Draw specialists United held again

editorial image

Saturday, February 5, 2011

NCEL Premier Division



by Ritchie Woods

Long Eaton United played their fourth Northern Counties League game since the turn of the year and conspired to produce another late equaliser that earned them a point against Lincoln Moorlands.

In truth, having taken an early lead and failing to convert a penalty shortly afterwards, United will be unhappy that they didn’t take all three points in Saturday’s game at Grange Park.

Moorlands had to weather United’s early pressure and a Shaun Rickford header just missed the target after only seven minutes.

However, minutes later the same player seized on a loose ball after good work from Adam Campbell and Steve Chaplin to shrug off the attentions of a defender and ease the ball home from close range.

The strike was Rickford’s sixth of the current season, from only six starts.

United continued as the more assertive of the two sides and after 16 minutes Nathan Parker guided a superb through ball to Rickford and the bustling striker was brought done heavily as he bore down on goal.

To the surprise of most onlookers, the referee awarded the penalty to United but only booked a relieved-looking Lincoln defender.

Unfortunately, Paul Gamble’s spot kick was well saved by ‘keeper Mario Ziccardi.

It was disappointing that United again conceded two quick goals in a five minute spell just before the interval, at a time when they were dominating.

Firstly, Luke Forbes rapped home a penalty after an infringement by Dean Whiley and then Matt O’Halloran edged Lincoln in front on 42 minutes via a simple tap-in.

In the second-half, Gary Breach, Rickford, Campbell, Whiley and Chaplin all had efforts on goal as United battled valiantly to get back on terms.

During one skirmish, Rickford was again felled heavily by the same player who had conceded United’s first-half penalty and on this occasion he was shown a red card.

As the game reached the 80 minute mark Kev Mabon was introduced from the bench and within five minutes the veteran striker had levelled the scores.

A clever ball from Chaplin found Mabon free on the right and he thumped the ball past Ziccardi with some venom.

United had to be satisfied with the point that ensured they have drawn all four of their NCEL games this year and maintain their own six match unbeaten league run.

Long Eaton: Baldwin, Murdock (Williams 75), Martin, Whiley, Duik, Parker, Breach (Lord 61), Gamble (Mabon 79), Campbell, Rickford, Chaplin.

Stunning win

l The unbeaten run continued on Tuesday night as United came from 3-1 down to win 4-3 at Armthorpe Welfare.

Craig Morley and Henry Sibenge gave the hosts an early two-goal advantage, and though Paul Gamble’s 54th minute penalty reduced the arrears, Sibenge added another soon afterwards.

But United weren’t to be beaten, and the final eight minutes saw an incredible turnaround.

First, sub Lee Mellon fired in a free-kick and moments later Sean Gordon levelled the scores with a shot into the roof of the net.

As the game moved into injury-time, Gordon then burst into the box again only to be fouled by a defender, and Gould stepped up to coolly dispatch another spot-kick and complete a remarkable win.

This Saturday (12th) United host Thackley in a league fixture.