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Hucknall Town 2 - 1 Bilborough Town

Hucknall Town 2 - 1 Bilborough Town Waplington (58) Law (45) Richardson (O.G.) (90+1)

A last-minute own goal robbed Bilborough of a draw against Central Midlands League outfit, Hucknall Town, on Wednesday night. On a slow pitch at Watnall Road, a majority of the game was played in the middle of the park as both teams got to grips with the surface. Bilborough started the game the brighter and almost took an early lead when the ball rolled out to McKeag on the edge of the box, only for him to drag his shot wide. After good work from the impressive Nicholson at right back, Cross then had the chance to put the ball in the back of the net, only for it to be ruled offside. Hucknall's main asset going forward in the first half was Ashurst on the right wing. After some clever link-up play, Ashurst almost managed to poke home a scrambled cross but the presence of Ivanov forced him to stab it wide. The Romanies should have taken the lead when Croft superbly rolled his defender and left himself 12 yards from goal. But, on his weaker foot, he hooked his shot and could only look on as it hit the side-netting. Johnson was breaking up play in the middle of the park well and it was allowing the centre half partnership of Hayes and Richardson to easily play out from the back. It was from this passage of play when a soft freekick was awarded to Bilborough on the edge of the box. Law stepped up and whipped it exquisitely into the top corner, giving the keeper and wall absolutely no chance of keeping it out and giving Bilborough a deserved lead on the stroke of half-time. HT 1-0

As is the routine for pre-season friendlies, numerous changes were made to both teams at half-time and Town opted to go 3-5-2 - a not-so familiar formation. Again, though most of the game was played in the middle of the pitch, Hucknall capitalised on this and began pressing further up the pitch and were finding varying amounts of success on the wings. The Romanies' defence was holding tight until, on the hour mark, a cross was flicked onto substitute Waplington, who made no mistake when stabbing it home from point blank range to equalise for the home side. The rest of the game petered out with no real goalmouth action for either team, apart from a few potshots that were easily dealt with on both sides, as it became a real middle-of-the-park battle. Unfortunately, the last action of the game wasn't quite as glamorous as Bilborough's opening goal as a cross was whipped into the away side's box, only to deflect off Richardson's outstretched leg and loop over Ivanov into the goal to give Town the win with the last 'kick' of the game. FT 2-1

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