The fortunes of HUCKNALL ROLLS LEISURE RESERVES and LINBY COLLIERY WELFARE RESERVES seem to be heading in opposite directions on the eve of their first local-derby clash of the season.
For while Rolls are rapidly improving and now up to sixth in the Notts Senior League, First Division table, freshly-promoted Linby appear to be in freefall.
Rolls eased to a 3-0 victory over Nottinghamshire in their latest fixture, which means they are now unbeaten in six league and cup matches.
But Linby were beaten 2-1 at home by Radcliffe Olympic Reserves, which means they have failed to win since 21st August -- a two-month run spanning nine games. Indeed they have lost their last seven.
There are now six places and six points seperating the two sides as they head into their derby at Rolls this coming Saturday.
Adrian Gibson’s team warmed up nicely for the contest, readily disposing of bottom-of-the-table Nottinghamshire, who have now lost ten out of ten this term.
After missing three good chances, Rolls finally went ahead in the 30th minute when Ross Lamb drilled in a cross that Matt Rick bundled home.
The match followed a similar pattern in the second half with Rolls playing some attractive football and creating chances.
Gareth Hayes added a second goal with a curling shot into the top corner, and then veteran midfielder Terry Walker finished off the scoring with a tap-in after good work by youngster Connor Whiles, son of ex-Hucknall Town man Steve Whiles.
Credit must also go to Rolls’s back three and goalkeeper Jack Walker who kept the team’s first clean sheet of the season.
ROLLS RESERVES LINE-UP (3-5-2) -- Walker J./ Brooks, Tolley, Dove/ Whiles C., Wright J., Robinson, Hayes, Lamb/ Henrys, Rick. Subs: Walker T., Gamble, Davis, Edwards, Lindo.
Meanwhile Linby Reserves had nothing to show for a game that they dominated for long periods, fashioning lots of chances.
Goals from Andy McClean and Adam Sinnott gave Radcliffe the lead at the break before a penalty from Luke Price, who has rejoined the club again, gave Linby hope.
LINBY COLLIERY WELFARE RESERVES LINE-UP (4-4-2) -- Guyatt/ Niblett C., O’Neill, Falconer, Fox/ Cheeseman, Murray, Potter (man-of-match), Wallis A./ Jackson R., Price. Subs: Endy T. (for Murray 58), Dickens (for Fox 69), Bernard J. (for Jackson 70).