A tale of two highly contrasting 2-2 draws maintained LINBY COLLIERY WELFARE’S unbeaten start to the Central Midlands League, South Division season.
Last Saturday, Linby were jubilant after recovering from two goals down to hold reigning champions, Clifton All Whites, on their own patch.
But on Tuesday night, the mood was very different after they had thrown away two points against a Southwell City side reduced to NINE men by two sending-offs.
Southwell’s star man, Stef Whiteley, who had given his side a sixth-minute lead with a 25-yarder, was first to walk early in the second half with the score at 1-1.
Piling on the pressure and creating numerous chances, Linby finally edged ahead three minutes from the end when Matt Murphy converted a penalty, awarded for a foul by last defender Tommy Street, who became the second player to be dismissed.
But amazingly, Linby leaked an injury-time equaliser when substitute Nathan Kelly was allowed to steal in.
Murphy had also netted the initial leveller back in the 14th minute.
A superb battling display earned Linby their deserved point at Clifton in what was a pulsating game.
They must haved feared the worst when they fell 2-0 down inside the opening half-hour. First Ben Clark hit a peach of a low drive into the bottom corner, and then a low cross by Dan Starbuck was backheeled home by ex-Hucknall Town striker Rob Gill.
However, Linby fought back in a remarkable seven-minute period before rhe break.
First they missed a penalty when Mason Frizelle’s kick was parried away by ‘keeper Ollie Mason after Damian Mann had been upended.
But from the resulting corner, they halved the deficit as Ruban Mitchell smacked a header into the roof of the net from Mann’s corner.
Next, when they were awarded a second spot-kick, this time for a foul on surging left-back Tom Coupe, defender Matt Peberday brought the scores level.
The points could have gone either way in a thrilling second half. Gill hit a post for Clifton, but Coupe rattled the bar from 25 yards for Linby, who also saw a Joe Butler header cleared off the line.
Midfield general Aaron Ryan took the man-of-the-match award after a titanic tussle with Craig Anderson, but Peberday and Terry Henshaw were massive at the back.