Teenage striker Joe Butler bagged the only goal of the game as LINBY COLLIERY WELFARE prised a hard-working victory out of Central Midlands League (CML), South Division new boys, Eastwood Community.
Eastwood, who have risen from the ashes of former non-league giants Eastwood Town, are owned by Hucknall businessmen Ben Marshall and Brian Willows. And after a poor start to the season, losing their first eight league games, they improved to knock CML, North Division high-fliers Thoresby Colliery Welfare out of the Notts FA Senior County Cup the previous week.
But on their first viusit to Coronation Park since 1998, Linby took the points thanks to a gritty, rather than flamboyant, display -- and another impressive contribution from tireless man-of-the-match Butler.
His matchwinner came two minutes into the second half when Eastwood ‘keeper Andy Fretwell, who had been outstanding in the opening period, made a mistake as he went to kick downfield. Butler closed him down, pinched the ball and rounded him to slot into an empty net.
Either side of the goal, Linby squandered lots of other chances, with a 25-yard free-kick by Damian Mann tipped on to the bar by Fretwell and an angled drive by Matt Murphy rattling a post.
Ironically, Eastwood’s best player was Frazer Dulson, grandson of legendary ex-local player Ralph ‘Dicky’ Dulson, who scored Linby’s goal when they played in the First Round proper of the FA Cup way back in 1950, losing 4-1 to Gillingham.
LINBY LINE-UP (4-4-2) -- Rocco/ Frizelle M., Henshaw, Peberday, Loydall/ Mann, Charles, Winfield, Mitchell K./ Murphy, Butler.