Fresh firepower adds clout to Rollers’ double bid

HARRY'S BACK -- striker Harry Allen, who is ready to return from injury for Hucknall Rolls Leisure.
HARRY'S BACK -- striker Harry Allen, who is ready to return from injury for Hucknall Rolls Leisure.
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A fresh injection of firepower looks set to boost the league and cup double chances of HUCKNALL ROLLS LEISURE in the Notts Senior League.

Rolls suffered a drought of only two goals in five matches during March. But a 3-1 win at Awsworth Villa in the Senior Division last week unearthed a new array of options for managers Jez Corthorn and Jonathan ‘Toddy’ Wass.

For alongside the evergreen Andy Start, new signing Robbie England popped up with a couple of goals, while on the substitutes’ bench were the Allen brothers, Harry and Jack, who are returning from long injury-absences.

All four will be competing for places in the season’s run-in, which culminates in the league’s Senior Cup final against Boots Athletic at Arnold Town’s Eagle Valley Stadium on Tuesday 6th May.

In the meantime, The Rollers have still not given up on the league title, even though new leaders Selston are now very much in the box-seat.

The triumph at Awsworth was their third inside a week and was achieved despite an enforced reshuffle because of work commitments.

Young goalkeeper Jack Walker was drafted in to replace Jake Pearson, while jack-of-all-trades Ash Marshall slotted into the middle of midfield, with Rory Smith playing just behind the front two.

Walker showed his potential with a fine tip-over to foil former Bulwell and Linby Colliery Welfare midfielder Josh Niblett in the 22nd minute.

And six minutes later, Rolls took the lead when Start made amends for a glaring miss earlier, nodding home from eight yards after a perfect cross from the right by Greg Conn.

The second half was scrappy, with neither side dominating possession. But the Hucknall side sealed the points with a couple of goals from England, who could well prove to be a shrewd signing from near-neighbours Bulwell, where his first-team appearances were limited in the Central Midlands League.

On the hour, he collected the ball 30 yards from goal, beat his man, cut in from the left flank and curled a superb effort round the ‘keeper into the bottom corner.

And seven minutes from the end, England, who has always been a prolific scorer in Sunday football, struck again, latching on to a through ball from Smith and coolly rounding the ‘keeper.

In between the two strikes, Awsworth did pull one back when Danny Towle was on hand to drive into the roof of the net from 12 yards after Rolls captain Aaron Short was caught in two minds and gave away the ball in his own area.

But despite applying intense pressure for a spell of ten minutes and throwing players forward, they never seriously threatened to save the game. Instead Rolls switched to 4-4-2 and looked effective on the break.

The result left Rolls with five matches to play, beginning with a cup-final rehearsal at home to Boots on Tuesday night and to be followed by trips to Wollaton and Cotgrave and a home game with Attenborough.