REJUVENATED LINBY COLLIERY WELFARE made it five wins on the spin as they outclassed ten-man Gedling Southbank 3-1 in the Senior Division of the Notts Senior League.
The locals were one-time leaders after a seven-match winning streak at the start of the season that was brought to an end by a 2-0 home reverse against Southbank that triggered a slump.
But there was no such woe here as Linby were clinical to keep up their hopes of a top-three finish.
They broke the deadlock in the 14th minute as the Marlow brothers, assistant manager Dave and Simon, combined to feed Damian Mann for a pass that set up top scorer Matt Murphy eight yards out to find the net.
Linby’s Scott Miles has been labelled the best ‘keeper the club has seen since Bugs Thornley in the 1950s and he proved his worth with a fine save from a dipping long-range shot in front of a crowd that included his father, who had travelled up from Cornwall.
The locals then doubled their lead. This time it was all Murphy’s own work with a turn and shot from 20 yards out that squirmed through Mark Palethorpe’s grasp.
The pendulum swung even further in Linby’s favour when home skipper Wes Burke was shown a straight red card for throwing a punch on 38 minutes.
Linby were forced into a reshuffle at half time with the injured Jonathan Dakers limping off and Southbank threw caution to the wind with three substitutions and a narrow 4-3-2 formation.
And they were back in the game when the speedy Rusharn Bennett was brought down for a penalty despatched by Matt Timons just six minutes after the restart.
However, Linby rode the mini-storm and came back with chances for man-of-the-match Murphy, who was denied his hat-trick, substitute Ricky Hodgson and Aaron Ryan, who was released by Mann but saw his shot come back off a post.
Finally Linby added a third as Murphy swung a free-kick to the back stick where Matt Ball’s towering header flew past the ‘keeper.
The result sets Linby up nicely for the big local derby with high-flying Bulwell tomorrow (Saturday).
LINBY LINE-UP – (4-4-2): Miles/ Marlow D., Jago, Ball, Dakers/ Bradshaw, Ryan, Winfield, Marlow S./ Mann, Murphy. Subs: Hodgson (for Dakers 45), Clowes, Falconer, Howell, Martin (all not used).