Trio produce impressive debuts as Town hit seven

Hucknall Town v Holbrook St Michaels
Hucknall Town v Holbrook St Michaels

Hucknall Town made an explosive start to their Abacus Lighting Central Midlands League campaign with a seven-goal blast against visitors Holbrook St Michaels.

Town gave full debuts to new signings Ashley Whitt, Jamie Crawford and Jordan Phillips and they all made impressive starts and each scored goals.

After a cagey opening ten minutes Michael Banister stung the Holbrook keeper’s fingers with a 20 yard strike which the stopper did well to push around the post for a corner.

This lifted the Yellows’ tempo and they took the lead through a well-taken goal from Whitt. Joe Ashurst played a delightful ball up the line to Whitt who took it inside from the left and fired the ball into the bottom corner.

Crawford then saw the keeper off his line and tried a 35-yard chip which narrowly missed the target.

Adam Nelson had a golden chance from five yards out to make it three but somehow the ball ended the wrong side of the goal – however, he was more clinical when he ran onto a Crawford slide rule pass and guided the ball past the keeper.

Nelson followed up with his second after Whitt worked the ball out well from the corner flag and played Nelson in.

The second-half saw several chances go begging for the Yellows early on as they appeared to take their foot off the gas, however the introduction of Montell Gatland lifted the tempo followed by Matthew Brian replacing Nelson.

Crawford made it five with another angled chip which nestled in the far corner, and then provided a perfect corner kick which was met by a powerful header by Brian which gave the keeper no chance.

Phillips then reacted quickest to a bouncing loose ball following another corner and he nodded the ball over the line from close range to round off the scoring.

Boss Andy Graves said: “This was a very pleasing start but we will not get carried away.

“I thought once we got the first goal and settled any first game nerves we would go on and create a lot of chances which proved the case and the ruthlessness we lacked last season was there.

“The football was excellent and the apart the 20 minute period in the second-half our work rate and tempo was good.

“We had a tough pre-season and I know we will get sterner tests but it’s set us up right plus we have brought some quality players in and the competition in all places is fierce.”

Hucknall: Mike Randall, Kajally Danso, Dave Leak, Joe Atkinson, Cayne Maxwell, Michael Banister, Jordan Phillips, Jamie Crawford, Joe Ashurst (Montell Gatland), Ashley Whitt (Mitchell Slawson), Adam Nelson (Matthew Brian).

Sub not used: Cameron Davidson.