United are held at home in FA Vase encounter

Long Eaton United's Jacob Webster (in blue) tussles with Lincoln's Nathan Adams during the FA Vase clash on Saturday.
Long Eaton United's Jacob Webster (in blue) tussles with Lincoln's Nathan Adams during the FA Vase clash on Saturday.
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Saturday, September 24, 2011

FA Vase 2nd Qualifying Round

Long Eaton United 1

Lincoln Moorlands Railway 1

Long Eaton United were forced to make do with an FA Vase replay after drawing 1-1 with Lincoln Moorlands in their first home ficture for a month at Grange Park on Saturday.

In a game that United dominated for long periods, it was their failure to convert their superiority that enabled the visitors to survive.

The visitors too will have considered themselves unlucky after having two headed goals disallowed, once in normal time and also during the second period of extra-time.

With both teams going through a period of transition and with a mix of youth and experience in both line-ups, it was no surprise that the early exchanges were fragmented.

Will Mellors-Blair was seeing plenty of the ball on United’s left hand side and he fired in a powerful shot after 20 minutes that ‘keeper Leigh Herrick did well to hold onto, and soon afterwards Michael Martin had a goal-bound effort blocked from just inside the area.

With neither side appearing too threatening during the first quarter it was almost by accident that both sides scored their goals within two minutes of each other.

First, a shot by Tom Batchelor took a wicked deflection and looped over a bemused United ‘keeper Ross Whalin to give Moorlands the lead and almost immediately a run and shot from the right by Shaun Rickford was forced into an unguarded net by Josh Barker on 25 minutes to restore the balance.

From this point on United were the more dominant and Mellors-Blair and Matt Weightman were both defied by good goalkeeping, desperate defending and some disappointing finishing.

On three occasions before the break United carved out one-on-one opportunities but the experienced Moorlands ‘keeper came out on top on each occasion.

In between all this Micky Alsop produced a classy interception to prevent leading scorer Tom Garrick from nipping in and Whalin got down low to keep out a fierce drive.

In the second-half Mellors-Blair was causing the visitors all sorts of trouble and the chances continued to come United’s way.

Weightman, Rickford, Mellors-Blair and a long range effort from Jacob Webster all went close but the elusive finishing touch was lacking as the game drew close to the 90 minute mark.

Late on, Moorlands scored with a strong headed finish from a corner but the referee signalled for an infringement and moments later Rickford fired in a powerful long range effort that was well stopped by Herrick, who was having an excellent game for the visitors.

In extra-time, United created further openings with Weightman and Jimmy Hunter having shots blocked and substitute Kelvin Mushambi had a decent effort comfortably saved.

Moorlands were also more committed during the extra 30 minutes and Whalin saved well from Barker and another powerful header for the visitors was ruled out before the referee finally decided to put an end to the frustrations of both sides.

Defensively, United played well enough to have earned a meeting with Arnold in the next round, with Michael Armstrong, Dean Whiley, Webster and Allsop all producing strong performances. but after so many chances were created it will be disappointing that they will have to go through it all again to progress.

United: Whalin, Webster, Breach (Carder 78), Allsop, Whiley (c), Armstrong, Martin, Breach (Mushambi 77), Hunter, Mellors-Blair, Rickford, Weightman (Ganderson 115)

United travelled to Lincoln for the replay of the FA Vase clash last night (Wednesday) Details in next week’s Advertiser.

Long Eaton travel to Parkgate in the league on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.