Treacherous trip in rain hinders Long Eaton’s chances

BACK WITH A BANG -- Brad Wells marked his return to Long Eaton United with a goal.

BACK WITH A BANG -- Brad Wells marked his return to Long Eaton United with a goal.

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Hopes that Long Eaton United could bolster their bright start under new managers Shaun Rickford and Kelvin Mushambi were dashed even before a ball was kicked at Stourport Swifts.

A treacherous trip to Worcestershire in a deluge of rain forced the team coach to be delayed by 30 minutes, which meant that United had little time to warm up. And this was partly blamed for them conceding a goal after just two minutes and going on to suffer a 3-1 defeat to a team just below them in the Midland League, Premier Division table.

The goal was a free-kick from 20 yards out on the left that James Hill curled in at the back post. And in a scrappy game, disjointed United struggled to recover, unable to find even the easiest of passes. Swifts doubled their lead through Joe Phillips just before the break, and things got even worse for the visitors a minute into the second period when Jack Rogers blasted home number three.

United responded by making three changes and improved considerably in the final half-hour, gathering confidence and composure. It may have seemed a lost cause but at least they pulled a goal back when Brad Wells marked his return to the club by lobbing home from 20 yards. Further chances for Blaine Hancock, new signing Grant Ryan, Wells and Elliot King were foiled by the ‘keeper.