Two goals against his former club by prolific striker Matt Rick helped HUCKNALL ROLLS LEISURE RESERVES win the big local derby against LINBY COLLIERY WELFARE RESERVES last Saturday.
After a couple of red cards had reduced both sides to ten men, Rolls triumphed 3-1, even though they were without key duo Andy Start and Richard Harrison. They duly shot to the top of the Notts Senior League’s First Division to create considerable feathers in the caps of new managers Reece Jackson and Andy Tring.
In contrast, Linby sank to their third defeat on the spin after struggling again to find the form that clinched them the league’s Reserves Cup last season, although they did miss twin strikers Luke Price and Ross Cheeseman.
The ever-dangerous Rick, who proved a constant threat with his impressive workrate, opened the scoring early on when beating Linby’s offside trap and coolly lifting the ball over onrushing goalkeeper Glenn Guyatt.
But as with many keenly-contested derbies, the tackles were already flying in, and things took a bizarre twist with two harsh sending-offs inside the space of as many minutes.
First, Linby captain Paul Prewett was given his marching orders for violent conduct after an alleged stamp on Rick, who had just been brought down.. And then, from the resulting free-kick, Danny Tring also saw red for what seemed little more than a minor tussle with a Linby defender.
Rolls closed the half happy to dsoak up Linby pressure and attack on the counter. But they came out for the second half fired up and ready for war after being read the riot act by joint boss Tring.
Within ten minutes, they had doubled their lead when Rick beat two defenders and squared the ball selflessly for 18-year-old Doyle Hutchinson, who showed no nerves in calmly slotting home from six yards.
The goal was just reward for the teenager’s impressive performance at right wing-back. And Rolls duly took control of the game.
The three points were sealed in the 70th minute when Rick again used his pace to elude the home backline and expertly lob Guyatt from the edge of the area.
It should even have been 4-0, only for Gaz Hayes to miss a penalty, hitting a post and fluffing the rebound.
From then on, the game died down, although Linby did bag a consolation goal when Kyle McDermott coolly finished a good move involving Ant Wallis.
Rick took the man-of-the-match award for Rolls, just ahead of Hutchinson. But fine performances were also delivered by Jake Wright, whose Spartan-like appearance matched his style of play in the middle of midfield, and Hayes, who shone in his first game as a centre-back.
Linby had few complaints about their first reserves derby defeat for four years. Said a spokesman:“Rolls fully deserved their win. Our job now is to bounce back.”
LINE-UP -- LINBY RESERVES (4-5-1): Guyatt/ Falconer, Prewett, O’Neill, Martin/ Potter, Murray, Charles, Niblett C., Wallis/ McDermott. Subs: Rocco, Hickman, Paterson A, Perkins..
ROLLS RESERVES (3-5-2): Pearson/ Tring D., Hayes G., Lamb/ Hutchinson D., Haskey, Wright J., Richardson G., Thomas/ Jackson R., Rick. Subs: Brudenell, Whitaker, Woodings.
STRIKER Aaron Evans starred in a 5-1 romp for HUCKNALL TOWN RESERVES in the Reserves Premier Division of the Central Midlands League.
Evans, who dropped down from the first team, scored twice as Town licked Thoresby Colliery Welfare Reserves.
Also on the scoresheet were Ayokunie Abbis and substitute Romeo Mugdadza in a win that lifted the newly-formed Yellows to fourth in the table.