Plucky Hucknall Rolls are first team to take point off runaway leaders Mickleover Royals

HIT BY THE KANE -- winger Kane Matthews (right), who went close to breaking the deadlock for Rolls against tabletopping Mickleover Royals.
HIT BY THE KANE -- winger Kane Matthews (right), who went close to breaking the deadlock for Rolls against tabletopping Mickleover Royals.
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Delighted HUCKNALL ROLLS LEISURE became the first team this season to take a point off runaway leaders Mickleover Royals in the Central Midlands League’s South Division.

Mickleover had won all 11 of their opening league games, surging ten points clear. But plucky Rolls held them to a draw and although the match ended goalless, it was an entertaining duel.

Adding merit to newly-promoted Rolls’s display was the fact that their squad was again stretched, with four key players missing, including midfield lynchpins Jack Matthews (injured) and Jack James (suspended).

Mickleover dominated the early stages, attacking with pace, and twice struck a post. But they were often guilty of over-elaborating in front of goal, allowing Rolls to stay in contention.

By the end of the half, the home side were asking questions of their own, with three chances falling to striker Jack Smith, one of which he should have converted instead of blaze over the bar with only the ‘keeper to beat.

The second period was pulsating end-to-end stuff. Mickleover always looked dangerous, especially from set-plays, with Shaun Roberts missing the best chance when shooting wide from only eight yards. But Rolls were content to soak up pressure and pounce on the break, with Kane Matthews almost bagging the winner when breaking clear down the left and whistling an angled drive just wide.

ROLLS LINE-UP (3-4-1-2) -- Walker/ Brooks, Duncan, Short/ Smith R./ Buckley, Haskey, Matthews K./ Bettridge/ Allen J., Smith J. SUBS: Allen H., Harrison R., Marshall, Wass.