Jack Smith completed a hat-trick in extra-time to become the local derby hero as Hucknall Rolls Royce beat neighbours Hucknall Town for the first time since joining the Central Midlands League with a 3-2 Buckingham Insurance League Challenge Cup victory on Friday.
In a pulsating tie in front of a large crowd, Rolls edged home in the extra 30 minutes after the game had ended 1-1 in 90 minutes with Town forced to play with 10 men from the 25th minute after a red card for Cameron Davidson.
The win ended Hucknall Town’s unbeaten start to the campaign and philosophical Town manager Andy Graves reflected: “I cannot fault the lads for the effort they put in tonight.
“To play for over an hour and half against a strong Rolls side as well as they did, they deserve huge credit as you would have struggled to tell they had the man advantage.
“I have no complaints about the sending-off and, but for that and a huge slice of luck with the deflected equaliser, the result may have been different.
“We possibly had the better chances and should have rewarded ourselves before they did, but huge credit to their guy as he finished very well when given the chance and I wish Rolls well in the next round.
“In some respects it will take a little bit of pressure off us as we have now been beaten for the first time this season. But we should have a full squad for the big game at Belper when we get back to more important Saturday league action.”
With Town sitting top of the league and in good scoring form, Rolls changed their formation to try to nullify the visitors.
Jack James was recalled to the side after a three week absence and employed in a deep midfield role. Matt Peberday was also recalled to centre half.
Due to the Friday night experiment Town were denied the services of three big players as Nathan Francis, Myles Gorey and Johnny Hamilton were unavailable due to work.
Leon Aikman driving up from Birmingham was another doubtful starter, but beat the traffic and arrived 20 minutes before kick-off.
As expected the game started at a frantic pace, but for the first 20 minutes Rolls settled better and this was probably their best period of the game possession wise.
Town suffered their major blow on 25 minutes when Davison was shown his second yellow card for a petulant trip, compounded when he was turned by a Rolls player and pulled his shirt unnecessarily.
Rolls might have been reduced to 10 men when a defender, already booked for a late challenge on Montell Gatland when he looked like he was in on goal, ran 10 yards and pushed Town’s Dave Leak over while he was getting up from a tussle with another Rolls player.
With very few clear cut chances the half remained a very competitive battle, especially in midfield.
Rolls switched to 4-4-2 formation to try to get behind the 10 men of Town.
However, it was Town who made the breakthrough on 47 minutes following another corner when Kajally Danso shot low through a crowded six yard box from 12 yards after Rolls failed to clear.
Town coped really well with their disadvantage and worked tremendously hard and at this stage looked more comfortable than Rolls. For their part Rolls couldn’t keep enough possession to make their numerical advantage pay.
Rolls gradually got a foothold back in the game and started to ask more questions of Town’s defence, their main threat coming down the right wing, where Greg Conn and Rory Smith linked well.
But Francis should have done better when put through one-on-one with the keeper and Danso had an identical chance to his first to give Town a cushion going into the last 10 minutes.
Instead, with six minutes to go, Smith won the ball just inside the Town half, ran at goal and fired a shot which took a wicked deflection off Town’s Joe Atkinson and looped over a stranded James Beddingham for the equaliser.
In the 88th minute Town had a clear sight of Rolls goal when Thompson got clear but Jack Walker produced a fine blocking save to force extra-time.
With both sides tiring the game became very stretched. Rolls’ best chance fell to Robbie Manners, who shot over the bar after another good run and pull back by Conn.
But Rolls took the lead for the first time on 110 minutes. Smith cut in from the left side and unleashed an unstoppable shot in off the far post.
Smith completed his hat-trick five minutes later, catching Town on the break and running from his own half to coolly round the keeper and finish with Town calling for offside.
Town responded two minutes later when Thompson showed good footwork inside Rolls’ area as he ran onto a crossfield pass and calmly finished from close range.
Then in the dying minutes a shot from Danso was blocked but Thompson rushed his shot as Rolls held on.
HUCKNALL ROLLS: Jack Walker, Greg Conn, Danny Hayes, Matt Peberday, Aaron Short., Jack James, Josh Haskey, Rory Smith, Jack Smith, Jack Allen, Chay Betteridge. Subs used: Jack Patterson, Robbie Manners, James Duncan.
HUCKNALL TOWN: James Beddingham, Kajally Danso, Dave Leak, Joe Atkinson, Tom Crisp, Michael Banister, Cameron Davidson, Montell Gatland (Adam Nelson), Leon Aikman, Ben Waplington (Rorie Francis), Niall Thompson. Sub not used: Nathan Robinson
HUCKNALL TOWN MAN OF THE MATCH: Michael Banister.