With the Dispatch district’s big three rained off, reserve teams did not waste their chance to hog the local football limelight.
The Central Midlands League, South Division matches involving BULWELL, HUCKNALL TOWN and LINBY COLLIERY WELFARE were all postponed because of waterlogged pitches.
But LINBY RESERVES and HUCKNALL ROLLS LEISURE RESERVES more than made up for the lack of action with a couple of goal-packed thrillers in the Notts Senior League’s First Division.
Linby threw away a 3-0 lead before winning 4-3 for the second match running -- this time at Ruddington Village Reserves. While Rolls played their part in a 3-3 draw at home to Southwell City Reserves.
It was a classic game of two halves at Ruddington where Linby were again indebted to striker Luke Price.
Last time, in a 4-3 win over Awsworth Villa Reserves, Price scored twice and would have had a hat-trick but for a missed penalty. This time, he did complete a treble, including the late winner.
The goal spree was launched, though, by his fellow frontman Ross Cheeseman, who fired into the bottom corner after good work by Tom Coupe in the third minute.
More fine play by Coupe enabled Price to open his account on 15. And when Ruddington’s centre-back misjudged his header in the swirling wind, Price pounced again. In fact, he would have completed a 14-minute hat-trick but for a third effort hitting a post from a cross by Ant Wallis.
But then came the Ruddington fightback. On 50, visiting defender Simon Martin was unfortunate to divert a cross past his own goalkeeper, Glenn Guyatt.
On 61, a cross by Sam Dunstan was turned home by his brother, Nathan. And on 83, it was 3-3 as substitute Damian Humphries beat two men and squeezed a shot past Guyatt.
However, that man Price was to make sure Linby had the last word. Terrific skill by Alistair Murray sent the striker away for a one-on-one that he finished with aplomb.
MEANWHILE at Rolls, a last-minute equaliser robbed Rolls of their first win in 2014.
They led 3-2 against a decent fifth-placed Southwell side, whom they also face in the league’s Reserves Cup this weekend.
But having made all their substitutions and with Jamie Thomas going off injured, they were forced to play the last ten minutes with only ten men -- and Michael Knight capitalised to steal a point for the visitors.
Earlier Southwell had twice taken the lead, thanks to 20-yard drives into the bottom corner from Chris Bowles in the 21st minute and Anthony Barrowcliffe in the 49th minute.
However, Rolls bounced back each time through Matt Rick, who beat the offside trap to stroke home on the half-hour and tapped in after good work by midfield duo Thomas and Connor Whiles.
The Hucknall side then went ahead for the first time on 75 when a free-kick by Whiles was headed in by substitute Adam Tolley.