Linby pipped in 10-goal thriller as unbeaten run is ended
Linby CW's unbeaten start to the CML Premier Division South season, went up in smoke as they lost 6-4 in a freak high-scoring affair at Nottingham FC's Melbourne Park on Saturday.
With 12 players missing through injury and unavailability, it was a testament to Linby's management team, led by Andy Tring and Stewart Bowley, that the club ended up fielding two competitive teams.
For the neutral the game was full of excellent quality goals, but for the managers of both teams it became a defensive nightmare.
It all started in the second minute when Calrick Dunkley brilliantly finished from a wide angle into the far bottom corner to put Nottingham ahead
After five minutes Sam Brookes had to limp out of the action, to be replaced by Tom Williams.
Linby went onto squander three useful opportunities for an equaliser, before it finally arrived on 22 minutes.
Rory Smith's free kick from wide on the left found Jack James, whose header crashed against the bar, with Harley Shooter putting the rebound away from a yard out.
However, on 31 minutes the mercurial Blaiz Hall produced a moment of magic, beating two men and applying a brilliant finish to put Nottingham ahead again.
On 36 minutess, Williams was felled by an accidental flaying arm on the halfway line. The referee refused to stop play, claiming it wasn’t an head injury, despite the clear evidence of blood of the Linby man’s face.
Amid the disarray Hall jinked through again and once more produced a wonderful finish to best Jack Leverton.
But on 40 minutes Sean Craven pulled a goal back, playing a one-two with Joe Wright before finishing well into the bottom corner.
Amazingly it was all square on 45 minutes. Craven's corner found James at the far post and his towering header crashed into the top corner.
Linby took the lead for the first time in the game on the hour.
Wright got to the by-line and cut the ball back for Smith to apply the finish from eight yards out.
But on 66 minutes the referee awarded Nottingham a penalty that Linby felt was two feet outside the area. But Hall stepped up and completed his hat-trick.
Two minutes later James saw an header from another Linby corner cleared off the line.
Soon after Leverton made a superb save to deny Hall his fourth goal, but from the resultant corner Edwin Anani smashed in the loose ball to make it 5-4.
As Linby searched for a late equaliser, Wright had a shot saved, Craven had an effort blocked on the line, and James volleyed inches wide.
But they got caught on the inevitable speedy counter attack where Hall scored his fourth goal on 87 minutes.
There was still time to see Shooter have a shot saved and James was just wide with another header.
Linby will need players back to re-group , with two tough games coming up - a visit to Long Eaton Community on Saturday and a home game against Mickleover Reserves the week after.