Start spares Rollers’ blushes to book cup semi ticket

MOOGREEN SHOWSTOPPER -- striker Andy Start (left), who scored both of Rolls's goals
MOOGREEN SHOWSTOPPER -- striker Andy Start (left), who scored both of Rolls's goals

Evergreen goalscorer Andy Start spared the blushes of HUCKNALL ROLLS LEISURE when they half-tripped over a banana skin in the Notts Senior League’s (NSL) Senior Cup.

Rolls, top of the Senior Division, faced a tricky trip to Moorgreen, riding high in the Second Division, in their quarter-final tie.

And when they trailed 1-0 at the interval, they looked in big danger of making a shock exit.

However, they were reminded in no uncertain terms of what was expected of them in the second period. And they duly scraped a 2-1 victory, courtesy of a couple of strikes from Start.

Mind you, it could have got worse before it got better because Moorgreen, who have won all bar two of their NSL games so far this term, missed a fine chance to double their lead when Cory Bowler pulled his effort wide.

Four minutes later, Start made them pay as he sidefooted home from close range after Kane Matthews had broken clear down the left flank and delivered an excellent cross.

At last Rolls sprang to life, enjoying their best period of the tie, and six minutes later, Matthews and Start combined again for what proved to be the winner. This time, the midfielder provided the through-ball and the 34-year-old hitman applied a typically cool finish.

Mind you, the scares weren’t over for Rolls. In fact, underdogs Moorgreen should have forced extra-time when Adam Walsh headed wide from just eight yards.

In the closing minutes, the home side also forced several corners, forcing the locals to defend resolutely.

It all left Moorgreen wondering how they had not caused an upset -- especially after an opening half when they coped much better with a difficult surface at Birnam Park.

Although Matthews and man-of-the-match Rory Smith saw plenty of the ball out wide, Rolls struggled to find any rhyhtm and fell behind in the 43rd minute when goalkeeper Jake Pearson failed to deal with an inswinging set-piece and Bowler was on hand to finish.

Through to the semis with The Rollers are Magdala Amateurs, Wollaton and Boots Athletic. But they now return to league action, with a home match tonight (Friday) against Awsworth Villa being followed by a crunch clash with their chief rivals for the title, Kimberley Miners Welfare, next Wednesday night.