Long Eaton United comfortably proceeded into the next round of the FA Vase with an assured 3-0 success that could have been even greater.
Two weeks previously, United had gained a 2-0 victory over Moorlands in a Premier Division fixture in Lincoln and the struggling start to the season has seen Saturday’s visitors already rooted at the foot of the table.
Following on from their uncharacteristic performance on Bank Holiday Monday where they slumped to a last minute defeat against Hall Road Rangers, United were able to cope efficiently with the Moorlands threat as the three-man rear-guard of Mark Littlewood, Jordan Hunter and Danny Chambers seemed at ease against a youthful visiting side, and ‘keeper Scott Miles was again in confident form on the way to his third clean sheet in recent weeks.
Despite their overall control, United had to wait until the half-hour mark to take the lead.
Chambers conjured up a defence-splitting pass from deep in his own half and Shaun Rickford was able to race clear and cleanly strike his fourth goal of the season from 15 yards.
The interval brought some respite for the visitors but in the second period they again found themselves on the back foot, though United often lacked the clinical edge as they fought to make the game safe and were guilty of squandering a number of chances.
In the 70th minute Matt Savage was given his chance from the bench and responded almost immediately, scoring twice within five minutes of his introduction.
A surging run into the Moorlands box by Danny Gordon resulted in a low drive across the face of the goal and Savage was on hand to tap the ball over the line and install a two-goal advantage.
This was quickly followed on 75 minutes with a superb cross from Michael Armstrong which caught out the visitors’ defence and Savage was again in the right place to head home Unted’s third, finally killing off any hope for the Lincolnshire side.
Before the game concluded United should have added to their winning margin but the main objective had been achieved with some ease.
The win sets up an away tie with Radford in the next round in two weeks.
United: Miles, Jordan Hunter, Littlewood, Chambers, Armstrong, Webster, Hancock, Gordon, Mushambi (Martin 55), King (Savage 70), Rickford
l Long Eaton’s fine league form continued on Tuesday night with a2-0 win over Winterton Rangers, goals in each half from Elliot King and Shaun Rickford putting United fifth in the table.