New player/coach Richard Harrison was sent off on his first appearance since returning to HUCKNALL ROLLS LEISURE.
Seasoned campaigner Harrison turned out for Rolls Reserves in a midweek match at home to Southwell City Reserves in the First Division of the Notts Senior League (NSL).
But he saw red in the 80th minute of a 1-1 draw when tangling with opponent Mark Scutt, who was also dismissed.
It was a sour end to a match that Rolls felt they should have won after creating several chances -- and after taking a first-half lead via the 202nd NSL goal from striker Andy Start, who beat a defender with a nifty drop of the shoulder and expertly placed a shot in the bottom corner.
With Harrison using his calming experience at the back and player/manager Reece Jackson shining in midfield, Rolls looked comfortable.
But the balance of power began to shift from the hour when Southwell enjoyed more possession and attacked with more intent.
They forced goalkeeper Jake Pearson into a sublime fingertip save before equalising on 70 when Michael Gilbert nipped between defenders for a header that went in off an upright.
ROLLS RESERVES LINE-UP (3-5-2) -- Pearson/ Tring D., Harrison R., Lamb/ Thomas, Cooper L., Buckley, Jackson, Hutchinson D./ Rick, Start A.
THE point was still enough to take Rolls to the top of the table. But they slipped to second when held to another draw last Saturday -- this time at Kimberley Miners Welfare Reserves in a 3-3 thriller.
There were few signs of the goal action that was to come until Kimberley broke the deadlock in the 30th minute when Pearson conceded a penalty amid shouts for offside. The ‘keeper pulled off a superb save, only for Josh Lewis to follow up and net the rebound.
An inspired substitution brought Rolls level as Gary Richardson smashed home only ten minutes after going onreplace George Brudenell in midfield.
The home side did restore their lead when marauding left wing-back Lee Johnson was allowed to pounce on an error, cut ninside and calmly sidefoot into the bottom corner.
But the Hucknall side hit back to go 3-2 up. First, 17-year-old Doyle Hutchinson found space in the box to tap in the leveller and ten minutes from time, another sub, Sam Woodings, spotted the ‘keeper off his line to stroke home what looked to be the winner.
Kimberley weren’t finished, though, and with only five minutes remaining, Lewis unleashed a spectacular leveller from the edge of the box.
ROLLS RESERVES LINE-UP (3-5-2) -- Pearson/ Tring D., Harrison R., Lamb/ Thomas, Brudenell, Haskey, Hutchinson D., Hayes G./ Jackson, Start A.
Next up for The Rollers is the first of their eagerly-awaited local derbies against LINBY COLLIERY WELFARE RESERVES.
Linby, who were without a game last Saturday, currently sit five places and five points behind Rolls in the table but with a game in hand. They hammered the Hucknall side 5-0 last term before the return fixture finished as a goalless draw.
SHELLSHOCKED HUCKNALL TOWN RESERVES were sent spinning to a 7-1 home defeat by the un beaten leaders, Mickleover Royal British Legion Reserves, in the Central Midlands League’s Reserves Premier Division.
After winning two of their opening three games, newly-formed Town crashed to a hat-trick from Ben Roffey, plus goals from Jorge Eley (2), Michael Robinson and Chris Townley. The Yellows’ reply came from Montell Gatland.
TOWN RESERVES LINE-UP -- Packard/ Abbis, Gatland, Mugadza, Poyser, Rafferty, Rigg, Spencer, Stevenson, Tomusange, Whittaker-Smith. SUBS: Clipsham, Whitemore.