Harris at the double as Linby stretch unbeaten 2017 start

Aidy Harris scored two goals.

Aidy Harris scored two goals.

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Two Aidy Harris goals helped Linby Colliery to a 4-0 win at a soggy Keyworth that left them sixth in Central Midlands League Division South.

Kye Pilmore and a late Gary Atkins penalty ensured the side continued their unbeaten start to 2017, that included a 3-2 win over high-flying South Normanton Town.

After the game manager Lewis Saxby said: “It was a scrappy performance. I don’t think we played particularly well in the first half, but we held on and saw the game through to a victory.

“It’s good to see our early good run of form in 2017 continue and if it carries on we can hopefully finish in a top-six place.”

Linby have 30 points from 22 matches, but have played more games than teams around them in the table.

It was the home side who started the strongest as Linby had to contend with low sunlight, a first-half incline and a towering defence.

That led to an unusually slow start by the visitors, who still had the first chance when Lewis Weaver raced around the keeper with less than a minute played before seeing his shot cleared for a corner.

At the other end, Keyworth’s Patrick Sneath nearly got the opener after he attempted an audacious lob over Jamie Davies. His quickly-taken free kick from the halfway line flew inches over the Linby keeper’s bar.

The home side started to control possession as the first half went on without properly troubling Davies.

Beau Brady had the best chance, but could only send his free header in the box wide after connecting with a long-range free kick.

After 34 minutes, Linby managed to pull ahead.

A diagonal ball from the right was met by Mitchell Slawson on the left wing. He sent the ball back into the centre, where it was brought down and buried in the net by Pilmore.

In reply, Richard Whyman’s curling effort from the edge of the box flew just over Davies’ goal.

As the half ended the early troubling sunlight was quickly replaced by a heavy rain shower.

The weather didn’t stop Linby though, who doubled their lead just before the break.

Captain Harris made a Cruyff-style turn on the penalty spot before smashing the ball home.

It took less than eight minutes of the second half for Linby to get a third.

Lewis Weaver was able to weave his way through the defence down the left wing, before the ball was eventually played to Harris, who fired home with his shot bouncing in off the right post.

Luke Burrell thought he had got a goal back for Keyworth after breaking through and sliding a shot past Jamie Davies into the right corner, but the linesman had already put his flag up for offside.

Linby sealed victory from the penalty spot with nine minutes remaining.

Weaver had initially rounded the keeper, but saw his shot bounce back to him off the post.

As the winger attempted a second effort on goal, he was clipped and the referee pointed to the penalty spot.

Atkins stepped up and calmly slotted the ball in from 12 yards.

On Saturday, Linby are at home to bottom-of-the-table Holbrook St Michaels.