Saturday, 28 January 2012

Linby CW 4-2 Sandhurst. NSL-Senior Division

A £5 Zigzag ticket covered the four buses I needed to get to Linby and return to Basford. From Nottingham Victoria bus station the Trent 141 leaves at half past the hour and the nearest stop is the Horse and Groom pub on Main street, Linby. Walk back from the pub 100 yards and turn left into Church Lane, pass St Michaels Church and another 100 yards on your right is Linby CW FC. The return bus to Nottingham leaves at 20 minutes to the hour, a visit to the Horse and Groom is highly recomended if you like Real Ale.

Linby CW have applied to join the Central Midlands League next season along with Hucknall Rolls Leisure of the Notts Senior League. Linby were second in the League for a length of time but FC Cavaliers and Bulwell FC have pulled away from the pack. The visitors Sandhurst are based in Walesby and find themselves second from bottom in the Division.

Entrance free, Programme £1 (Excellent), no hot food, coffee 60p

It’s a lovely ground, having the backdrop of St Michaels Church. No floodlights or hard standing but there is cover. On the Church Lane side there is a small covered area set back from the away dugout, I think about 10 at the most could fit inside. The home dugout is on the other side of the pitch with a stand that could hold about 50 supporters.

The game kicked off in bright sunshine and the Red shirted Linby side were quickly on the attack. Dave Marlow sent over an inviting cross for Aaron Ryan who headed over from 12 yards out. The visitors had the ball in the Linby half for the next ten minutes and a Sandhurst corner to the far post was headed over and a couple of long range efforts never threatened Scott Miles in the Linby goal. Both teams were guilty of wasting some good opportunities. Sandhurst’s Munson had a one on one with the Linby keeper but his effort was saved by the keepers legs, and just after that Linby’s Damian Mann raced through on goal only to see his shot go over the bar. The worst miss of the half came when Linby’s Aaron Ryan beat the offside shout, ran towards goal and scuffed his shot, the ball rolling into the keeper’s arms. As the first half came to a close Aaron Ryan tried a shot from 30 yards that hit the side netting. HT 0-0.

Sandhurst were caught cold in the first minute of the second half. Aaron Potter sent Damian Mann through on goal and Mann shot low and hard into the corner of the net. 1-0. Four minutes later things got worse for Sandhurst when a defender was judged to have brought down Ricky Hodgson in the area. Griffiths the keeper had no chance of saving the well placed penalty taken by Simon Marlow. 2-0. Sandhurst fought back well and the hard working Cliff Clarke rifled a 25 yarder over the bar. Sandhurst’s centre forward Munson beat three players then saw Scott Miles turn his resulting shot out for a corner. The corner came into the box and Sandhurst's right back Summers thundered in an unstoppable header. 2-1. Linby came close to restoring their two goal advantage when the ball  was pumped upfield and a Sandhurst defender mistimed his header giving Aaron Ryan a free run on goal. The keeper raced out to narrow the angle and Ryan's shot hit the post and went out for a goalkick. On 70 minutes Linby's Murphy had an attempt at goal from the edge of the area. The keepers view of the shot was obstructed by his own defenders and the ball flew past him into the net. 3-1. Sandhurst came back at Linby and it was Summers once again on the scoresheet for the visitors. A low drive from 16 yards out beat the keeper and ended in the corner of the net. 3-2.

The Linby side were now getting edgy and mistakes and misunderstandings were more evident.
The most controversial moment of the game occured in the 80th minute. Sandhurst substitute Oates sent team mate Cliff Clarke into the Linby area with a fine pass, Clarke's heels were clipped just as he was about to shoot, but he stayed on his feet and shot past the keeper. At the same moment he shot, the referee blew his whistle. The referee went over to his linesman had a chat and decided Sandhurst were to be awarded a free kick just outside the area! Obviously this was a travesty and didn’t go down well with anyone connected with Sandhurst. A player was booked, the manager (who looked the spit of Bobby Ball) did his nut and had to be spoken to by the referee and Linby supporters were laughing their heads off. After some kind of peace was restored the free kick was blasted over. Sandhurst to their credit battled on but one minute into time added on Linby broke forward, the ball was played to the right wing then crossed inside where Aaron Potter hit a stonker of a shot past the helpless keeper. 4-2.

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