It’s All Whites on the night as classy Clifton halt Rolls’ unbeaten run

CONN FORM -- the man of-the-match performance by Greg Conn (left) was a consolation for Rolls.
CONN FORM -- the man of-the-match performance by Greg Conn (left) was a consolation for Rolls.
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Classy Clifton All Whites showed why they are the champions of the Central Midlands League’s South Division with an impressive display to end the seven-match unbeaten run of HUCKNALL ROLLS LEISURE.

Rolls were hoping to underline the impact they have made in their first season in the league.

And they even took a 28th minute lead when striker Jack Smith whipped in a corner that caught the ‘keeper off guard and nestled in the corner.

But by the end of Wednesday night’s match, Clifton had recovered for a convincing 3-1 win that demonstrated why they could yet worry runaway leaders Mickleover Royals in this season’s race for the championship.

After a scrappy opening, the goal seemed to wake up the visitors, who equalised only four minutes later on a well-worked break which led to a 25-yard thunderbolt that took a deflection past goalie Jack Walker.

It got even worse for Rolls in the 34th minute when another pacy counter-attack resulted in a fine finish that saw them go into the interval with a 2-1 lead.

The second period began as the first had ended, with Clifton looking swift and dynamic -- and all but sealing the points with a third goal in the 58th minute after pouncing on an error in midfield.

From then on, shellshocked Rolls just couldn’t get a foothold and now need to bounce back in a quickfire sequence of three games against Belper United, in the league and quarter-finals of both the floodlit cup and league cup.

ROLLS LINE-UP (3-4-1-2) --Walker/ Buckley, Duncan, Short/ Smith R., James, Conn, Thomas/ Marshall/ Smith J., Betteridge. SUBS: Smith B., Harrison, Allen H.