Niblett’s winner puts Awsworth Villa on county cup glory trail

LINBY LICKERS -- action from Awsworths win as Liam Smith (left) tackles Linbys Tom Coupe.
LINBY LICKERS -- action from Awsworths win as Liam Smith (left) tackles Linbys Tom Coupe.

Hero Josh Niblett fired the only goal to send Awsworth Villa into the Third Round of Nottinghamshire non-league football’s version of the FA Cup.

Awsworth now hope to be testing their mettle against the pick of the county’s amateur outfits after upsetting Central Midlands League side Linby Colliery Welfare.

A tight Notts FA Senior County Cup tie was settled in the 64th minute when midfielder Niblett was left unmarked from a corner. The outcome maintained Awsworth’s terrific unbeaten run this term, which they hope to stretch to 13 games back in the league this Saturday when they entertain Newark Flowserve.

They just about deserved to eclipse Linby, although much of the action was even. Early chances saw Ryan Whitehurst’s shot tipped away by visiting ‘keeper Jamie Davies and Matt Walker drive just wide.

But as the first half wore on, Linby turned possession into chances and failed to make the most of an empty net when home ‘keeper Matt Walsh rushed out, only to become stranded. They also went closest to breaking the deadlock as Lewis Weaver rattled a post, although Davies foiled Whitehurst again at the other end.

Glenn Tolley opened the second period with two opportunities for Linby before Awsworth hit back with a golden chance for Jnos Butterfield-Steele, who shot wide when it looked easier to tuck away in the bottom corner.

Butterfield-Steele’s blushes were spared minutes later by Niblett’s goal and although Weaver went close again for Linby, the home side almost bagged a second when defender Lee Stevenson’s late strike hit the underside of the bar.