Yellows to sign international

Hucknall Town manager Andy Graves
Hucknall Town manager Andy Graves

An experienced ex-international striker is set to join Hucknall Town as manager Andy Graves moved to strengthen his squad after their 13-match unbeaten run was ended.

Graves hoped the necessary paperwork would be sorted in time for the Montserrat forward to join the Yellows’ squad for Saturday’s match against Blidworth Welfare.

Hucknall will be looking to bounce back after their surprise 2-1 reverse at bottom-of-the-table Holbrook St Michaels, where they were punished for two defensive errors.

Graves felt the Yellows had been mugged, but refused to be too critical of his side.

He said: “It would have been a different story if we had not turned up and had taken the game lightly, but that wasn’t the case.

“We just have to take it (the Holbrook defeat) on the chin and move on quickly.”

Hucknall dominated throughout, but were denied by a combination of poor finishing, good goalkeeping, the woodwork, two goalline clearances and a linesman’s flag.

Graves said: “Holbrook did what we couldn’t and they took the opportunity when it was presented to them — so good luck to them.

“We allowed ourselves to be mugged.

“But I am not going to crucify our keeper and defence as that’s the first time we have made mistakes like that all season.

“They have been superb in our unbeaten league run. They have given the foundation for those in front to do their job — which unfortunately they didn’t at Holbrook. We paid the penalty for not taking our chances.”

The manager said the lack of consistent goals from his strikers led to his decision to try to bring in the new forward.

Graves had already lost main marksman Ashley Whitt, who scored five goals in five games, through injury and last week striker Matt Brian signed for Heanor.

“Hopefully the signing will keep our forwards on their toes,” Graves said.

“The strikers have not been the main source of goals for us this season, they have come from everywhere else.

“We have been lucky in that, I suppose, as we have not missed Whitt too much.”

Hucknall, fourth in Central Midlands League South, are 10 points behind leaders Selston, but have four games in hand. This Saturday the Yellows host Blidworth, who they beat 7-1 in the CML League Cup in September.

But Graves said the cup win would have no bearing on this weekend’s clash, and insisted Blidworth were in a false position towards the bottom of the table.

“They are in good form, had a good FA Vase result and have done well in recent league games,” he said.

“I will probably make a few changes. I’m looking for a reaction (to the Holbrook defeat). It is all right winning games, like we have been doing, but now we must react to the defeat.

“If we play like we did against Blidworth in the cup, we will be all right.”