A penalty-miss in the last minute denied LINBY COLLIERY WELFARE a point their stirring fightback deserved at Allenton United in the Central Midlands League, South Division last Saturday.
In a disastrous opening 18 minutes, Linby found themselves three goals down against the Derby outfit. But they pulled it back to 3-2 and when left-back Tom Coupe was brought down in the box in the dying seconds, they looked sure to salvage a draw.
Sadly, the usually reliable Matt Murphy drove his spot-kick against the bar. And even though Kyle McDermott reacted first to the rebound, his follow-up header also came out off the underside of the bar and the ball was scrambled away.
League newcomers Allenton, who are one of the few teams to beat Bulwell, had gone one up on 12 when a long ball picked out Troy Black who dismissed offside appeals to thump a stunning 20-yard volley into the top corner.
It was 2-0 on 16 when a free-kick found centre-back Steve O’Connell for a simple finish from six yards. And it was 3-0 when a half-cleared corner enabled right-back Ollie Buxton to drill an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner.
To their credit, Linby refused to cave in and after Rhys Davies’s header had been cleared off the line, they cut the deficit in the 36th minute. A superb move involving man-of-the-match Ash Winfield, led to Joe Butler slipping in Murphy, who drove home.
Moments later, Adam Fox’s shot was cleared off the line and Murphy was denied by the ‘keeper in a one-on-one.
Linby proved they were very much in the game early in the second half when Murphy’s free-kick struck the underside of the bar. And after a wonderful save by Rhys Watkinson, to deny Black, at the other end, they netted a second goal on 73. A header from one substitute, McDermott was saved, only for another sub, Darrell Hargreaves, to score with the loose ball.
Linby’s hopes were raised even further when Allenton captain Sam Brown was sent off in the 82nd minute for his second yellow card. But after more chances for Murphy, McDermott and Mark Jago came the heartbreaking finale.
LINBY LINE-UP (4-4-2) -- Watkinson/ Frizelle, Jago, Henshaw, Coupe/ Davies, Winfield, Fox, Ajewola/ Butler, Murphy. SUBS: McDermott (for Davies 45), Niblett (for Ajewole 55), Hargreaves (for Butler 68).