A controversial winning goal 15 minutes from time capped a night of frustration for HUCKNALL TOWN on Tuesday against the team managed by their former legendary striker, Danny Bacon.
Bacon’s resurgent Blidworth Welfare snatched a 1-0 victory to threaten Town’s place in the top five of the Central Midlands League’s South Division. But only after a match in which The Yellows spurned a cluster of chances and paid the price for a couple of hotly disputed refereeing decisions.
The second of those decisions led to the goal when the ref allowed a Blidworth free-kick to be taken while he was still talking to Town full-back James Rigg. The Yellows duly lost both their defensive shape and their concentration, conceding a corner, from which Jordan Harris scored with a flicked header.
The game was the re-arranged version of the one that was abandoned 17 days earlier when Yellows striker Aaron Evans sustained a suspected serious leg-injury. Amazingly, Evans’s remarkable recovery enabled him to make a brave attempt at a comeback in a Town team missing four key players because of injuries and work commitments. And he was involved in the other incident that angered the visitors in the 70th minute when he was put through for what would have been a one-on-one, only to be brought down from behind by defender Jordan Simpson.
Because he was last man, Town felt Simpson should have been sent off. But he was shown only a yellow card, and their pain was hardly assuaged late on in the game when Simpson did walk for a push on Cameron Davidson, which harshly reduced Blidworth to ten men for the last eight minutes.
Mind you, Town had only themselves to blame for their poor finishing. Montell Gatland, who ran his full-back ragged, smashed a shot straight at the ‘keeper. A cross by Stef Whitely needed only a touch from Davidson or Gatland to go in. Nathan Robinson failed to connect with a free header from two yards. And late on, Josh Rafferty, Whitely and Gatland all went agonisingly close.
Said boss Andy Graves: “I thought we deserved at least a point, but I was frustrated by our finishing. The ref got two decisions totally wrong, and later apologised for the one that led to the goal.”
TOWN LINE-UP (4-5-1) -- Beddingham/ Rigg, Leak (man-of-match), Atkinson, Pitt/ Gatland, Robinson, Brown, Davidson, Evans/ Whitely. SUBS USED: Rafferty, Spencer.