LINBY Colliery Welfare put in a good display but fell just short as they were beaten 1-0 at home to third-placed Pinxton in the CMFL South.
Pinxton are established at this level and proved to be a superbly organised side who look set to mount a title challenge, but Linby, new to the division, whilst well nullified up front were superb in central midfield, with Aaron Ryand and Ashley Winfield dominating their opposite numbers.
Centre-backs Mark Jago and skipper Matt Peberday were also outstanding but the hosts were ultimately maid to pay for one moment of slack play just four minutes in.
Kieran Debrouwer picked out striker Jay Cooper with a pinpoint cross to the far post and he looped his header in for 1-0.
Other than that, Linby dominated possession and on 25 minutes Matt Murphy saw his shot well saved by ex-Heanor goalkeeper Mark Frost, who then denied Ryan following Dave Marlow’s free-kick.
Linby upped their game in the second-half and five minutes in a lovely move ended with Murphy’s shot being well saved.
Then, in a rare break forward from the hosts, Debrouwer then saw an effort beat Jack Harvey in goal but hit the post on 62 minutes.
With 20 minutes left Ryan’s free-kick picked out Winfield but Frost produced another stunning save to tip over the bar.
Another flowing move involving Peberday, Murphy and Barry Payne then saw sub Martyn Burke shoot from ten yards but again Frost was equal to it, as he was once more to stop a Winfield header moments later.
Pinxton had Darren Bettison red carded for a foul with ten minutes to go after Peberday had been put through on goal by Winfield, though Linby were upset the referee didn’t play the necessary advantage which could have led to an equaliser.
But the visitors held on with further saves from Frost and a very solid defence in front of him - perhaps the best Linby have faced all season - as shown by this being the first time in 16 games that they have failed to score this season.
Linby: Harvey, McShane, Peberday, Jago, Dakers (coupe 80), D Marlow (Patterson 64), Ryan, Winfield, Bradshaw (Burke 64), Payne, Murphy.
Man-of-the-match - Aaron Ryan.