Saturday, October 8, 2011
Northern Counties East Premier
Long Eaton Utd 0
Tadcaster Albion 1
LONG Eaton United fell to a second successive last-minute home league defeat as Tadcaster took the points on Saturday.
Six weeks previously, in what was United’s last NCEL Premier game at Grange Park prior to Albion’s arrival, an injury-time penalty saw Retford United claim victory.
Against an in-form Tadcaster, who had only lost once in their previous ten games, United were victim to another last minute goal after matching their opponents throughout and had looked the more likely winners as the game progressed.
A week earlier, Tadcaster were one game away from entrance into the first round proper of the FA Cup and had led FC Halifax Town with only five minutes remaining before exiting 2-1 to the former league side.
At the outset of Saturday’s game at Grange Park they showed the style and composure that had enabled them to progress so far.
United were again depleted by injuries but a second minute run from midfield by Michael Martin was quickly closed down by the visitors and only two minutes later Tadcaster’s Danny Gary rose to head wide from close in after a quick break on the right.
Chris Murdock and Will Mellors-Blair were combining well on United’s left and on a number of occasions created openings for each other and their team-mates.
In between timely saves from Ross Whalin, Michael Armstrong and Murdock both tested Arran Reid in the Tadcaster goal and a decent effort from Mellors-Blair was only just tipped past the post.
Chances were being crafted by both sides in an entertaining first 45 minutes but both defences were able to keep their opposite numbers at bay with some timely interventions and good goal-keeping from both Whalin and Reed.
During the opening half Martin, Mellors-Blair and Dean Whiley all received heavy knocks and required periods of lengthy treatment. Wary of the threadbare nature of United’s bench, each was committed to continue.
After the interval, United seemed the more likely to score but the threat from the visitors was never too far away as it was clear they possessed the players to cause problems.
A good run into the Tadcaster area by defender Jacob Webster was snuffed out and Gary Breach and Armstrong combined well before the latter had his shot saved by Reed.
Kelvin Mushambi and Jimmy Hunter were working tirelessly to unlock the home defence and each had strikes on goal, and United’s best move of the half came after Armstrong sent over a cross from the right which Hunter met well but his header was again saved by Reed.
The visitors were not without their own opportunities and Whalin, and his central defensive duo of Whiley and Micky Allsop, were having to be on their game to keep the lively Tadcaster threat at bay.
However, as the encounter entered the final minute Tadcaster substitute Callum Ward found some space on the edge of United’s box and cleverly lifted the ball over Whalin, cruelly denying United at least a point in a game in which they had played particularly well.
During the dying moments Armstrong still found time to lash in a shot from deep that was tipped over the bar by Reed but the final whistle soon followed and United were again left to reflect on decent home performance that left them without reward.
United: Whalin, Webster, Allsop, Whiley (c), Murdock, Hunter, Martin, Breach, Armstrong, Mushambi, Mellors-Blair
l Long Eaton host Thackley in the league on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.