Proud LINBY COLLIERY WELFARE are on the verge of county cup glory after reaching their first major final for seven years.
Linby, going well in the Central Midlands League’s (CML) South Division, made light work of Notts Senior League (NSL) underdogs Sandhurst to coast to a 3-0 victory in the last four of the Notts FA Intermediate Cup.
Now Dave Marlow’s men will face much sterner opposition in Bilsthorpe in the final on Thursday 23rd April at a venue to be decided. Bilsthorpe, who are one of the front-runners for the title in the CML’s North Division, beat NSL high-fliers Cotgrave 4-2 in the other semi.
As one of the highest-ranked sides in the competition, Linby have high hopes of lifting a trophy they won in 1995 and reached the final of in 2008. And they got the job done in workmanlike fashion, overcoming a spirited first-half display by Sandhurst, which made them wait until the 36th minute for the breakthrough goal.
It was a scruffy goal too as Joe Butler rose with visiting ‘keeper Dan Abbot and manufactured a looping header that evaded a covering defender and crept over the line with Sandhurst appealing for a foul. But it was also a goal that relieved Linby of their nervousness.
Moments later, young striker Butler almost struck again with a towering header that hit the bar after Damo Mann had wriggled his way to the byline for a cross. And in the second half, the locals looked much more like their usual selves.
Mann was denied a penalty and set up a ‘goal’ for Butler that was ruled offside before playing a wonderful through-ball which led to Butler teeing up Matt Murphy to slot home for 2-0 to mark his last game before starting a five-month travelling expedition in Thailand and New Zealand.
The tie was sealed six minutes from the end when Mann again jinked through for a cross that ended with substitute Kyle McDermott volleying into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.
It could even have been four as the lively Mann sent a low, angled drive against a post.
LINBY LINE-UP (4-4-2) -- Rocco/ Frizelle M., Henshaw, Peberday, Coupe (man-of-match)/ Mitchell K., Ryan, Mitchell R., Mann/ Murphy, Butler. SUBS: Winfield (for Ryan 55), McDermott (for Mitchell K. 60), Price (for Butler 70).