Hucknall Rolls herald new era with pleasing victory

GOOD START --   evergreen striker Andy Start, who scored Rolls's first goal in their new league
GOOD START -- evergreen striker Andy Start, who scored Rolls's first goal in their new league

Happy HUCKNALL ROLLS LEISURE launched their new era in the Central Midlands League with a tonic victory over Southwell City.

Rolls, who have moved up from the Notts Senior League to join the other top sides in the Dispatch district, were delighted with the attitude and fitness levels of the players as they strode to a 3-1 win over a Southwell outfit who finished as high as sixth last season.

However, they were quickly brought down to earth by a 3-1 defeat in their second match on Tuesday night at home to Blidworth Welfare, who were in the bottom three in 2013/14.

Rolls had no complaints about the outcome. For after the first half-hour, a strong and organised Blidworth outfit dominated possession.

The visitors took a deserved lead in the 64th minute when the impressive Pete Stubley was brought down by goalkeeper Jack Walker for a penalty that Liam Theakstone converted.

Rolls thought they had snatched a point ten minutes from the end when earning a spot-kick of their own that Chay Bettridge put away.

But Blidworth responded with two goals in the last six minutes. From a deflected shot, Liam Green pounced at the far post, and then a one-on-one save by Walker rebounded into the net off Stubley.

Against Southwell, it was fitting that Rolls’s first goal of their fresh challenge was scored by record marskaman Andy Start, who rolled the ball home in the 18th minute after a square ball from Greg Conn.

Southwell responded well, but it was 2-0 on the hour when a move down the left ended with a sweet half-volley from 20 yards by Jack Smith.

The visitors were back in it seven minutes later as Stef Whitely finished off a well-worked short corner.

But Rolls defended solidly and wrapped up the points five minutes from time when substitute Harry Allen knocked the ball home at the second attempt.