Highly-rated teenage striker Joe Butler scored twice as depleted LINBY COLLIERY WELFARE returned to Central Midlands League, South Division action with a terrific away point.
Linby had to field a very young side at high-flying Pinxton because no fewer than seven players were missing, most notably Kyle McDermott, Damian Mann, Junior Harding and Aaron Ryan.
Harding had the most plausible, but unusual, excuse because he was playing the lead role in Nottingham Operatic Society’s production of the popular musical, ‘Oklahoma!’ at the Theatre Royal in Nottingham(SEE NEWS SECTION).
However, Dabe Marlow’s side still prised a fine 2-2 draw from a home side in such good form that they had just become the first side to beat title favourites South Normanton Athletic.
In contrast, Linby had won just two of their 16 starts. But they began well and both Butler and strike partner, Matt Murphy, brought saves from home ‘keeper Jack Ward before they took a 21st minute lead.
Murphy found speedy left-back Tom Coupe whose run to the byeline ended with a cross to the near post where Butler finished well from ten yards.
Butler soon went close again and although only good blocks by defenders Matt Peberday and Chaz Niblett kept Linby ahead at the break, they came within a whisker of making it 2-0 when Murphy’s shot was stopped on the line.
Therefore, it was extremely galling to see Pinxton not only equalise in the 48th minute but also take the lead only three minutes later.
First, controversy as a header by striker Jason Dawson was cleared off the line, only to ricochet into the net off his arm. And then, quality as a free-kick by Jay Cooper was placed expertly over Linby’s defensive wall and into the bottom corner of the net.
To their credit, Dave Marlow’s team refused to give up and in the 66th minute, they found an equaliser as Butler chased down a hopeful long ball, charged down an attempted clearance by goalie Ward and tapped home the loose ball.
As the match reached an exciting climax, Linby ‘keeper Rhys Watkinson had to make a couple of fine saves.
But with Ash Winfield and Adam Fox outstanding in midfield and Peberday and recalled centre-back Mark Jago solid in defence, there was little doubt that the locals deserved their share of the spoils.
Linby have been here before this term, with good results proving to be a false dawn.
But surely this one will help them to finally get their campaign going when they meet Lincolnshire outfit Barrowby, one of only four sides below them in the table, this coming Saturday.