Watnall Road – Hucknall Town

26 Apr

Hucknall Town – 0

Colwyn Bay – 1

Evostik Premier League – 23rd April 2011

The last away game of the season proper was upon us. It was a little different for me this one. Instead of commuting from my base in Manchester, I was home visiting parents for the weekend. As my mum celebrated her birthday with a first trip to Anfield for forty years, I hopped on the players and supporters coach for the trip to Hucknall in Nottinghamshire.

Next Stop: Hucknall!

Colwyn Bay had exceeded all expectations (including my own!) and were 1 point away from the playoffs. A win and a loss for Bradford Park Avenue would see a home tie for the Seagulls at least for the first leg. Hucknall on the other had have been in freefall this year. After relegation from the Conference North in 2009, Hucknall have struggled in the Evostik Premier League.  When this match came around they lied in the relegation position and a loss against the seagulls would result in them being placed deep in the mire.

What was lovely was the gesture from the club in the half-price coach travel for the game, and the trip down was seen watching the on-board themometer rise to a positively boiling 27 degrees. I left Colwyn Bay, which was a freezing 15 degrees, dressed in a coat, jeans and t-shirt. Unfortunately I was ridiculously overdressed, and sweltered when leaving the coach. Immediately upon arrival at Watnall Road, the home of Hucknall Town, we headed to the pub next to the ground, and did what anybody with any sense did.

Summer Days...Drifting Away...

Dived in, closed the curtains, and watched the Cardiff City vs QPR game.

2 pints later (which involved a discussion about my trip to Switzerland), I headed to the ground. Hucknall’s bar is only accesible from the outside at the start of the game (though with that said if you have a ticket you can go in or out easily), but it’s substansial with two bars, serving a wide range of beers, a teddy grabber and even a House of the Dead Machine. Bonus! After another pint I headed out, bought a badge for my scarf, and took shelter. The pitch was baking, the ground was dry and dusty, and the swealtering heat made for tricky conditions to play in. Standing on the terrace next to the Hucknall faithful with a drum, I surveyed the scene and it seemed almost Iberian.

The sandy pitch didn't help matters.

The game kicked off and already it seemed that the conditions would play a huge part. The dusty pitch seemed to cause a trail from the ball when played along the floor, making it run extremely fast. Players did suffer, one such one was after 4 minutes, when Hucknall defender Martin Bell was substituted injured. Despite the change, Hucknall started a lot brighter, settling a lot quicker, with a sense of urgency. These plans were also scuppered for the yellows after 15 minutes when a second defender went off injured. Although I didn’t say anything at the time I was fairly confident of a Bay victory at this point with both centre halfs out of the game. As time went on, Bay pressured and could’ve taken the lead before the break. Although curiously from our vantage point we saw two Hucknall players booked before the end for arguing with each other. I couldn’t confirm this was true though, as the loud banging and shouting from the home fans did provide an unwelcome distraction. Half Time: 0-0.

The second half was spent slowly roasting in the sweltering heat, as although a few degrees were taken off the temperature, it was still baking. I returned to under shelter for the start of the second half, though thankfully the drum wielding Hucknall fans were on the other side of the ground.

Bay started a lot brighter, leading the charge and deservingly took the lead on the hour mark when John Newby. With the previous week’s game saw a capitualtion of Colwyn Bay (losing a 2-0 lead to lose 4-3), the seagulls pushed for a second, often being denied by the offside flag and the keeper.

Towards the end of the game, Colwyn Bay ran the ball into the corners.

With 15 minutes to go, Hucknall pressed for an equaliser. A few desperate handball shouts, weak shots and wayward headers, and Colwyn Bay saw out the last quarter of an hour, although the ref blowed the final whistle when Hucknall was on the attack. Final score: Hucknall Town 0-1 Colwyn Bay.

Colwyn Bay in the playoffs, yet Hucknall are stuck right in the mire of relegation with one game left to go. Although not certain to go down, it looks very poor for them. I felt really sorry for them, there were far worse teams (both in terms of support and welcomes) to go down. It’s a damn shame. After kicking the rear end of Hucknall on the pitch, we shared a few drinks, fed by the catering staff, and took a few photos before leaving Hucknall. Best of luck for next season.

We headed home, which was great fun and I enjoyed coach trips home from last season (culminating in the away game at Lancaster City). As it was the last game of the season, we looked to stop at a pub. We stopped at the first pub we saw – The Racecouse in Uttoxeter – in which we were thrown out because we looked like football hooligans. Whatever. Don’t drink there peeps! The next pub we saw a lot later on near Cheshire Oaks was a lot accomodating, serving us with cool beer, and then we’re on our way back home.

Glorious weather and great company, what better way to spend a Saturday?

About Rhys Wynne

Rhys Wynne is the editor & creator of You're Supposed To Be At Home. For his sins, he is a Colwyn Bay & Liverpool fan, and a serial blog creator. You can follow Rhys on twitter here.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply