Can Hucknall Rolls last the title course?

Serious concerns that HUCKNALL ROLLS LEISURE will not be able to maintain their flying start to the season have surfaced after another costly defeat.

Rolls rocketed to the top of the Notts Senior League’s Senior Division by winning eight of their first ten matches.

But after a 4-2 reverse at Selston last Saturday, they’ve now lost four of their last six, including three against fellow title-challengers in the top five.

They are clinging on to first spot but all the chasers in behind have games in hand.

The Rolls camp had no complaints about the latest setback, despite twice throwing away the lead. Manager Jez Corthorn accepted that Selston were “by far the better team on the day”.

Chay Bettridge marked his return to the frontline by opening the scoring in the 18th minute when firing home a 22-yard free-kick.

But in an even first half-hour, the home side showed signs of what was to follow as Dominic Airey struck a post and Lee Widdowson not only forced Rolls goalkeeper Jake Pearson into a fine one-handed save but also put a free header over the bar from eight yards.

The equaliser was inevitable -- and Dominic Carraher provided it with a sweet shot from 25 yards into the top corner.

Stung Rolls responded by reverting to 4-4-2 and they started the second half very positively. Kane Matthews restored the lead, finishing well inside the area after Selston had been caught in possession, and they could have added more goals in their best spell of the match.

Kane Matthews and Andy Start went close with lobs before Start failed to direct his volley at the far post from a Kane Matthews cross.

However, that was as good as it got for Rolls because once Selston had equalised on 58 -- Airey driving home after cutting in from the left flank -- they took control.

Worryingly, Rolls forgot their best habits, gave the ball away too often and surrendered the points by conceding two goals in the last 11 minutes.

First, Airey pounced in a goalmouth scramble after when Pearson had failed to catch a routine cross. And then, in injury-time with Rolls short at the back, Ben Moore finished a breakaway.