Nelson the cup battle hero as town upset the form book

Adam Nelson (yellow) who was Hucknall's hero with the late winner, pictured in action earlier this year.

Pic by Dan Westwell

Adam Nelson (yellow) who was Hucknall's hero with the late winner, pictured in action earlier this year. Pic by Dan Westwell

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Delighted Hucknall boss Andy Graves praised his side’s character after they grabbed an extra-time winner to reach the second round of the FA Vase.

Town shrugged off conceding two injury-time strikes to the hosts, who are from a level above the yellows, thanks to the recalled Adam Nelson.

Nelson fired home his second goal of the game in the 101st minute after latching on to a pass.

Graves said: “ We showed good character in extra-time after conceding those late goals in a mad two minutes.

“I told the players there was no need to feel sorry for ourselves. That game (the first 90 minutes) had gone and we had another game of 30 minutes.

“I said if we played as well as we had done and cut out those mistakes that had cost us, we would win.

“To the players’ huge credit that’s what we did and they looked after the ball a lot better and managed the game well.

“Overall we pretty much dominated.”

Nelson had given Town a 19th minute lead when he followed up his well-saved shot to score from the rebound.

After his late winner earned a second round home tie against Rocester, of the Midland Football League, on November 12, Graves joked: “He will be on at me now for a starting place on Saturday — and he possibly will do as we have one or two knocks.

“I will watch Rocester on Tuesday.

“We shouldn’t lack any confidence against them and they will have to be a good side to beat us.”

Graves made a few changes for the Vase tie and praised Jamie Crawford, who switched from the right wing to the left, for a man-of-the-match performance.

Crawford made it 2-0 in the 26th minute with a shot into the far corner after cutting inside.

Town defended well at the start of the second half before the hosts were handed a lifeline from a controversial 79th minute penalty.

An Ashby forward ran on to a ball and Town keeper Mike Randall slid out at his feet. The striker lifted the ball over Randall and on to the top of the net before both players made contact.

Graves said: “No one in the ground appealed for a penalty, not even their players.”

Quinn netted the penalty, but within three minutes the visitors had restored their two-goal cushion when Jordan Phillips swept home following a quick counter attack.

Town looked to have secured their place in the second round, but they conceded twice in injury-time as Town failed to clear a free kick and were then punished for a poor clearance.

However, there were no scares in extra-time as Nelson struck the winner and the hosts never looked like finding another equaliser.

On Saturday in-form Town return to league action with a trip to Holbrook St Michaels.

They are third in Central Midlands South, having dropped just two points so far, and are seven points behind leaders Selston with four games in hand.

Graves added: “I know it is a cliche, but we have just got to take one game at a time.

“We have got a strong squad at the moment, so those who go on to the pitch each week know that they have to perform as we have got good back-up.”