Long Eaton suffer yet more late goal agony

Long Eaton's Dean Whiley (right) keeps close tabs on Armthorpe's Tom Hyde during Saturday's game.

Long Eaton's Dean Whiley (right) keeps close tabs on Armthorpe's Tom Hyde during Saturday's game.

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Long Eaton United’s winless run extended to eight games in all competitions after a second successive away defeat in which they slipped to an injury-time winning goal.

NCEL Premier Division

Armthorpe Welfare 1

Long Eaton United 0

Long Eaton United’s winless run extended to eight games in all competitions after a second successive away defeat in which they slipped to an injury-time winning goal.

United struggled to find their goal touch in a game that they could have made safe before the interval, but there were elements that can provide encouragment for boss Mick Galloway - now in sole charge.

In the end, the home side grew in confidence as the match progressed and were the more likely scorers during the closing stages, despite heroic defensive performances from skipper Dean Whiley, Michael Armstrong and ‘keeper Scott Webb.

As in previous games, United started the contest the better of the two sides and early attempts from Blaine Hancock and Josh Hooley cleared the Armthorpe crossbar.

Hancock in particular was prominent during the opening 15 minutes and linked up well with Hooley and Ian Buick, but the clear opening failed to materialise.

Armthorpe had Leo Fortune-West leading their line and during a clearly physical duel Whiley produced an immense individual performance for United to deal with the awkward, combative style of the former Football League man.

The home side produced a period of pressure midway through the first-half and Chris Murdock was called on twice to clear United’s lines with timely interceptions whilst Whiley continued his ongoing tussle with Fortune-West.

Shortly prior to the interval Armstrong surged forward and fired a shot wide and Fortune-West received a yellow card for a raised arm that connected with Whiley and which may have resulted in more severe punishment on another day.

During the second-half United seemed less creative than they had been during the first 45 minutes and appeared to have run out of ideas as to how to break down the home defence, finding themselves restricted to a counter-attacking style which was not helped by the conditions.

Shaun Rickford did go close with one effort and Jacob Webster had a shot from the edge of the box that only just eluded the target.

At the other end, Armthorpe almost edged in front after a lapse enabled Craig Morley to have time and space to rattle the underside of Webb’s bar.

Another Welfare strike was rifled into the side-netting and after 70 minutes the home side had a goal disallowed following an infringement on Webb. To some, the assistant referee’s decision was somewhat fortunate for United.

Adam Hooley, Matt Jarvis and Matt Weightman were all introduced from the bench in an attempt to re-vitalise United’s influence on the game, but more often than not, any promising moves continued to break down at the vital stage

During the final ten minutes of the game Webb was forced to produce two good saves from close range and despite the increasing pressure from the home side, it seemed that United would just hold on.

But, as in the last away game at Retford, United succumbed to a cross from the left and four minutes into added time Morley was left unmarked to place his header wide of Webb and secure his side the points and consign United to their fifth solitary-goal defeat of the season.

United: Webb, Armstrong, Whiley (c), Rhodes, Murdock, Hunter (Jarvis), J Hooley (Weightman) Webster, Hancock, Buick (A Hooley), Rickford

On Saturday, United host Liversedge at Grange Park, seeking vital points as they strive to record only their third home league win of the season..