I travelled on Saturday to Hucknall Town to see them play Borrowash Victoria.
My memory was always of them being a successful team but I noticed that they now play in the United Counties League Division One. Infact they were Champions of the Northern Premier League, Premier Division in 2004 but we’re denied promotion to the Conference due to ground grading. Hucknall kept up their higher status when in 2006 they were finalists in the F.A. Trophy only losing to Greys Athletic on penalties 6-5. Since these highs financial constraints and problems have seen them relegated, demoted and league reorganised to now play in the United Counties League Division One. With finances now well under control they are looking to climb back up the tiers although there are others as equally committed to the same goal. Hucknall though have seen many twists and turns since they were formed in 1943 as Hucknall Collier Welfare F.C. and I wouldn’t bet against them achieving their aim.
Their opponents Borrowash Victoria were initially formed much earlier in 1911 and have had several reincarnations and a move to nearby Spondon. They have played their football in the North Midlands not rising as high as Hucknall and find themselves this season adrift at the bottom of the league.
The rain that had been torrential in the morning had stopped prior to the game, leaving grey skies and a cool breeze. The heavy pitch had very muddy goal areas and touchlines and was slightly domed shaped falling away to each corner. The facilities at the ground include a very large covered seated area and good standing behind the goals with one end covered. The club house was big and well used with a good bar and refreshment bar. The whole ground would sit well at a higher level.
Hucknall Town F.C. 10 Borrowash Victoria A.F.C. 2
Saturday 8th January 2022. Venue: Watnall Road Ground – United Counties League Division One
Yellows v Vics: 5th placed v 23rd (Bottom)
Strip: Home – Yellow shirts with black arms and shoulders and black shorts.
Away – Red and White vertical striped shirts with red sleeves and shoulders with red shorts.
The game started cagily with teams getting used to the conditions and on 5 minutes a ball was mishit in midfield to allow Nathan Bennett of Borrowash to run through and hit a perfect short from the edge of the area to sail into the top right hand corner of the net, A surprising start to the game.
It was a bad start for Hucknall that became worse when their goalkeeper could not get off the floor after his attempt to stop the goal. Five minutes of the physios time was no help and he left the field in some considerable pain in what looked like an ankle injury most probably brought about by the sticky conditions.
Hucknall though took control and fifteen minutes later Craig Westcarr received the ball on the right and took it further away from the goal and then expertly chipped the keeper for them to draw level. Only two minutes later he had scored again, this time from the penalty spot after Aaron Lamb had been tripped.
The floodgates now opened and two minutes later and Aaron Lamb was finding the net at the near post after a through ball. A fourth was added by David Leake who met a corner from the right with a thunderous header.
To add to Borrowash’s woes Westcarr completed his hattrick when just before half time he tapped in a fifth when he pounced on a ball amongst a group of players.
Borrowash started the second half with more resolve but that man Craig Westccarr made it six when met a cross which he thumped into the righthand corner of the goal. Grant Ryan came on for Hucknall and his swash buckling approach was rewarded when he guided a ball home from close range.
That man Westcarr again made it eight as he hit a straight long range effort that fizzed into the net. Another substitute , Cayne Maxwell, stepped up to add two more, the first with a far post nod down and the tenth an easy shot with no opposition.
With some very black clouds looming and the cold creeping into the body Borrowash ended the scoring as they had begun it with a very good goal when 14 made a lot of ground to cut it back for 10 to guide home. Ten Two to the home team was an emphatic win with some very good play . Even with this heavy defeat Borrowash never gave up and there were some good performances by some of their players.
The chips were a good quantity, very hot, a little soggy but tasted better than they looked. A score of 78 was because of the taste although they did leave a bit of a greasy taste in the mouth for a while after.