TWO cruel goals in injury-time robbed HUCKNALL ROLLS LEISURE of a possible place among the elite last 16 clubs in the Third Round of the Notts FA Senior County Cup.
Rolls had dreams of rubbing shoulders with the likes of Hucknall Town and holders Eastwood Town. And after knocking out one Central Midlands League (CML), South Division side in the last round, they fancied their chances against another, Bilborough Pelican.
Pelican have made a good start to life in the CML. But they finished only a point above Rolls in the Notts Senior League last term and in a cracking end-to-end tie, there was nothing to split the two sides.
Indeed extra-time was on the cards, with the score locked at 1-1, when Pelican pulled the match out of the fire.
First Alex Doyle struck a wonder goal into the top corner from fully 35 yards. And then Danny Blanchard, who used to play at Rolls, escaped down the left to smash another terrific finish into the bottom corner to seal a 3-1 win.
Both teams had hit the bar in the opening 15 minutes before Rolls snatched the lead when man-of-the-match Daniel Poole burst into the box down the right and as a challenge came in from a defender, the ball ricocheted into the net.
The goal gave the locals all the confidence they needed and they were unlucky not to double their advantage when a header by Duncan Osbourne struck the base of a post before Anthony Wallis’s rebound effort was cleared off the line.
Rolls were even beginning to look comfortable when they gifted Pelican an equaliser five minutes before the break. Midfielder Alistair ‘Tolly’ Murray gave the ball away on the edge of the box and Joe Ashurst, eager to impress against his former club, took it in his stride to slip a shot under ‘keeper Mark Rollson.
The Rollers continued to give as good as they got in an even second period — and were foiled by the woodwork again when Poole bamboozled home captain Ian Foss for a shot that struck a post.
n ROLLS LINE-UP (4-4-1-1) — Rollson/ Niblett, Buckley, Short, Tolley/ Solomon, Brooks, Murray, Osbourne/ Wallis, Poole. Subs: Paterson I. (for Murray 71), Thomas (for Brooks 80), Walker.