Saturday’s feature game was Hucknall Town hosting AFC Kilburn, but as an appetiser to this game, it was a quick trip into Sticky Palms’ neck of the woods to watch Keyworth Utd take on Hilton Harriers on Friday night.
Keyworth’s ground is very basic, but does the job. We were getting slightly worried when the rain started at half-time as there is no cover for spectators. The rain amounted to very little though and did nothing to spoil what turned out, in the end, to be a very good game. Even though the first half was goal-less, the home keeper made a couple of cracking saves to keep his team in the game. He could do nothing about Hilton’s first goal on 51 though. Chris Smith received the ball just outside the Keyworth area and hit a terrific drive that flew arrow straight into the top corner. Two minutes later the away team doubled their lead, this time Ben Sandeman shook off a couple of tackles before making his way into the penalty area and stroking the ball home.
All over? Not a bit of it. Keyworth reduced their deficit with 10 to play, Rob Gill nodding home a cross from the right at the far post. From where I was standing (directly in line!) the player who crossed the ball looked to be offside when he raced down the line to collect the pass from midfield, but the Hilton players didn’t appeal, and the linesman was a little behind play so the goal stood and the fightback was on!
With 3 minutes of added time already played, a Hilton defender made what looked a perfectly good tackle some 22 yards from goal, and looked on amazed, as did I, that the referee had awarded a free-kick for a foul. The player remonstrated, quite rightly, and was, quite rightly, booked. From my viewpoint, some 20 yards away, the ball looked to have been won cleanly and fairly, and to see a player punished for doing his job gets up my nose a little. We all know referee’s are easy targets to shoot at, and I rarely criticise officials, but on this occasion, I have to say the wrong call was made (in my opinion) by Mr. Hales. The punishment was added to big time when James Price stepped up and curled the set piece into the bottom corner! Goal timed at 90 + 5 minutes! F-T 2-2 Charity £1.20p
Hucknall Town v AFC Kilburn Saturday 12th August
Admission : £4;00 / £3.00
Hucknall Town welcomed CMFL South new boys to Watnall Road on a very, pleasant Saturday afternoon. It was not to remain pleasant for the visitors though, although they can go away from the ground with the knowledge that they had scored the best goal of the game! Pleased, if not somewhat surprised to see our friend Robin Bourne had the middle for this game. Usually Mr. Bourne would run a line, but on this occasion he was the man in charge, and handled the game in his usual calm and competant way.
With just three minutes played, Town were ahead. Joe Atkinson played a neat ball wide left for Joe Ashurst to run onto. The pacy winger collected the ball, ran into the box and coolly slotted it across the keeper into the far corner.
Hucknall were almost two up after 14 minutes, but after Dave Leek had flicked the ball on, Matt Brian’s header from close range crashed off the top of the bar. The home teams lead was doubled three minutes later though, this time an Ashurst corner headed powerfully home by Kajally Danso. Seconds later Danso added his second, connecting with the loose ball after Shaun Smith had been challenged in the box. Danso actually mis-kicked the ball into the ground, and was as amazed as everyone in the crowd when it looped over the stranded AFC keeper before nestling in the back of the net.
Town had to replace Ashurst and Atkinson with barely 25 minutes played, then lost Matt Brian who was injured diving at the near post to head home from a corner with 33 minutes gone. Jamie Crawford rounded off the first half for Town with their fifth, this time firing past the keeper after he was picked out with a neat ball from midfield. H-T 5-0
With Brian injured and options limited, Andy Graves made the decision to put James Beddingham in goal for the second half, releasing Mike Randall to play in the right-back position, a position he is quite happy at in Sunday football apparently.
Crawford added Town’s sixth four minutes after the restart, beating the AFC keeper to the ball and firing just inside the post. Three minutes later Smith added the seventh when he beat a defender to the ball and slotted calmly home. Smith headed over on 66 when it looked easier to score, but the front man did head the next cross at goal and Adam Nelson’s slight touch took the ball out of the keeper’s reach. Nelson was then guilty of a couple of glaring misses in front of goal, and as the game reached added time, Kilburn’s Craig Bagshaw found space some 25 yards from goal and hit a screamer into the top corner that gave Beddingham no chance. What a strike that was – out of the nine goals scored, definitely the best! F-T 8-1