RELEGATION candidates Hucknall Town finally recorded their first Evo-Stik League, Premier Division win of 2011 with an emphatic thumping of rock-bottom Retford United on Tuesday night (March 22).
The Yellows were far too good for basement-boys Retford as they ran riot in a 5-2 success. It was Town’s first league victory since a 4-3 triumph over Kendal Town on November 13.
Striker Tyeisse ‘TJ’ Nightingale was the hero with a scintillating hat-trick.
But one-to-11, Town were full of passion, energy, skill, determination and drive.
Every player was vocal and there was a sense of a real togetherness about The Yellows — especially in the face of some aggressive Retford antics.
The win wasn’t enough to pull Tommy Brookbanks’ side out of the relegation-zone, thanks to results elsewhere, but it was the tonic they needed as they approach their do-or-die run-in.
Brookbanks made two changes to the 11 that narrowly lost 2-1 to FC Halifax Town at Watnall Road three days earlier, as Anthony Griffith Junior and Jared Holmes replaced Callum Lloyd and the injured Dion Chambers.
And The Yellows could not have made a better start at Cannon Park as they raced into a 3-0 lead by the 21st minute.
On ten, Griffith Junior exchanged a one-two with Holmes on the edge of the box before firing past David Darwent from ten yards.
Three minutes later, Nightingale stroked home from the penalty spot after Holmes was fouled.
And the game was as good as over on 21 when Grant Ryan thumped home his first goal for the club from Nightingale’s cross.
Retford centre-half Matt Blake pulled a goal back on the half hour with a delicious angled drive into the top corner from 16 yards after robbing the ball from James Jepson.
But Town’s three-goal cushion was restored four minutes later as Nightingale raced onto a long ball from Ryan, before hitting a clinical, first-time, left-foot finish into the far bottom corner from 18 yards.
Nightingale completed his treble on 62 when tapping home from close range after Jepson’s cross was knocked back across goal by Martin Ball.
Former Yellow Niall O’Brien grabbed a consolation on 76 when he beat ‘keeper Ross Whalin with a snap-shot from 18 yards.
TOWN LINE-UP (4-4-2) - Whalin/ Boafo, Diuk, Ball, Jepson/ Smith, Burge, Holmes, Griffith Junior/ Nightingale, Ryan. SUBS: Brindley (for Boafo 45), Graham (for Nightingale 65), Goodacre (for Burge 71), Whitman (not used), Lloyd (not used). CROWD: 148.