Late goals earn United a draw to end poor run

Long Eaton's Josh Hooley (right) gets involved against Nostell Miners Welfare on Saturday.

Long Eaton's Josh Hooley (right) gets involved against Nostell Miners Welfare on Saturday.

0
Have your say

LONG Eaton scored two goals in the final three minutes as they picked up their first point of 2012 at home to Nostell Miners Welfare on Saturday.

NCEL Premier Division

Long Eaton United 2

Nostell MW 2

LONG Eaton scored two goals in the final three minutes as they picked up their first point of 2012 at home to Nostell Miners Welfare on Saturday.

Following the departure of joint manager Craig Weston 24 hours earlier, Mick Galloway took sole control of team affairs as United looked to halt a run of five successive league defeats.

After the encouraging performance against leaders Retford the previous weekend it was hoped that United would get their stuttering season back on track.

And although United started the game clearly the more dominant, they were unable to press home their advantage and efforts from Will Mellors-Blair and Blaine Hancock failed to trouble the visiting ‘keeper Gavin Ansley.

After 15 minutes the returning Ian Buick found himself in a good position in front of goal but as the ball came to him at an awkward height he was unable to effect control and his effort flew high over the bar.

The visitors had appeared to be offering little threat as the game reached the midway stage of the opening half but possession was relinquished too easily in a vital area and Nostell’s Ernest Boafo took advantage and nonchalantly poked the ball wide of Harry Daykin in the United goal, giving his side an unexpected lead on the balance of play during the opening 20 minutes.

United appeared to rally somewhat after the goal with Mellors-Blair, in particular, causing problems for the visitors on the left hand side.

A Michael Armstrong free-kick flew just wide of Ansley’s post on the 30 minute mark but things went from bad to worse for United on 32 minutes when Daykin was adjudged to have brought down a Nostell player on the edge of his area. From the resultant spot-kick leading scorer Graham Marchant made easy work of putting Nostell two goals to the good.

United began the second-half with a visible spring in their step and early efforts from Hancock, Mellors-Blair and Matt Weightman instilled some belief into the faithful that United could salvage something from the game.

Fifteen minutes into the half Hooley fired in a ferocious half-volley from distance that Ansley did well to save and shortly afterwards Mick Galloway made a double substitution that introduced Shaun Rickford and debutant Matt Jarvis into the action.

Further long range efforts from Hooley and Jacob Webster sailed over the bar and a Rickford header almost brought reward but as the game progressed, it seemed United were to gain little return for their endeavours.

However, with only three minutes remaining a United corner resulted in Rickford crashing the ball against the bar and from the rebound Webster was on had to whip the ball home for his first senior goal for the club.

A flurry of late substitutions by the visitors only served to prolong the added time and during another goal-mouth melee United skipper Dean Whiley arrived on the scene to crash home a much-deserved equaliser, which went some way to alleviate the heartache of conceding a late winner against the leaders seven days earlier.

The resilience displayed by United during their last two league encounters at least offers some hope for the remaining 15 matches this season and will surely fuel their desire to progress up the NCEL table in the weeks ahead.

United: Daykin, Armstrong, Whiley (c), Marshall, Murdock, Mellors-Blair, Hooley Webster, Hancock, Buick (Jarvis 60), Weightman (Rickford 60)

On Saturday, United travel to Armthorpe Welfare who defeated Long Eaton 3-1 in their opening home game of the season.