Below-par LINBY COLLIERY WELFARE endured their worst afternoon since moving up to the Central Midlands League when beaten by lowly Blidworth Welfare on Easter Monday.
Blidworth sat next to bottom of the South Division with only three wins from 25 games and a goal difference of minus-66 after leaking 96 goals.
But they inflicted a 3-0 defeat on Linby, who paid the price for being forced to field an under-strength team for various reasons.
Virtually everything that could go wrong did so, starting in the second minute when striker Baz Payne fluffed a golden chance.
Sixty seconds later, Blidworth snatched the lead with a scruffy goal from Jason Dawson. And then Linby wasted a glorious opportunity to bag an instant equaliser when Payne missed a penalty, awarded for a foul on Tom Coupe. His shot beat former Hucknall Town goalkeeper Jason Fisher but struck a post.
Dave Marlow’s side went on to enjoy 80% of possession for the rest of the game, but they could not buy a goal.
Player/manager Marlow was himself denied by a post when set up by impressive 17-year-old substitute Joe Butler. And then Coupe found the woodwork too -- his shot rattling the bar after Payne had headed down a cross by ex-Burton Albion star Terry Henshaw.
Linby’s frustration reached boiling point when they fell for a sucker punch on the hour as Josh Madin made it 2-0 to Blidworth.
Still they pressed forward, with man-of-the-match Coupe heading inches over the bar. And when Butler had a shot cleared off the line, from a cross by another 17-year-old sub, Charlie Miller, the follow-up effort from Chaz Niblett was brilliantly saved by Fisher.
Fisher saved well again to foil Payne in a one-on-one and by the time Mark Jago’s header had grazed the bar, it was clear it wasn’t going to be Linby’s day.
That was confirmed eight minutes from the end when another Blidworth breakaway yielded their third goal as Dawson bundled the ball over the line after a couple of valiant goalline clearances by Darren Dickens.
Incredibly, there was still time for Linby to hit the woodwork yet again when a 30-yarder from Jago came back off a post.
LINBY LINE-UP (4-4-2): Lewis/ Dickens, Jago, Henshaw, Dakers/ Marlow D., Banister, Niblett C., Coupe/ Start A., Payne. Subs: Butler J. (for Start 45), Miller (for Marlow 65).
On a brighter note for the club, Linby’s under-18 side beat Southwell City 4-0 in the spring supplementary competition of the Chad Mansfield Youth League.
The goals were scored by Marshall Collingwood (2), Charlie Miller and Joe Butler.