THE INCREDIBLE turnaround in fortunes at LINBY COLLIERY WELFARE attained Lazarus-type status this week when they hit the TOP of the Notts Senior League, Senior Division table.
Last season, Linby finished rock-bottom with only two wins and seven points. But since the start of the new term, they have already pocketed four wins out of four and 12 points — after an amazing revival fashioned by new managers Dave Bradshaw and Dave Marlow.
The summit was reached on Tuesday night (August 30) after a 3-1 victory at home to previous leaders Awsworth Villa, which followed a win by the same scoreline against Keyworth United on Saturday August 27.
Linby fell behind against Awsworth thanks to a terrific solo run and shot by Jack Smith in the 21st minute. And worse was to follow four minutes later when a twice-taken penalty by Matt Murphy was saved each time by ‘keeper Jake Watson.
But the deserved equaliser finally arrived when Ash Winfield turned on the edge of the box and drilled into the bottom corner. And Linby were soon ahead as Damian Mann robbed centre-back Danny Chambers to finish with aplomb.
Man-of-the-match Mann scored an even better goal to complete the win, beating two men and finding the top corner.
LINBY LINE-UP (4-4-2) — Miles/ O’Neill, Peberday, Howell, Dakers/ Bradshaw J., Marlow S., Winfield, Marlow D./ Murphy, Mann. Subs: Price L. (for Mann 73), Potter (for O’Neill 78).
LIVEWIRE Mann was also at the heart of the Keyworth victory, hitting a post and seeing a chip headed off the line in the opening ten minutes.
Jonathan Dakers gave Linby a 29th minute lead. heading home an astute cross by Jonty Bradshaw. And although Ben Hanrahan levelled seven minutes later, man-of-the-match Murphy restored the advantage with a penalty after Mann had been fouled.
The two sides cancelled each other out in the second half but Linby’s passing remained sublime and classy centre-back Matt Peberday sealed the points.
LINBY LINE-UP (4-4-2) — Miles/ Martin, Peberday, Parkin G., Dakers/ Bradshaw J., Winfield, Briody, Marlow D./ Mann, Murphy. Subs: Marlow S. (for Briody 62), Potter (for Marlow D. 68), Price (for Winfield 80).