Improving Rollers playing catch-up

IMPROVING HUCKNALL ROLLS LEISURE look ready to boast about local bragging rights again after quietly making up all the ground they lost on derby rivals, Linby Colliery Welfare, in the Notts Senior League’s Senior Division.

When they fell to Linby in September, Rolls trailed them by fully 12 points in the table. And they were still 11 behind in mid-October.

But as the one-time leaders have faded, Jez Corthorn and Paul Jordan’s side have slowly found their feet. And after a comfortable 2-0 victory over Cotgrave, they drew alongside.

What’s more, Rolls produced an excellent performance to see off a decent visiting side and were delighted with a rare clean sheet.

In the first half, they played very well and created chances without getting any reward. But in the second half, they bagged the goals that mattered without hitting the heights.

The best opportunity before the break came when Andy Start crossed for strike partner Kyle McDermott, whose shot was tipped over. From the resulting corner, midfielder Alistair Murray headed on to the bar and McDermott nodded the rebound over.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 57th minute when full-back Adam Tolley won a tackle in midfield and fed Charlie Niblett who, in turn, released McDermott. Ahead of him, both Start and Billy Brooks made telling runs but the striker chose to ignore them and, instead, unleashed a terrific 25-yard strike with his his left foot that flew into the corner.

Eight minutes later, the points were sealed as McDermott turned creator, surging to the byline down the left and crossing for Start to flick over the Cotgrave ‘keeper at the near post.

The goals underline how more effective Rolls are when their first-choice strikers gel. Too few times this term have they been able to play as a duo.

Elsewhere on the park, Brooks did well, while Duncan Paterson looked strong at the heart of the backline, alongside the consistent Aaron Short, and Adam Solomon appears to be growing in stature with every game. But the man-of-the-match award went to Murray, who tackled and harried Cotgrave all game and produced that bit of extra quality when it mattered.

ROLLS LINE-UP — Rollson/ Niblett C., Paterson D., Short, Tolley/ Brooks, Murray, Solomon, Poole/ McDermott, Start A. Subs: Conn (for Niblett 70), Yates (for McDermott 80), Wass (for Solomon 80), Greeley.