down following pushes on Ashley Whitt and Dave Leak.

Sherwood threatened with quick breakaways. From one, Randall tackled an advancing forward to regain possession for the Yellows and they moved forward to create a good chance to equalise, but Leon Aikman blazed over.

After the break the Yellows pressed for an equaliser through Brian and Joe Ashurst shots. Their perseverance and patience finally paid off when Whitt was played through. He failed to shoot before being crowded out, but kept possession and laid the ball to Brian who fired low into the net to level.

The Yellows’ tempo increased further with runs by Aikman and Ashurst causing problems. Adam Nelson replaced Whitt and had two good opportunities, but both one-on-ones were saved by the home keeper.

Then Nelson just failed to convert an Ashurst cross as Hucknall pressed for the winner.

Sherwood posed little threat until seven minutes from time when the other referees’ assistant initially gave what appeared to be a Yellows throw the other way. Then, more damagingly, from the throw he allowed play to go on when a Sherwood wide man seemed to take the ball out of play.

The ball was crossed with Town caught out by the decision and tapped in for a fortunate winner.

The visitors pressed for a second equaliser, but Sherwood held out.

Hucknall Town FC v Sherwood Colliery FC

Hucknall Town FC v Sherwood Colliery FC

Hucknall Town FC v Sherwood Colliery FC

Hucknall Town FC v Sherwood Colliery FC

Hucknall Town FC v Sherwood Colliery FC

Hucknall Town FC v Sherwood Colliery FC

Hucknall Town FC v Sherwood Colliery FC

Hucknall Town FC v Sherwood Colliery FC

Hucknall Town FC v Sherwood Colliery FC

Hucknall Town FC v Sherwood Colliery FC