If you thought HUCKNALL ROLLS LEISURE would suffer a sulky hangover, feeling sorry for themsslves, after their Notts FA Senior County Cup quarter-finals defeat last midweek, you’d better think again.
For they returned to Central Midlands League, South Division action with a bang, erasing the disappointment of their 6-3 reverse at Retford United with a six-goal showstopper of their own.
Rolls hammered Harrowby Saints 6-1, with top scorer Jack Allen firing four of the goals to celebrate his recall to the side.after starting the big cup-tie on the substitutes’ bench.
Man-of-the-match Allen looked back to his best, unleashing some clinical finishing to top a superb physical display that Grantham strugglers Harrowby couldn’t cope with.
On a boggy pitch, Rolls were in command from the off, with Greg Conn and Chay Bettridge shining in new central midfield slots and wing-backs Rory Smith and Jamie ‘Midge’ Thomas looking dangerous down the flanks. They had to wait only 15 minutes for the deserved breakthrough goal as Thomas lifted the ball over the onrushing ‘keeper.
Harrowby were handed a surprise lifeline five minutes later when their skipper, Niall Davie, drilled a free-kick from the edge of the box under the defensive wall and caught ‘keeper Jack Walker off guard.
But by the interval, The Rollers had built a comfortable 3-1 lead thanks to Allen. First he slotted home from inside the box and then, sensing blood, he smashed home a second when Rory Smith’s cross fell to his feet.
With manager Jez Corthorn away, it was left to his number two, Jonathan ‘Toddy’ Wass, to come up with the half-time words of wisdom to keep the momentum going. And he succeeded, talking Rolls into a fourth goal in the 55th minute when Allen beat a defender 20 yards out and fired a left-foot shot that was too powerful for the ‘keeper.
The fifth goal marked the return from injury of sub Kane Matthews, who broke clear down the left before driving a shot across goal that was tapped in by Thomas. And as more chances galore came and went, Allen struck again, turning expertly in the area to rifle home.
Harrowby did keep battling away, only to find the visitors defending with authority too. Now Rolls are full of confidence for a home clash with league champions Clifton All Whites this Saturday.
ROLLS LINE-UP (3-5-2) -- Walker/ Brooks, Duncan, Short/ Smith R. James, Conn, Bettridge, Thomas/ Smith J., Allen J. SUBS: Marshall, Matthews K., Wass.