Slow-starting Hucknall Rolls get there in the end

CONN--VINCING -- right-back Greg Conn (blue) scored one of Rolls's goals
CONN--VINCING -- right-back Greg Conn (blue) scored one of Rolls's goals

It took them a long time to get going -- but HUCKNALL ROLLS LEISURE eventually overcame bogey team Burton Joyce to step up their Notts Senior League, Senior Division title hunt.

Burton Joyce did the double over Rolls last season and held them to a 1-1 draw in their initial meeting this term.

So they must have feared the jinx was ready to strike again when the visitors not only took a sixth-minute lead but also bossed the first half.

However, Jez Corthorn and Jonathan Wass’s troops somehow clawed their way back and ended up winning 4-1 to stay just two points behind leaders Kimberley Miners Welfare at the top of the table.

Striker Troy Smith it was who put Burton Joyce in front, capitalising on a slip-up by home centre-back Aaron Short, fastening on to the loose ball and finishing from 12 yards.

In reply, Rolls simply couldn’t get going. Their play was disjointed and lacked rhythm, especially going forward. Too many players were happy to just go through the motions.

Indeed they were lucky not to fall further behind and had goalkeeper Jake Pearson to thank for a couple of top-drawer saves either side of the half-hour mark.

However, they did begin to ask more questions of the visitors as the first half drew to a close and, remarkably, they turned round 2-1 to the good after goals on 41 and 44 minutes.

Evergreen striker Andy Start netted the first, coolly converting a penalty after a defender had handled on the line. And new teenage sensation Connor Whiles conjured up a brilliant second, curling a subline free-kick into the top corner from 22 yards.

The turnaround delighted Rolls and shellshocked Burton Joyce. And after being reminded at the break about how poor they had been, the Hucknall side came out to produce a much better showing in the second 45 minutes.

The visitors still looked dangerous on the break and forced Pearson into two more fine saves. But right-back Greg Conn put The Rollers 3-1 up on the hour with a neatly directed header in to the bottom corner. And then Start added to his goal tally on 76, finding space in the penalty area to volley home.

Start even had a golden chance to complete a hat-trick, only to drag his shot wide when clear on goal.