HIGHLY-rated young striker Matt Murphy (pictured) rescued LINBY COLLIERY WELFARE from a spot of bother in their Notts FA Intermediate County Cup, First Round tie at home to struggling Magdala Amateurs.
Linby, riding high in the Notts Senior League’s Senior Division, with seven wins from eight games, were odds-on favourites to dispose of bottom-of-the-table Magdala Amateurs, who had seven defeats from eight games.
But they were taken to extra-time and it took two goals from Murphy, son of ex-Hucknall Town midfielder Martin Murphy, including a last-gasp winner, to squeeze them into the next round, via a 2-1 victory.
On a freakishly warm day, the tie attracted a bumper crowd of about 170 and opened with a minute’s silence for Alan Davies, the 58-year-old Hucknall cyclist who was killed in a road accident during the week. Davies was a former Linby player and also worked at the former Linby Colliery.
However the locals were soon in trouble, falling behind as early as the seventh minute when Alex McKenzie tucked away a penalty.
Worse was to follow when joint top scorer Damian Mann limped out of the action on 25. And despite several chances, Linby had to wait until the 66th minute for their equaliser.
Midfielder Aaron Potter was the architect with a lovely through-ball that released Murphy, who rounded the ‘keeper and calmly slotted home.
In the frantic search for a late winner, man-of-the-match Murphy was twice denied by a post and Potter shot inches over. But stubborn Magdala held on to force the extra half-hour.
Amazingly, Murphy struck a post for the third time as Linby stayed in control. And then a point-blank header from substitute Aaron Ingram was pushed on to the bar.
But finally, as a penalty shootout beckoned, the winner came in the nick of time as Marlow’s through ball found Murphy, who finished with aplomb in the top corner.
LINBY LINE-UP (4-4-2) Miles/ Jago, Falconer, Peberday, O’Neill/ Bradshaw, Marlow D., Winfield, Potter/ Murphy, Mann. Subs: Ingram (for Mann 25), Dakers (for O’Neill 60), Howell.