Improving HUCKNALL ROLLS LEISURE secured their first double since gaining promotion to the Central Midlands League’s South Division.
Taking on Derbyshire strugglers, Holbrook St Michael’s, for the second time inside a month, Rolls beat them 3-1 to follow up the 3-0 success they achieved in the away game. And it was enough to lift them into a very healthy sixth place in the table.
They did it the hard way, though, because they fell behind in the 18th minute when Holbrook broke with pace, after defending a set-play, and after outspeeding the home backline, Idris Kabongo applied a cool finish.
Kabongo went on to pose problems throughout the first half with his pace and trickery down both flanks.
But Rolls boasted a wide man of their own with plenty of skill and talent, so it was no surprise that Kane Matthews spearheaded the Hucknall side’s recovery, scoring two of the three goals.
The other goal came first, though, as striker Jack Smith capitalised on some hesitant defending to equalise with aplomb from the edge of the box in the 28th minute.
Seven minutes later, Jack Matthews broke from midfield and slipped in brother Kane, who nipped inside his full-back and drove home from 20 yards with the Holbrook ‘keeper left flatfooted.
To their credit, the visitors refused to buckle, and Kabongo should have brought them level again before the interval when he was wasteful with a clear shot at goal.
At half-time, Rolls made a tactical change, swapping Ash Marshall for substitute Billy Brooks at the back. And as the second period got under way, they created most of the clearcut chances.
At times, they were over-elaborate, but they increased their lead on the hour when man-of-the-match Kane Matthews cut in from the left and kept his cool to beat the onrushing ‘keeper.
Holbrook continued to beaver away and, at times, they put Rolls under a lot of pressure, forcing a succession of corners. But it was encouraging to see the home defence, marshalled expertly by James Duncan, stand firm and restrict Holbrook mainly to long-range efforts that young ‘keeper Jack Walker dealt with capably.
The Rollers might even have added a fourth goal two minutes from the end when a far-post effort by Rory Smith struck the underside of the bar and bounced down on the line.
Next up for Jez Corthorn and Jonathan ‘Toddy’ Wass’s side are Mickleover Royal British Legion this Saturday. So far, Legion have won four and lost seven of their 11 league games.