Home truths hit Linby hard

Home truths mean the Central Midlands League, South Division table never lies as far as LINBY COLLIERY WELFARE are concerned.

For their EIGHTH defeat in 11 matches at their Church Lane ground this season dropped them into the bottom three for the first time.

Victory at Newark Town in the league cup the previous week gave Linby hope that a torrid season could turn the corner.

But it was back to square one after a 4-0 hammering at the hands of efficient South Normanton Athletic, who are emerging as the main challengers to Bulwell for the championship.

Even allowing for three changes, including the absence of the star man at Newark, Damian Mann, Linby looked a completely different outfit from seven days earlier.

OK, the first 25 minutes were even, with no real chances at either end. But then it all went wrong inside 12 horrible minutes when Normanton cruised into a 3-0 lead.

First, Rob Fretwell bundled the ball home from three yards when a corner wasn’t cleared.

Next, striker Lee Sutton was left in acres of space to finish easily from 12 yards.

And then Sutton struck again, this time with a spectacular overhead kick that flew into the top corner.

Linby thought they’d pulled a goal back on the stroke of half-time when a Matt Murphy free-kick appeared to have been parried over his own line by goalkeeper Scott Whittingham.

But the poorly-positioned linesman couldn’t give it and Linby suffered more bad luck in the second period when several chances went begging.

The pick were a 20-yard shot from Rhys Davies that was tipped round a post and a one-on-one for Tom Coupe that hit the side-netting after good work by man-of-the-match Ash Winfield.

As if to dig the knife in deeper, Normanton responded with a fourth goal two minutes from the end when a clear foul on Charlie Niblett was ignored, allowing Ben Greenhalgh to cross for Graham O’Reilly to slide home.