Long Eaton United FC

Long Eaton United FC

Updated 18th March: A round up of the latest Blues news from the past month...

TEN GOAL THRILLER GOOD FOR THE NEUTRALS AT GRANGE PARK:
Long Eaton United 4-6 Sporting Khalsa – Tuesday 14 March
Midland Football League Premier Division
Having thrown everything bar the kitchen sink at Westfields FC at the weekend to try and get something from the game before losing 1-0, Long Eaton United would be hoping to make home advantage count on Tuesday night when Sporting Khalsa visited Grange Park.

The visitors arrived with the admirable record of being a side yet to lose a game in 2017 – a run stretching over the course of nine games and with a chance to make it into double figured if they could claim the proverbial scalp of the Blues.

Simeon Townsend ensured that Gary Hamson’s men would have to put up a fight if they wanted to get anything from the game as he single-handedly put his team ahead with two quick strikes after two and seven minutes. 

Two goals from the Blues levelled the game at 2-2 but Townsend ensured himself of a hat-trick inside the opening 45 minutes with this third coming five minutes before the break but by that time, Tom Turner had already made it 2-3 to the visitors and Luke Shearer had added a fourth two minutes after the half hour.

The second half got underway with David Meese finding the net again for Khalsafor a 2-5 scoreline on 49, and although the Blues did narrow the deficit to 3-5 and then 4-5, a further strike from Luke Shearer two before the final whistle finally put a stop to the Long Eaton fightback. 

Amongst the Blues scorers were Alex Marshall, Romello Nangle and Paul Lister, their efforts were ultimately insufficient to stop a determined Sporting Khalsa side.  A great game for the neutrals if not everyone at Grange Park – 4-6 the final score.

NARROW DEFEAT FOR HAMSON’S BLUES:
Westfields FC 1-0 Long Eaton United – Saturday 11 March
Midland Football League Premier Division
Hoping to recover from defeat to Shepshed Dynamo in the previous fixture, Gary Hamson’s Long Eaton United travelled to face Westfields FC on Saturday.

The game was ultimately decided by a Ben Hayes strike in the first half although the Blues could have equalised within a minute of the second half getting underway.

The second half saw the Blues keeper Walker save well from Thomas as the final half hour got underway, Long Eaton then hit the woodwork from a tight angle as the keeper advanced, the advancing Blues player felled, but penalty appeals dismissed.

As the final fifteen minutes got underway, there was yet more controversy at the other end when Westfields players called for a handball, but in what could have been an addressing of the balance by the match official, again, an appeal was dismissed.

As light rain made for a zipping surface for the final ten minutes, Long Eaton mounted a final push to level the scoreline, a header going up but put out for a corner which led to another, but this was headed out as some desperate Westfields players looked on, a Blues attack just unable to reach the ball for an equaliser

Again, Long Eaton countered, again the attempt was cleared, this time not once, not twice but three times and a final flick went over the bar.  The 1-0 reverse left Long Eaton n an unlucky for them 13th in the MFL table but with a chance to make things right when Sporting Khalsa visited on Tuesday night.

COULD BLUES PUSH DYNAMO INTO MORE TROUBLE?
Long Eaton United v Shepshed Dynamo – Tuesday 7 March
Midland Football League Premier Division
There was Tuesday night football at Grange Park this week as Long Eaton United welcomed a Shepshed Dynamo side clambering for grip out of the bottom three after defeat at the weekend. This was a party night for Gary Hamson’s men with a number of Blues legends attending the game, so a victory was quite important on such a night.  Amongst the guests was the most capped player – Pete McGurk with 436 appearances – ironically, the night’s raffle draw ticket number too!

The home side set about in determined fashion, applying pressure from the off and with struggling Dynamo equally struggling to take the ball and put passes of their own together.   However, the early part of the game came and went with both sides struggling to threaten the goal at either end, with shots from distance more prevalent.

However, a minute before the half hour, Alex Marshall opened the Blues’ account for the night after a period of good build up play but Shepshed then set about a period of determination to find an equaliser, Langham denied my Blues keeper Mitchison’s fingers on 36.

The second half saw both sides apply themselves well but eight minutes, there was a game turner – Ball sent off for the home side which made the lead look even more fragile than it already did.  Fragile was the word as within the same minute, a sweetly struck free kick from Joel Carta nestled into the Blues net to level at 1-1.

The Blues boss swiftly began deploying his substitutes after the sending off, but Shepshed sensed a chance to secure three points and climb out of the bottom three – other results allowing.  It was end to end game play to see the 90 minutes out, United forced to defend hard to protect a point which was very much in the balance.

