Attenborough 2 - 6 Bilborough Town
Clarke (31) Croft (27, 67, 73, 84)
Jude (pen. 60) J Kane (38, 65)
Bilborough celebrated a hard-fought victory on Saturday, as they came away with a 6-2 win against a resolute Attenborough.
With a number of players still missing, Town were slow to start and found themselves under the cosh for a majority the first half.
They could have been 1-0 down if it wasn’t for a ‘save of the season’ contender from Ivanov when he brilliantly tipped a deflected effort around the post.
Attenborough suffered a blow in the 20th minute when three hard tackles in quick succession from Clements, Hayes and McKeag on striker and main threat, Joseph Nice, forced him to come off early and this appeared to stead the early pressure from the home side.
Against the run of play, Town went 1-0 up when a huge goal kick from Ivanov beat the high line of Attenborough’s defence and Croft’s gambled run paid off as he beat oncoming ‘keeper, Bonsu, to the ball and headed it over him into the empty net.
‘Borough fought back, though. And ten minutes later, they were level when a cross-field ball was met by Clark on the volley from ten yards out and Ivanov couldn’t keep the well-hit strike out.
Town were beginning to settle and were seeing more of the ball, particularly down the left-hand side with Stewart and Clements linking up well.
It was youngster, Williamson, that provided the assist for the 2nd goal, though, when a clipped cross to the back post was met by Jake Kane, who headed it back across Bonsu. The 'keeper got a hand to it but couldn’t do enough to keep it out.
The 2nd half began in the same way as the first but Attenborough were left to rue missed chances as they failed to hit the target on more than one occasion.
They got their rewards on the hour mark when Clements was adjudged to have brought down Slater with a push in the back. Penalty or not, Jude stepped up and duly dispatched for the 2nd equaliser of the game.
This equaliser appeared to wake Bilborough up and they began to see more of the ball in dangerous positions.
Stewart, Kane and Taylor all saw efforts saved by Bonsu but it was Croft who grabbed his 2nd goal of the game when he was fed through by Stewart to put Town back ahead just five minutes after Attenborough fought back.
Attenborough opted to go 3-4-3, much to Town’s front line’s delight, as it left them with a huge amount of space to work in.
Stewart, who now had a pretty much free reign of the left-hand flank, fed Croft through again ten minutes later in an exact replica of his goal before and he tucked it away expertly to grab his first hat-trick of the season.
Town and Stewart weren’t finished at four, either.
Stewart found himself on the opposite side after taking a corner and he whipped in a ball across the face of the Attenborough goal. Hayes couldn’t get to it but Kane was on hand at the back-post to smash home and to put the game firmly out of Attenborough’s reach.
Town were now fully comfortable, with the introduction of Palmer into the middle massively helped to sure up the ship, and Croft grabbed his fourth of the game - his seventh goal in six games - five minutes from time, when a great run from Taylor and a pass across the goal left him with a simple tap-in to end the 2nd half rout.