Rolls admit defeat in title race -- despite Conn hat-trick

GREG CONN -- scored a hat-trick for Rolls.
GREG CONN -- scored a hat-trick for Rolls.
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Frustrated HUCKNALL ROLLS LEISURE have finally been forced at admit defeat in their chase for the Notts Senior League’s Senior Division title -- despite two more victories inside five days.

Third-placed Rolls won 3-1 at Cotgrave last Saturday and then thumped Bilborough Town 4-1 on Tuesday night.

But with only one match to play -- at home to Attenborough this Saturday -- they cannot catch leaders Selston, who need three points from their last two matches to deny second-placed Kimberley Miners Welfare the champions’ crown.

Now they are concentrating on their league cup final against Boots Athletic next Tuesday night before signing off for the year.

The highlight of the Bilborough triumph was a hat-trick by right-sided midfielder Greg Conn, who opened the scoring in the 28th minute when heading past an out-of-position ‘keeper from a fine cross by Kane Matthews.

Belying their lowly position in the table, Bilborough were a constant threat on the break.

Not only did they equalise, when Ashley Moorcroft turned well in the area after, ironically, a mistake by Conn, but they also forced Matthews to head one off the line and brought a terrific tip-over save by young stand-in goalkeeper Jack Walker.

Only in the second half did Rolls really make their possession count.

Shortening their passes, they forced the visitors to work harder and restored their lead on 52 when Matthews got round the back for a pull-back that was deflected into his own net by Bilborough defender Jack Nicholson.

The rest of the game belonged to Conn, who planted a thunderous header from Aaron Short’s set-play and completed his treble with another fine header after good work by substitute Billy Brooks.

Saturday’s success at sixth-placed Cotgrave followed a similar pattern, with Rolls surrendering a lead before asserting later.

Kane Matthews burst clear to open the scoring from 18 yards before sloppy passing gifted the home side an equaliser five minutes later.

Man-of-the-match Rory Smith made it 2-1 just before the interval with a powerful drive to finish a neat move. And the points were sealed 18 minutes from time when Kane Matthews unleashed a superb half-volley from 25 yards.

Comfortable Rolls restricted Cotgrave to sporadic attacks and almost snatched a late fourth goal when Smith hit a post.