Saturday, September 17, 2011
Northern Counties East Premier
Long Eaton United 1
A VISIT to West Yorkshire to meet Liversedge resulted in United struggling to find their form and they succumbed to defeat in a game where they created more straightforward chances than their opponents.
The setback was also United’s first away defeat this season following two wins and two draws.
It was a subdued start by United and the early threat came predominantly from the home side, though little in the way a clear-cut chances were fashioned by either side in the first 15 minutes.
Nonetheless, after Long Eaton conceded possession needlessly the home side went ahead on 18 minutes when Nathan Cartman provided a simple cross for the Liversedge captain Darryl Leach to force home from close range.
The referee was having a particular influence on the game and both Parker and Gary Breach found their way into the official’s notebook during the first-half, each for dissent.
As the half progressed United’s staccato performance continued.
Shaun Rickford and Matt Weightman battled on wearily in pursuit of an opening and Will Mellors-Blair worked hard to carve out an opening down the left flank.
Jacob Webster and Armstrong both had long range efforts on the Liversedge goal and at the other end Ross Whalin produced a decent catch when under pressure.
As the interval arrived, it was the home side that appeared happier with their first-half display.
The second 45 minutes saw United gaining more ground than they had in the first period and they often produced the more fluent football.
But they were unable to convert their advantage into goals and as they chased the game they were gradually committed into forcing more players forward in search of an equaliser.
A Rickford header was safely gathered by James Waggett in the Liversedge goal and Michael Martin had an effort blocked midway through the half.
Shortly afterwards Rickford beat his marker on the byline and teed up an opportunity for his strike partner Weightman, who inexplicably lifted the ball over the bar from close range with Waggett stranded.
Mellors-Blair made space for himself after 70 minutes and fired a fierce effort goalwards but the home ‘keeper got his body behind the ball low down, and three United players tried to force the ball home after a frantic goalmouth scramble five minutes later as manful defending kept the Liversedge lead intact.
It appeared United had the momentum but the home side produced a counter attack that led to Cartman pouncing on a deflected pass from the right and firing a low shot past Whalin in the 80th minute, effectively putting the game out of United’s reach.
All three of United’s outfield substitutes were given late introductions to replace Parker, Breach and Weightman and even with limited time on the pitch, James Carder was able to produce a great through pass that almost led to an opening.
Rickford was able to continue his good goalscoring run by tapping home a last second consolation for United, ensuring he retained his position as the NCEL Premier Division’s joint leading league goalscorer.
United: Whalin, Webster, Breach (Carder 78), Allsop, Whiley (c), Armstrong, Martin, Parker (Mushambi 81), Mellors-Blair, Rickford, Weightman (Hunter 81)
United are in FA Vase action this Saturday with the visit of Lincoln Moorlands Railway.