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Hucknall Town v Blackstones

7.45pm 15 March 2023

United Counties League, Division One
Hucknall Town 2 Blackstones 1 (att 170)

It feels like years since the first talk of a new ground for Hucknall Town. The move finally happened this season, but even then the wait was extended, after what would have been the opening fixture, against Blackstones in December, was postponed.

The RM Stadium eventually staged its first game in January, while the visit of Stamford-based Blackstones was re-arranged for a Wednesday night in March.

New floodlit grounds within reach after work are few and far between these days, so I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity for a midweek match to recomplete the United Counties League.

Hucknall's new home, close to their old one, is quite good for a new-build. A main stand runs the full length of the side nearest the entrance, with two seated areas and covered standing.

There's a large covered area at one end, while the rest of the ground is open flat standing, with plenty of room for further development should league status and crowds demand it.

The club is well supported, and kept alive hopes of promotion to 'step five' with a win that seemed unlikely as the game passed the 90 minute mark.

The first half was even and mostly forgettable, but the evening livened up after the break. Blackstones took a deserved lead, and missed good chances to extend their advantage.

Ultimately they paid a high price for profligacy in front of goal. Blackstones were already hanging on as the game went into stoppage time, and a well-placed Hucknall shot beat the keeper.

The home supporters were still celebrating a point when their side got a free kick on the edge of the box. The resulting shot hit the crossbar before the rebound was headed in. There wasn't even time to restart before the final whistle was blown.