THE first phase of HUCKNALL ROLLS LEISURE’S plot to rub shoulders with the likes of Hucknall Town and Eastwood Town in the latter stages of the Notts FA Saturday Senior Cup went to plan last Saturday.
For Rolls came through an awkward-looking First Round tie unscathed and are now only one step away from reaching the last 16 of the prestigious competition.
Jez Corthorn and Paul Jordan’s men are one of 24 teams contesting the opening two rounds of the Senior Cup, which will yield six to join the elite ten in the Third Round, alongside the likes of Hucknall and holders Eastwood.
They won 2-1 away to Nottingham United, who hail from the South Division of the Central Midlands League (same as AFC Hucknall). And they now face another CML outfit, Bilborough Pelican, away in the next round on Saturday November 19.
Adding to the difficulties for Rolls at United was the fact that the tie was played on the artificial 3G ground at the Gresham Sports Complex in West Bridgford.
The home side were obviously used to the pitch and knocked the ball around well. But the visitors adapted nicely and it clearly helped that they also train on a similar surface, recently installed at Rolls.
The first half was probably as good a 45 minutes of football as The Rollers have produced so far this season — and they were rewarded with a two-goal lead.
In the 39th minute, impressive man-of-the-match Alistair Murray stepped forward to drill a shot into the bottom corner from 25 yards. And just a minute later, Kyle McDermott released new strike partner John Greeley, who finished a one-on-one with the ‘keeper expertly.
Rolls never hit the same heights in the second period but wide men Daniel Poole and Anthony Wallis were always a threat and the new-look back four were particularly solid.
Most pleasing was the admirable work-ethic. The locals hunted the ball in numbers and never let their higher-ranked opponents settle.
United grabbed a consolation goal in the 86th minute but Rolls saw the tie out comfortably, having squandered several further chances the pick falling to substitute Andy Start on his return from suspension.
n ROLLS LINE-UP (4-4-2) — Rollson/ Conn, Buckley Short, Tolley/ Poole, Brooks, Murray, Wallis/ McDermott, Greeley. Subs: Start A. (for Brooks 68), Niblett (for Murray 75), Solomon (for Wallis 75).