THE SLOW start to the new season by HUCKNALL ROLLS LEISURE is showing signs of kick-starting into gear after a comfortable 3-0 win over Selston in the Notts Senior League’s Senior Division.
Rolls were touted as potential champions in the much-weakened top flight after reaching the final of the league cup for the past two seasons.
But the eclipse of league newcomers Selston was the first time they have shown their true colours after four opening games that had comprised a couple of disappointing draws, a bad defeat and a scrambled win over the whipping boys at the foot of the table.
In contrast, Selston had won three of the first four games in their new sphere and arrived in Hucknall with plenty of confidence.
However, Rolls were ahead from the 20th minute when Anthony Wallis, plagued by injury in recent seasons, proved what he is capable of, latching on to a ball over the top and coolly lobbing the ‘keeper from 12 yards, despite a suspicion of handball.
Defender Richard Harrison, who has already been sent off twice this season, almost turned himself into a villain for a third time when his miscued pass gifted the visitors a golden chance of an equaliser.
Fortunately, the one-on-one chance struck the inside of goalkeeper Neil Waters’ post and the danger was cleared.
It was the last scare Rolls had, as they looked solid at the back where Adam Tolley and Ash Marshall were in commanding form.
Pressing hard in the second period, they sealed the points with two more goals from leading marksman Kyle McDermott, who has stepped up to the plate well in the absence of last term’s front two, Harry Allen (left to join Radford) and Andy Start (suspended).
First McDermott’s speculative free-kick from 28 yards was spilled into his own net by the otherwise excellent Selston ‘keeper.
And then he converted a penalty, awarded after midfielder Charlie Niblett had been hacked down from behind as he blazed a shot over the bar.
Rolls continued to create chances, most notably two identical one-on-ones inside a minute for Billy Brookes. Both were identical finishes too — straight at the goalie!
ROLLS LINE-UP (3-5-2) — Waters/ Marshall, Harrison R., Tolley/ Paterson D., Niblett, Murray, Brookes, Short/ McDermott, Wallis. Subs: Osbourne (for Tolley 46), Greeley (for Murray 68), Needham J. (for Niblett 78).