LINBY continued their unbeaten start to their maiden season in the South Division of the Central Midlands League with a 1-1 draw in their first away game at Calverton
Without key players Matt Murphy, Mark Jago and goalkeeper Curtis Holmes, Linby faced a very well-organised and supremely fit Calverton team, who were willing to put hard work in to deny Linby space and time to play their own brand of football.
Indeed it wasn’t until the 22nd minute that Linby fashioned the first chance of the game, Az Ryan’s searching cross picking Damian Mann out at the far post but his turn and shot bringing a good save out of goalkeeper Kieran Pollard.
Jamie Bennett headed a corner just wide four minutes later for Linby, before a lovely through ball from Ash Winfield put Mann away but his shot was well saved.
Joint player/manager Dave Marlow’s 28-yard free-kick then flew inches wide of Pollard’s Post.
Calverton had their first attempt on target in the 50th minute, a Dave Reedman free-kick well saved by Mark Beaumont.
Linby took what looked a winning lead on the hour, when after a period of pressure, Mann’s accurate corner found the head of Martin Burke who arrowed a fine header past the keeper.
A Rhys Davis shot from the edge of the area hit Linby’s post as the home side started to take the ascendancy for the first time in the game, and Linby were reduced to ten men on 75 minutes, when Matt Peberday was sent off for retaliation.
Jon Dakers saw a free-kick well saved as Linby attempted to take to game to Calverton and release the pressure, but the home side found an equaliser on 86 minutes when a well-worked move ended with a neat finish from Alex Clarson.
Despite Linby’s late attempt to force a win, with Ryan seeing a 25-yard shot saved and Ash Winfield’s effort fizzing just wide, they had to settle for a point.
n LINBY LINE-UP — Beaumont/ Marlow D., Bennett, Peberday, Dakers, Burke, Niblett (for Marlow S. 55), Winfield, Ryan, Mann (for Potter 83), McDermott (for Bradshaw 65).
n Linby Man-of-the-match — Ryan.