Big guns share spoils in top-of-the-table showdown

FOUR-MIDABLE -- evergreen striker Andy Start (stripes) scored all four goals in Rolls's win over Awsworth Villa.
FOUR-MIDABLE -- evergreen striker Andy Start (stripes) scored all four goals in Rolls's win over Awsworth Villa.

Honours were shared when the top two teams in the Notts Senior League’s Senior Division came head to head on Wednesday night.

The 1-1 draw left leaders HUCKNALL ROLLS LEISURE one point in front of second-placed Kimberley Miners Welfare, who have a game in hand, with 12 to play in total.

As expected, it was a very competitive tussle between the best two teams in the league.

And although it yielded few clearcut chances, there was no shortage of entertainment for the Rolls-Royce Leisure Club crowd who preferred the game to the England v Denmark international friendly being shown on TV.

Rolls manager Jez Cothorn also accepted that a draw was a fair result, even though it ended a run of fine wins by his side.

Corthorn made one or two changes to his starting line-up and opted also for an ambitious change of formation, with three up front.

But it was Kimberley who looked the livelier side early on, and they were rewarded with the opening goal in the 20th minute when prolific former Hucknall Town striker Jake Fisher broke clear to lob goalkeeper Jake Pearson.

Rolls fought their way back into the game and equalised just before the interval when a set-piece delivered by Kane Matthews was met by right-back Greg Conn, who flicked home a header.

Both sides had chances to snatch the winner in the second period.

For Rolls, Andy Start burst through, only to see his attempted chip drop over the crossbar.

And then for Kimberley, seasoned hitman Steve Chaplin headed wide from eight yards after a corner.

Rolls had to play the last 11 minutes with only ten men after Kane Matthews was sent off for two yellow-card offences.

ROLLS had tuned up for the Kimberley clash with a convincing 4-1 victory over Awsworth Villa last Friday night.

The match belonged almost entirely to striker Andy Start, who scored all four of Rolls’s goals and also picked up the man-of-the-match award.

Start’s opener in the 13th minute, fired under the ‘keeper, came against the run of play. And the lead didn’t last long as Karl Frost looped an effort over ‘keeper Jake Pearson from a left-wing cross.

However, Rolls were soon back in front when Start drove home from the edge of the box. And from then on, in a match played at a frantic pace, they kept their noses in front.

Frost might have done better than shoot wide when fastening in to a clearance by Pearson. But Start completed his hat-trick seven minutes into the second half when turning to volley into the corner from 25 yards after a pinpoint diagonal ball by Kane Matthews.

To their credit, Awsworth continued to press forward, with former Bulwell midfielder Josh Nibnlett going close.

But Rolls wrapped up the points long before the end when a slip by a defender left Start free for a one-on-one that he coolly converted.

Their next match is at Ruddington this Saturday.