Excitement within the HUCKNALL ROLLS LEISURE camp was toned down after a second successive defeat in the Central Midlands League’s South Division -- this time at Pinxton.
Rolls’s achievement in reaching the quarter-finals of the Notts FA Senior Cup was put on the backburner by a 3-1 reverse, which was also marred by player unavailability.
No fewer than five men had to be drafted into the squad from the reserves, who did not have a game, and manager Jez Corthorn said: “This has become a concern, so we are hopeful of making two new signings before this weekend’s match.”
Rolls also continue to be without the influential Matthews brothers, Jack and Kane. Yet they began the match well and should have gone ahead when recalled striker Andy Start saw a penalty brilliantly saved after Jack James had been pushed.
Start made amends in the 25th minute when coolly converting a cross to finish a fine move down the right involving man-of-the-match Rory Smith and Greg Conn. And he almost added a second goal before the break. However, Rolls lost the game in the first four minutes of the second period when suddenly finding themselves 2-1 down.
First they conceded a needless penalty and to make matters worse, they were too slow to react when stand-in ‘keeper Jake Peraosn pulled off a good save from Kurtis Bamford’s kick. Instead Joel Smith pounced on the rebound to level. Next, more poor defending allowed Bamford to drift inside unchallenged and drive into the far corner.
After Pinxton had dominated the next 15 minutes, Rolls hit back, inspired in midfield by James, and forced home ‘keeper Gareth Briggs into several quality saves. But they tired late on and the game was up when Darren Bettison smashed home a third for the home team five minutes from the end.
ROLLS LINE-UP (3-4-1-2) -- Pearson J./ Buckley, Short, Duncan/ Smith R., James, Haskey, Thomas/ Conn/ Start A., Smith J. SUBS: Hayes G., Wass, Edwards C.