Liversedge 1 Long Eaton United 2
Blaine Hancock and Shaun Rickford struck in the opening half-an-hour to ensure Long Eaton United victory at Liversedge on Saturday.
It was only Long Eaton’s fourth away game of the season as they visited the Cleckheaton region of Yorkshire, and although the win extended their unbeaten run to seven games, the result was not as comfortable as it might have been.
In fairly blustery conditions, United got off to the best possible start when they snatched a third-minute lead after good work from Danny Gordon enabled Blaine Hancock to expertly guide his first time strike past the Liversedge ‘keeper from the edge of the penalty area.
Shortly afterwards, Matt Savage found himself in space and his lofted effort only just cleared the bar as the home keeper appeared stranded, and a Shaun Rickford header drifted past the upright.
It wasn’t all one-way traffic at this stage and Scott Miles pulled of an excellent finger-tip save to keep out the home side.
Rickford continued to cause problems and another headed effort almost brought reward, but moments later United’s hard-working skipper rapped his ninth goal of the campaign following good work from Jacob Webster in midfield, securing a 2-0 lead on 33 minutes.
The second period saw Liversedge press with far more conviction, producing some neat touches during the first 15 minutes of the new half.
Though United continued to weather the storm with some solid defending and good goal-keeping, they were assisted to some extent by some poor finishing from the home side.
They also had the occasional opportunity to stretch their lead with both Rickford and Savage unable to convert the half-chances that came their way.
With ten minutes remaining, United’s over-worked defence finally surrendered a goal. Having relinquished possession cheaply in midfield, the home side’s tricky wing man fired in a low cross from the right that was met by Matt Bugg who dispatched his strike past Miles with some pace.
During the latter stages, United appeared to gain back some of their earlier control, seeing out the remainder of the game without too much fuss and substitute Elliot King almost restored the two goal advantage with a late, late effort as the team ensured they remained unbeaten throughout September.
United: Miles, Thurman, Littlewood, Armstrong, Jimmy Hunter, Mushambi (King 75), Hancock, Webster, Savage (Chambers 81), Rickford, Gordon.
l Long Eaton followed Saturday’s win up with an emphatic 6-1 victory at home to Glasshoughton Welfare on Tuesday night.
An own goal put them on their way before Shaun Rickford (2), Kial Thurman, Jack Davies and Elliot King completed the rout.