That balance was already in Shepshed’s favour with 10v11 and in the 90th minute, there came a match winner for the Leicestershire side – captain Jake Betts was the man to spoil Long Eaton’s night from close range after a period of intense pressure.

HAMSON’S MEN ARE THE COMEBACK KINGS:
Highgate United 1-2 Long Eaton United – Saturday 25 February
Midland Football League Premier Division
After seemingly a greater number of home games for most of this season, Long Eaton United found themselves on the road on Saturday as they travelled to face Highgate United in the Midland Football League Premier Division.

There was responsibility on the Blues’ collective shoulders with both Ilkeston FC and Borrowash Victoria facing postponements due to waterlogged pitches, but this game at Highgate was most definitely on for Gary Hamson’s men to take part in.

The fixture, during which time, Highgate commemorated the death of former player Tony Allden who tragically died 50 years to the day having been struck by lightning on the pitch, was made possible after the Blues agreed to a fixture switch, the game preceded by the unveiling of a stand in Allden’s memory and name..

However, the Blues were ultimately able to put the dampeners on the game, holding a two goal lead by the break.  Kallum Keane scored the Blues’ first and Romaine Graham extended that lead, and although the home side narrowed the deficit in the second half as the final fifteen minutes was about to get underway.  Any Highgate hopes of a leveller were boosted late on when Aaron Cole was sent off for a second bookable offence meaning the game was to round out with ten a side but that restored balance and little time on the clock left 10 vs 10 being the balance Hamson’s men needed to see the game out.

BLUES SLIP TO NARROW MIDWEEK DEFEAT:
Boldmere St. Michaels 1-0 Long Eaton United – Tuesday 28 February
Midland Football League Premier Division
Long Eaton United were in midweek action this week with an away game to face the Mikes, aka Boldmere St. Michaels in the next Midland Football League Premier Division fixture.

The first half was an evenly contested affair, Aaron Cole with a searching 30 yard pass to Blair Anderson with 20 minutes gone but nothing came of it – and whilst the Blues carved out a few more opportunities, Shaw for the Mikes sent a floated free kick on 37 but as with some other examples for both sides, whilst the initial pass for good, there was frequently no-one on the end to make anything of it.

Early in the second half, Joe Smith sent a fizzing drive towards Blues keeper Cotterell but the Long Eaton shot stopper tipped the ball over.  Still the Mikes applied the pressure and five minutes in, the Blues were lucky to still be on 0-0 level terms.  Lyng’s volleyed effort cleared off the line from a ball from the edge of the area.

The half continued with chances at either end, Cotterell tipping one Mikes shot onto the bar whilst Romaine Graham volleyed over at the other.  This was always going to be a game where one goal could decide it and it came for Boldmere 22 from time from who?  Capaldi rounding Cotterell to find the net.

The Long Eaton keeper was needed again within minutes, tipping a strong Shaw shot around a post, but the game round out with the Blues unable to find an equaliser, which would have been deserved had it come, but it didn’t and Gary Hamson’s side can feel disappointed as a result.


WHEELS COME OFF AS ONLY THE HOME SIDE ARE SPORTING:
Sporting Khalsa 5-0 Long Eaton United – Tuesday 22 February
Midland Football League Premier Division
After losing by the odd goal in seven at the weekend, we learnt two things – that Long Eaton United can score, but are equally able to concede, four shipped at the weekend, three in reply, and something akin to capitulation on Tuesday night when Gary Hamson took his Blues side to Sporting Khalsa.

This was a display described by @GroundhopUK on Twitter as ‘abject’ – the correspondent with @erewashsport telling us that Long Eaton United were lucky to have NIL.

However, if the early shot from distance had found the net, the match may have turned out differently but that early shot was tipped over by the Khalsa keeper and moments later, in the ninth minute, they led – Boothe heading down at the back post and with the ball just creeping over the line.

Four before the half hour, there was a great chance for the Blues to level when the home side keeper was caught off his line – the shot from the borough side hitting the bar before being cleared.   On the stroke of half time, the hosts made an unusually timed change with Fabrice on for Yusuf.

The fresh legs had barely had chance to make a mark, but after the break, they most certainly would.  Khalsa were ahead four minutes after the restart – Simeon Townsend sending a powerful header home from a Haynes throw.

Two before the hour, Fabrice made his mark, Shearer crossing for the scorer to merely tap the ball home.  Five minutes later, it was 4-0 – Fabrice went wide moments before but Shearer went from provider to scorer, one-on-one with Mitchison before slotting home.

The Blues didn’t give up despite the fact that time was nowhere near being in their favour and twelve from time, a zipping drive went narrowly wide.   It was about as good as it got for Hamson’s men as five from time, the home side made it 5-0 – Perrin getting another tap in from a knockdown pass.