Own goal earns United another point on travels

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Northern Counties East Premier

Nostell MW 2

Long Eaton United 2

Long Eaton United travelled to the Welfare Ground on Saturday to meet Nostell Miners Welfare and gained a point for their efforts against a side still looking for their first NCEL win of the season.

With Craig Weston still absent, team affairs were in the capable hands of Mick Galloway and following his pledge to reward the players who gained a stirring victory against Scarborough Athletic on Bank Holiday Monday he retained the same starting line-up.

Martin Bowles, Jimmy Hunter and Matt Weightman were the named substitutes.

Nostell certainly had players who could trouble United, particularly the tricky Ernest Boafo who was at Ajax during his youth career

The early exchanges were a little ragged from both sides but United’s Theo Ganderson had a decent shot blocked and Ross Whalin was brought into action in United’s goal to produce a couple of important saves when the home side broke.

One promising move from United resulted in Will Mellors-Blair crossing from the left and finding Elliot King who headed down to Shaun Rickford, but the in-form United striker pulled his shot wide of the post.

Reward did come United’s way moments later when after 19 minutes Mellors-Blair turned inside Manny Siaw and the perplexed defender conceded a penalty after tripping the tricky midfielder. Mellors-Blair confidently struck home the spot-kick himself which had to be taken a second time after an encroachment.

The goal failed to inspire United further and both teams continued to concede control in critical areas as promising moves broke down.

But the hosts levelled in first-half stoppage time when Boafo broke on the right and provided a gilt-edged chance across the face of Whalin’s goal to James Eyles, who took his simple chance with some delight to ensure his side closed out the half on level terms.

After the interval, Nostell began the more lively of the two teams and although there were couple of half-chances that came United’s way it was the home side that edged ahead after 54 minutes.

An initial effort was not cleared effectively and the ball fell back to Eyles who took the chance to add his second goal of the game from eight yards.

The goal stirred United and following the introduction of Bowles and Weightman, plus the decision to adopt a 4-3-3 formation, they began to play their most controlled football of the afternoon.

Despite applying some concerted pressure United still found it difficult to produce the clear chance that would get them back into the game and Nostell were still capable of breaking with some pace.

However, fortune finally came United’s way after 79 minutes when Bowles got behind the home back line and pulled the ball back towards on-rushing players from both sides.

Unluckily for Wayne Ball, the Nostell right-back, Bowles’ cross fell straight into his path and he diverted the ball past his own ‘keeper.

As both teams went in search of all three points it was perhaps United who were finishing the stronger.

Despite that, it took a superb headed clearance of the line by Michael Armstrong after 88 minutes to keep the scores level and in the dying moments a headed effort from Rickford almost snatched the game from United.

This Saturday United pay a visit to Selby Town, kick-off 3pm.

United: Whalin, Armstrong, Breach, Allsop, Whiley (c), Mushambi (Bowles 59), Ganderson (Weightman 61) Martin, Rickford, King, Mellors-Blair (Hunter 82)