Second place is still on for Hucknall Rolls

CHAY BETTRIDGE -- on target for Rolls
CHAY BETTRIDGE -- on target for Rolls

Contrasting results against two of their chief top-five rivals left HUCKNALL ROLLS LEISURE with mixed feelings over their challenge for the runners-up spot.

With leaders Bulwell certain to pocket their second successive Notts Senior League, Senior Division title, the race is on for second place.

No fewer than seven teams have a chance -- but Rolls sit a handy third after an excellent 2-0 victory at Attenborough last midweek.

This enabled them to recover from an undeserved 2-0 reverse at the hands of the team currently lying in the runners-up berth, Burton Joyce.

The Rollers had most of the play and looked the better side against Burton, only to come away empty-handed because of two lapses in concentration at the back and some wayward finishing up front.

The first lapse handed the home team a 25th minute lead as Rowan Cooper’s shot, through a ruck of bodies, nestled in the corner of the net.

And the second, on the hour, sealed Rolls’s fate as centre-half Ryan Clements was allowed to advance from his own half before slotting past ‘keeper Jake Pearson at the near post.

In between time, there’s no denying that Burton were always dangerous on the break, thanks to their quicksilver strikeforce.

But confident Rolls bossed possession and should have had a first-half penalty when Matt Rick was bundled over by the ‘keeper. Proof that it wasn’t their day came when substitute Greg Conn twice hit the bar with headers from corners..

ROLLS LINE-UP (4-4-2): Pearson/ Hulme S., Short, Duncan, Tolley/ Rick, Brooks, James, Bettridge/ Bainbridge, Allen J. Subs: Conn (for Tolley 45), Matthews K. (for Bainbridge 65), Matthews J. (for Bettridge 75).

Rolls recovered really well against Attenborough, who had suffered only three defeats all season but who forced Pearson into only one serious save.

Man-of-the-match Jack Matthews headed them in front on 24, heading home a pinpoint cross from midfield partner Billy Brooks.

And after some fine saves by the Attenborough ‘keeper, Chay Bettridge latched on to a loose ball to hit a 63rd minute screamer from 25 yards into the top corner.

Clearly, Rolls need to find more consistency, but it must also be remembered that the average age of their embryo side is just 22.

ROLLS LINE-UP (3-5-2): Pearson J./ Hulme S., Duncan, Short/ Conn, James, Brooks, Matthews J., Matthews K./ Allen J., Bettridge. Subs: Thomas, Hunt, Tolley (all not used).