Determined LINBY COLLIERY WELFARE defied all the odds to pull off a famous victory in the Second Round (last 32) of the Central Midlands League Cup.
After only two wins in 20 South Division games, Linby were not fancied at all for their trip to Newark Town, who are riding high in fifth place in the North Division.
Especially as Newark had scored 17 goals in their previous three outings and had thrashed Linby 6-1 last season.
And especially as the locals were forced to field such a threadbare squad that managers Dave Marlow and Jonathan Dakers named themselves as two of the three substitutes.
But shaking off all their recent lows, Linby secured a 3-2 win. And it wasn’t all backs-to-the-wall stuff. They played some good passing football too.
Much of their threat was posed by Damian Mann, who returned to the team in a radical, new free role.
As early as the ninth minute, he was jinking his way to the line and crossing for Joe Butler, whose shot was cleared off the line.
And two minutes later, when Mann was fouled, he got up to deliver a free-kick that ended with Butler giving Linby the lead, swooping to slam home the loose ball.
Mann unveiled another skilful run, beating three players before bringing a superb save from Newark ‘keeper Chris Riley.
So it was a bit galling when the home side produced an equaliser on 33 as a long, searching ball found Chris Dobbie, who calmly dribbled round goalie Rhys Watkinson in a one-on-one.
Linby restored their lead only six minutes later when Matt Murphy released teenage striker Butler, who kept his head to skip round Riley.
And although they had a scare early in the second period as Adam Fox headed off the line from a header by giant centre-back Luke Parsons, it was soon 3-1.
This time a shot by defender Mason Frizelle came out off the bar and as Butler kept the ball alive, an intelligent pass found Murphy, who beat his man before planting a beautiful, curling shot into the top corner from the edge of the area.
Newark responded with plenty of pressure. But Linby defended well, with a new, previously untried centre-back partnership of reserve-team player Paul Prewett and fresh signing Darrel Hargreaves enjoying outstanding games.
Not until the 87th minute did the home side pull a goal back -- substitute Dominic Swingler scoring after good work by fellow sub Sam Bagworth.