AOFC 1 vs 3 Hucknall Town FC
Hucknall too strong for Cranmers
Aslockton & Orston welcomed league leaders Hucknall Town to Orston in a game where all proceeds would go towards Ash Lea Special School, Cotgrave. With a great attendance, visiting groundhoppers and the school's headteacher present, everyone was hoping for a good game with plenty of money going through the till.
The league leaders started shaky, losing the ball straight from kick off and conceding a corner, however Aslockton were unable to create anything from the set piece. From then on Hucknall dominated the half, creating some good chances initially, but the home side relied on the post on two occasions, plus good saves from Joe Fryer who was back in goal after injury. George McCartney was injured within 10 minutes and Lewis Bonham replaced him. Hucknall earned several corners in the first half and their first goal of the game came from a Joe Ashurst corner as Ben Jones bundled the ball home. Hucknall's second came from another set piece. Aslockton managed to clear the first ball in to the area but it fell nicely to captain, Joe Atkinson who found the bottom corner via a deflection that almost took the ball past the post. Up the other end it seemed as though Aslockton & Orston should have had a penalty when Josh Asuman was bundled to the ground in the area after a sharp burst, however the referee was unmoved. The half time whistle went, and despite being 2 - 0, Hucknall were by no means pleased with their performance and Aslockton were hoping for a second half comeback.
Aslockton did come out brighter second half aiming to work their way back in to the game. Hucknall defended well though and crowded out lone striker Josh Asuman. The home side's midfield were growing in confidence and youngster Pierce Hallam was battling against Hucknall's centre midfield, Jordan Phillips who had won everything in the air in the first half. Hallam certainly won the battle in the second half as he was dominant. Ryan Campbell was having an excellent game at right back, marking Hucknall's top goalscorer and main threat, Joe Ashurst. Later in the half Ashurst was replaced after being marshalled well all game by Campbell. Aslockton made a change as Matt James was replaced by Sam Smith, and James Hallam was sent up front to join Asuman. This had an impact on the game as Aslockton started to push forward more, however Hucknall always looked dangerous from set plays, despite creating relatively little from open play. Just as Aslockton were starting to gain momentum Hucknall grabbed their third. A high ball in the area wasn't defended properly and it eventually fell for Jamie Crawford who smashed home despite the best efforts from Joe Fryer and Oliver Warner throwing themselves in the way of the shot. Aslockton's momentum didn't falter though and they began to create chances of their own. Josh Asuman made a fine solo run but was unable to convert a shot towards goal, whilst brothers Pierce and James Hallam linked up brilliantly down the left but Pierce Hallam's through ball to Asuman was well cut out. Callum Thorpe replaced Lewis Bonham as the Cranmers made their final change. Aslockton did pull a goal back as Pierce Hallam's cross-come-shot looped over the Hucknall keeper and in to the far corner of the net. Hucknall lost two players due to head injuries as Jones clashed heads with Asuman and Phillips was caught by Callum Thorpe's boot after a slide tackle and his nose poured with blood. The home side thought they had earned another goal back as Josh Asuman found himself one on one and lobbed the keeper, but thanks to heroic defending the Hucknall centre half managed to prevent the ball crossing the line. 3 - 1 the final score, and a deserved victory for the league leaders, despite a tricky last 15 minutes as Aslockton tried to claw it back.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to the funds raised as we have given over £300 to Ash Lea School. The money taken on the gate, as well as through the cafe raised plenty, whilst all the Aslockton players chucked at least £3 in to raise the total. Also a special thanks to Hucknall manager Andy Graves who donated £10.
MOTM was close as Ryan Campbell was fantastic at right back, but it was Pierce Hallam who earnt the award. As the youngest player in the squad at 17 he was excellent against an experienced Hucknall side, earning himself a goal in the process.