Linby Colliery’s poor run of form extended to six straight defeats on Saturday - but that didn’t tell the whole sorry story of their 2-0 Central Midlands League South defeat by Keyworth United at Platt Lane.
They came up against a United team in poor form themselves, having not won for seven games, so something had to give.
Manager Dave Marlow gave debuts to keeper Phil McNeil, Luke Smith, Mason Coy, Tyler Guy and Mitchell Slawson.
But, despite the big shake up, it was a similar outcome for Linby with early pressure, lots of chances created, no goals, then the home team scored with their only shot of the first half.
They found United keeper Ben Smith in fine form.
With only six minutes gone a flowing move down the right saw Mason Frizelle’s cross find Kaylum Mitchell for a close range volley that was brilliantly saved by Smith.
On 14 minutes Ruban Mitchell’s 20-yarder also brought great save from Smith.
But on 17 minutes, Keyworth’s only shot of the half resulted in a well taken goal from Corey Johnson.
Soon after a thundering volley from 18 yards from Kaylum Mitchell saw another fantastic save from Smith.
On 23 minutes, Luke Smiths cross-cum-shot to the far post beat Smith, but the ball was cleared off the line.
Ash Winfield’s 25 yard shot was parried onto the post by Smith, and scrambled clear, then Smith’s free kick, forced yet another outstanding save from Smith.
The second half started as the first had ended with all Linby pressure, but try as they might, they could not find an equaliser.
Five minutes after the break Frizelle’s cross picked out Ruban Mitchell, but his volley was again saved by Smith.
On 70 minutes, Linby’s 10th corner of the game, compared to United’s two, saw Tyler Guy’s header cleared off the line.
Four minutes later Charles put sub Mason Coy in one-on-one, but the striker put his shot wide.
Winfield then slotted Mitch Slawson in one-on-one on 80 minutes, but he saw his shot well saved by Smith.
The final irony of a one-sided game saw Keyworth wrap up the points when Connor Parkin scored with a wonderful 30 yard free kick into the top corner.
LINBY: Phil McNeill, Mason Frizelle, Tyler Guy, Terry Henshaw, Tom Coupe, Jack Millward (Mitch Slawson 55), Ash Winfield, Rian Charles, Luke Smith, Ruban Mitchell, Kaylum Mitchell (Mason Coy 55).
LINBY MAN OF THE MATCH: Ash Winfield.
Elsewhere in the division Bulwell were slammed 12-1 by leaders Belper United, Dean Oliver, Ben Stockley and Sam Vickers all bagging hat-tricks, while Hucknall Town won 5-0 away at Matlock Town Reserves to stay second and keep on Belper’s heels, Leon Aikman (2), Michael Banister, Niall Thompson and Josh Henrys on target.