United bounce back to earn draw - again

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

NCEL Premier Division



by Ritchie Woods

LONG Eaton came from behind to snatch a point for the third time in eight days as they earned a 2-2 with Winterton on Saturday.

In their two previous games, against Maltby Main and Arnold Town, they had to battle to gain a share of the spoils in successive 1-1 draws.

At Grange Park On Saturday, they clawed their way back from a 2-0 deficit against Rangers to level the game via a well-taken double strike from substitute Shaun Rickford.

With Dean Whiley and Kev Mabon missing through injury, former United defender Wayne Duik and Cashel Walters were drafted in on loan from Hucknall Town. Paul Gamble deputised as captain for the day in the absence of Whiley.

United started the better of the two sides and they continued to dominate for long periods during the first-half.

Gamble had an early effort that the visiting keeper held on to and Gary Breach had two attempts within minutes of each other, the second of which struck a post.

Martin Bowles went close to opening the scoring and another well-struck shot from Gamble was pushed over the bar by the over-worked Rangers custodian.

Then on 40 minutes, with United looking the more likely to score, the visiting side broke on the left and a simple low cross was tapped home by Danny Barlow.

United’s disappointment was compounded minutes later as Winterton went further ahead almost on the stroke of half-time when Liam Wilkin volleyed home the second.

But United started the second-half with a level of spirit that encouraged the Grange Park faithful.

Another long-range effort from Gamble was tipped over the bar and Kelvin Mushambi found space to fire an attempt just a little too high from 20 yards out.

Rickford was introduced to the fray after 62 minutes and his impact was immediate as he rose to meet a telling cross from Chris Murdock and head powerfully home with his first touch of the game.

Baldwin was forced to make a crucial save shortly afterwards but United continued to push forward, as first a header from Mushambi and then a shot from Bowles were thwarted by the visitors’ defence.

The leveller came on 78 minutes after Rickford seized on a loose ball and used his strength and determination to elude the despairing challenges of the Winterton rearguard before firing the ball into the net for his second goal of the game and to seal a point.

Long Eaton: Baldwin, Murdock, Martin, Duik, McGinty, Breach, Gamble, Campbell (Wood 68), Bowles, Mushambi (Parker 81), Walters (Rickford 62).