A little bit of local football history was made on Wednesday night when Hucknall Rolls Leisure booked a place at the top table of the Nottinghamshire non-league game for the first time.
Rolls pummelled PMG Cavaliers 5-1 to sweep in to the quarter-finals of the Notts FA Senior Cup, which is the county’s equivalent of the FA Cup.
And the chance to rub shoulders with the cream as one of the elite eight clubs in the county could not have come at a more opportune time for Rolls.
For it coincides with concerted efforts to turn the Rolls-Royce Leisure Club, off Watnall road, into a centre of footballing excellence.
As reported in last week’s Dispatch, cricket has had to make way, with a new director of football, former Hucknall Town coach, Jamie Brough, driving new initiatives, which are spearheaded by an exciting link-up with Notts County.
It was exclusively disclosed in the Dispatch in July that County are to set up a pathway academy, based at Rolls, for footballers aged between 16 and 18.
This is expected to be officially announced before Christmas, so the Senior Cup success of the senior team fits in nicely with Rolls’s ambitious developments.
Wednesday night’s win comes in their first season after promotion to the Central Midlands League (CML) and put Corthorn’s side into the hat for the last eight, alongside holders Carlton Town, Basford United, Dunkirk, Retford United, Clipstone Welfare, Kimberley Miners Welfare and Ruddington.
It also means they will be seeded for next season’s competition, granting them a bye to the Third Round. Said proud boss Corthorn: “We are delighted. This was the perfect tonic the club needed.
“I am pleased with our debut season in the CML so far. The squad has adapted well to the new challenge. We are in a competitive position in the league table and are still in three cup competitions.”
Cavaliers hail from Rolls’s previous league, the Notts Senior League. But after holding the home team to 1-1 in the opening half, they were blown away in the second.
Crosses by the impressive Chay Bettridge teed up headed goals for Jack Allen in the 48th minute and for James Duncan in the 65th.
And after Jack Smith had made the tie safe on 75, charging dxown a clearance with a blocking challenge that looped over the stranded ‘leeper, Rory Smith wrapped up the scoring seven minutes from the end with a close-range finish at the far post.
The Rollers had also taken the lead in a scrappy, even first period when another pinpoint cross by Bettridge was nodded in by Allen.
But after missing a sitter, Cavaliers levelled when Aboybacar Sylla bundled the ball over the line after home ‘keeper Jack Walker had failed to hold a direct free-kick from the edge of the area.
ROLLS LINE-UP (3-4-1-2) -- Walker/ Buckley, Duncan, Short/ Smith R., Marshall, Conn (man-of-match), Bettridge/ Harrison R./ Smith J., Allen J. SUBS: Thomas, Start A., Wass.