Wiped-out win fails to upset Linby’s rhythm

ON THE BALL --  secretary Adrian Ward (right) presents a match ball, signed by all the squad, to Matt Murphy to mark the striker's  milestone of scoring 100 goals for Linby Colliery Welfare.
ON THE BALL -- secretary Adrian Ward (right) presents a match ball, signed by all the squad, to Matt Murphy to mark the striker's milestone of scoring 100 goals for Linby Colliery Welfare.
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News that one of their big early-season victories has been wiped out failed to knock LINBY COLLIERY WELFARE off the next step of their ladder of improvement.

Linby’s 8-0 demolition of Calverton Miners Welfare in the Central Midlands League’s South Division last month is no more.

This is because Calverton have folded and resigned from the league after suffering four successive defeats by at least seven goals.

However, the fact that Linby still remain in second place in the table -- after a 3-1 victory at Holbrook St Michael’s last Saturday -- speaks volumes for the progress they are making this term.

Holbrook is never an easy place to go. The ground lacks atmosphere and the pitch is invariably bobbly. A freak rainstorm during the first half added to the problems this time.

But Linby’s increasingly exciting side put in a solid shift and earned their points without the need for goals from record-breaking marksmen Matt Murphy and Joe Butler.

Instead scoring duties were shared by two of their promising youngsters, Ruban Mitchell and Adam Fox.

Mitchell rose majestically to head home in the tenth minute from a free-kick into the area by centre-back Terry Henshaw.

Just a kinute later, man-of-the-match Fox pounced on a loose ball to fire home after Damian Mann’s shot had been parried by goalkeeper Sean Cauldwell.

And just after the half-hour, the game was all but over when a flowing move started by Henshaw and Tom Coupe ended with Butler teeing up Fox for a belter into the top corner from 20 yards.

In comparison, the second half was tame , although substitutes Kyle McDermott and Matt Peberday both went close to adding to the score.

With Henshaw and Callum Loydall turning in massive performances at the heart of the defence, and Ash Winfield in typically commanding form in the middle of midfield, Linby were content to soak up pressure and play on the counter.

Holbrook were suitably frustrated and had to wait until the 86th minute before netting a consolation goal -- a brilliant shot from 25 yards by Nigel Haslam that flew past ‘keeper Luca Rocco.