The Non-League Football Paper
Three-sy does it for veteran goal ace
GOAL MACHINE Ross Hannah says Rossington Main have got him rolling back the years – as his three hat-tricks on the spin show!
The 36-year-old has built a long career in Non-League, and a spell in the League with Bradford City, by sticking the ball in the back of the net.
In one season at Matlock Town, he hit 52 goals to land a move to the Bantams before prolific stints at the likes of Grimsby Town, Chester and Barrow.
After a return to Matlock, last summer he decided to join Northern Counties East League Division One Rossington and he hasn’t looked back.
Consecutive trebles against Retford, Beverley Town and Brigg Town have taken his season tally to 29 in 23 starts as the Colliery give their all for promotion to Step 5.
“This feeling I’ve got now playing there and scoring, is the closest feeling I’ve had to when I was at Matlock the first time around before I went to Bradford,” Hannah told The NLP. “I never thought I’d get that back.
“Don’t me wrong, I’ve had good spells in the middle at Grimsby, Chester, Gainsborough. But it’s that feeling of keeping fit – which is not easy to do at 36 – and scoring goals.
“I am enjoying it. We’ve got some good players who can play higher. There is a good balance of experienced lads, who have played higher in the Conference and League, with a sprinkling of young lads who want to listen and learn from what the senior lads and manager are saying.
“I wanted to come here and people say, ‘I can see why he’s played where he has’. That drives me.
“It’s a good pressure. It keeps you on your toes. I’ve always looked after myself and even more so now because I want to continue to play. I don’t just want to be in that mind-frame where I just play somewhere to pick up some money and not enjoy it. I don’t think I would ever do that.
“I am doing it because I want to play, can still play – and I am enjoying it.”
That’s the most important thing for Hannah, who works for manager Ben Hunter and plays alongside best mate, and brother-in-law, former North Ferriby captain Liam King.
“He played a couple of games for them last year and I went to watch and I thought, ‘This is a decent set-up and they are a decent side’,” Hannah said.
“They got in the play-offs last year but didn’t go up. They’ve never played higher than this and they’re really ambitious to do that.
“Ben tried to sign me last year to be honest, but it didn’t feel right at the time. But it was a lot of travelling to play back at Matlock.
“I was working in Nottingham on a Saturday and then commuting from there to wherever we were playing.
“The older you get, you do lose a bit of pace and I felt dropping down may help me play longer.”
Currently second behind Campion, who they played yesterday, Hannah is putting his best foot forward.
He has hit five hat-tricks this season – including a four-goal haul – but admits he didn’t envisage three in a row.
“I didn’t go into the game thinking, ‘I need to get a hattrick today’,” Hannah said. “I got one, managed to score another and then we got a penalty. I thought, ‘This is mad’. There was no doubt in my mind I would score that penalty.
“It’s great. I am in a good place mentally with football and I just hope we can finish the season strong.”