The inconsistency that has blighted HUCKNALL ROLLS LEISURE’S Notts Senior League season was on show again when they fell 3-1 to high-riding rivals Burton Joyce.
The scoreline flattered the visitors, who won with little class or credit. But it severely harmed Rolls’s hopes of claiming the runners-up spot behind runaway champions Bulwell.
Had the locals won, it would have been difficult for Burton to catch them. Now Attenborough are favourites to bag second, leaving The Rollers in third, which would still be their highest NSL finish.
Manager Jez Corthorn had to name himself on the substitutes’ bench amid unavailability problems that left Rolls without skipper Aaron Short, goalkeeper Jake Pearson and influential quartet Chay Bettridge, Kane Matthews, Jack James and Jack Allen.
But they still created plenty of decent chances, most of which fell to striker Matt Rick, and enjoyed most of the play. Sadly, Burton soaked it all up and pounced swiftly on the break.
The visitors were ahead from the second minute when stand-in goalie Chris Northmore was rounded and defender Adam Tolley could only help the resultant cross into his own net.
Rolls were always confident of hitting back but lacked that cutting edge up front and succumbed to two more goals on the counter in the 65th and 85th minutes.
At least they netted a consolation in the 89th minutewhen Tolley thumped home a 25-yarder.
ROLLS LINE-UP (4-4-2): Northmore/ Conn, Duncan, Hulme S., Tolley/ Smith, Matthews J., Brooks, Bainbridge/ Rick, Marshall. Subs: Bailey (for Bainbridge 30), Pearson (for Bailey 70), Corthorn J.