HIGH-riding LINBY COLLIERY WELFARE got back to winning ways with a hard-fought win away at Blackwell in the South Division of the Central Midlands League.
The hosts have been through traumatic changes in recent months, having resigned from the East Midlands Counties League and had to put together a new and youthful team.
Linby started well and squandered three one-on-one chances in the first half hour, Kyle McDermott, Chaz Niblett and Matt Murphy all seeing the home keeper Matt Foster pulling off good saves to deny Linby a lead.
But on 37 minutes they did take a deserved lead, as good build up work from Murphy and Jonty Bradshaw saw McDermott turn his man on the edge of the area and find the top corner with a superb curling left foot shot.
But Linby were then shocked to concede an instant equaliser two minutes later, Lee Hilliar with a peach of a 22-yard drive into the corner of the net for 1-1.
McDermott then saw his free-kick well saved by Foster and the keeper did well to save the follow up shot from Mark Jago.
Linby were back in front just before half-time, as Bradshaw’s teasing cross from the right wing was handled by Blackwell’s centre-half Daz Thomson, and the eagle-eyed linesman gave the penalty. Up stepped Murphy to dispatch his eighth goal of the season for 2-1.
Linby went further in front on 48 minutes as Murphy shook off his marker and finished superbly into the bottom corner for his ninth goal this season in only six starts.
It should have been four on 53 minutes, good work from man-of-the-match Bradshaw and McDermott setting up Martin Burke, but he put the one-on-one wide of the target.
Blackwell clawed their way back into the game, as substitute Lloyd Davis netted on 72 minutes, but Linby held on fairly easily for the three points that move them up to sixth in the table.
n LINBY LINE-UP — Guyatt/ Paterson (Falconer 80), Jago, Henshaw, Dakers, Bradshaw, Winfield, Niblett, Burke (Marlow 63), McDermott, Murphy.