Lacklustre Rollers blow chances of runners-up spot

A massively disappointing end to the season left HUCKNALL ROLLS LEISURE’S quest for the Notts Senior League (NSL), Senior Division runners-up spot in tatters.

Rolls knew that victory in their last game against Magdala Amateurs would give them a big chance of second, behind champions Bulwell -- or even third, which would still have been their best-ever NSL finish.

But they lost 3-1 to cap a return of just one point from their last three games. Now they are sure to end up in fourth place after all the fixtures are completed.

It was hard to explain such a lacklustre performance against Magdala. Maybe the absence of Jack James and brothers Jack and Kane Matthews took their toll. Maybe the previous night’s partying at the wedding celebrations of former teammate Andy Start played their part.

But only evergreen club captain Jonathan ‘Toddy’ Wass and committed left-back Adam Tolley produced performances worthy of note.

Magdala were first to every ball and took a lead into half-time when hesitant defending allowed Lee Sutton to score at the back post.

In response, Rolls created virtually nothing -- and the game was over just ten minutes into the second period with a burst of two more goals from Magdala, courtesy of Liam McElhone and Sutton again, to give them a 3-0 cushion.

The locals pulled back a consolation goal 15 minutes from the end when Wass smashed home at the second attempt. But in truth, they were well beaten.

ROLLS LINE-UP (4-4-1-1): Pearson/ Conn, Tring, Duncan, Tolley/ Smith, Short, Wass, Bainbridge/ Brooks/ Allen J. Subs: Hayes (for Brooks 65), Bettridge (for Bainbridge 75).

ROLLS RESERVES finished a creditable fourth in the NSL’s First Division after wrapping up their season with a 4-1 victory at Magdala Amateurs Reserves.

The goals were shared by Dan Lee (2), Gareth Hayes and Matt Rick, with Simon Marlow replying for Magdala.