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Simmons strikes hat-trick for Robins

Bermuda’s Lejuan Simmons struck a hat-trick to help Ilkeston FC’s reserves reach the Central Conference Cup final with a 4-0 win over Burton Albion yesterday.

Simmons broke the deadlock five minutes before the interval when he slipped the ball past the goalkeeper after going clear and followed that up by beating the 'keeper with an angled drive before rounding off the victory with a neat header.

The Robins’ third goal was scored by Dereece Gardner, the team’s most experienced player apart from assistant manager Darren Caskey, formerly of Tottenham Hotspur, and goalkeeper Scott Lowe.

Ilkeston head coach Kevin Wilson said: “If I'm honest I think 4-0 flattered us because Burton's young side did well but Lejuan's goals made all the difference. He's a decent finisher — as he showed this afternoon with three different types of goals.”

Former Devonshire Cougars striker, Simmons, recently joined Ilkeston as part of an official partnership between the non-league club and Bermuda Hogges.

Bermuda international Antwan Russell has signed for the Ilkeston’s senior side until the end of the season, scoring on his second appearance for the Derbyshire-based outfit, while Donte Leverock and Quadir Maynard have also trained with the club in recent weeks.

Although it's yet to be confirmed, the Conference Cup final against Bromsgrove is expected to take place next Monday at the New Manor Ground, when Wilson's youngsters will be looking to lift the trophy for a third successive year.

Ilkeston’s reserves face Burton again tomorrow in their final league game the season — and need to win that match and for Burton to then defeat Tresham to claim their third successive title. The last two seasons have seen the Robins’ side complete the league and cup double.

The mutually beneficial agreement between Ilkeston and Hogges could see as many as five young Bermuda players join the club’s fully-fledged Academy each season. Over the last 12 months Hogges owner Paul Scope has been in regular contact with officials at Ilkeston, who play in the Evo-Stik League Northern Premier three tiers below the English Football League.

The club’s commercial director Nigel Harrop is a former Bermuda resident, while their manager Wilson was a striker partner of ex-Hogges coach Kyle Lightbourne’s at Walsall.

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Published April 25, 2013 at 3:44 pm (Updated April 25, 2013 at 3:44 pm)

Simmons strikes hat-trick for Robins

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