Long Eaton United FC

Long Eaton United FC

Updated 6th May: A round up of the latest Blues news from the past month...

Tividale FC 2-4 Long Eaton United – Saturday 29 April
Midland Football League Premier Division
Long Eaton United finished their season in style on Saturday with six goal thriller at Tividale FC.

The Blues have long lingered in mid-table this season due to a mix of good and bad results for them and others around them and a few managerial changes over the course of the season.  The Grange Park side have struggled to adjust to life after Charlie Palmer – the former Rams player moved to Belper Town some time ago but the arrival of the likes of Gary Sucharewycz and Ian Robinson and more recently, former Borrowash Victoria manager Gary Hamson have not made for a settled season for the club from the south of the borough.

Shaun Rickford made a return over recent months and the result has seen a slightly more settled environment which should hopefully bode well for the new season after the Blues secured their place in the same tier of the football pyramid some weeks ago.

Two from Andy Todd and strikes from Danny Brain and Blaine Hancock put four on the board for Long Eaton United with replies from Chris Bladen on 70 and an eventual consolation for Dan Smith two into added time meant that the victory, albeit having conceded that late goal, was somewhat emphatic after such a strong end of season display.

Rocester FC 2-1 Long Eaton United – Saturday 22 April
Midland Football League Premier Division
With the job of securing their Midland Football League Premier Division status having been done in the last couple of fixtures, Long Eaton United are merely seeing the season out and were in Staffordshire on Saturday to take on Rocester FC.

This was the penultimate game of the season for Shaun Rickford’s men and in a tightly contested mid table, there are variables as to where they could ultimately finish, i.e. closer to the Top 10 or closer to around the 20th place mark.

At Hillsfield, all three of the goals came in the first half, leaving any spectators expecting more in the second half to be disappointed.  Blair Anderson was on target for the borough side, but strikes from Joe Brockley and Oliver Roome were sufficient to send Long Eaton United back to the Erewash borough without so much as a point for their efforts, and it is now down to the final game of the season at Tividale on Saturday to decide just where Rickford’s side will finish when all is said and done for another season.

Long Eaton United 2-0 Coventry Sphinx – Monday 17 April
Midland Football League Premier Division
After late heroics on Saturday against Westfields FC, Long Eaton United welcomed Coventry Sphinx to Grange Park on Easter Bank Holiday Monday for the final home game of the season, the Blues needing a win to guarantee their survival in the Midland Football League Premier Division for another season.

Shaun Rickford, back at the club once more, is now established, as he has been before, in a player manager role – leading from the front and he would certainly play his part in this game and guiding his side to victory against a spirited Coventry Sphinx side.

Early doors though, it appeared as if the Blues had failed to heed the lessons of the eventual draw on Saturday, finding it necessary for a goal line clearance from a corner to avoid going behind early on, and with the visitors having the first shot of the game within the opening minute.

But Long Eaton United did get a grip in the game and led after just 14 minutes -  a long free kick saw Todd, Rickford and Piliero involved, the latter slotting the ball home.

Long Eaton United 3-3 Westfields FC – Saturday 15 April
Midland Football League Premier Division
We’ve not remarked on it because we didn’t think it was possible but the fact remained over the Easter weekend that Long Eaton United needed to find some end of season form to secure their Midland Football League Premier Division status for another season.

Westfields FC were the visitors to Grange Park on Easter Saturday for a game that would keep the neutrals entertained and shred the nerves of fans and officials for both sides involved.

Long Eaton United were the first to find the goal inside the opening fifteen minutes – a delightful pass from player manager, the returning Shaun Rickford put Andy Todd In to knock the ball around the visiting keeper.

A penalty put them 2-0 up inside the opening half hour, Andy Todd doubling the scoreline and confirming a brace for him on the day after a foul was committed in the area by the Westfields defence, Todd converting from the spot.

But the jangling of nerves began before the first half had ended with Westfields narrowing the deficit with a cool finish from Thomas.   The final half hour of action had begun when the visitors found an equaliser and the Blues were made to rue their errors when a 2-0 lead was confirmed as well and truly over-turned with around 20 minutes left to play.  

A gilt-edged opportunity to equalise came when another spot kick was awarded but the shot was saved and the Blues continued to trail with time running out.   But the late-late show was allowed to play out as Dakin’s excellent strike found a way through a wall of Westfields players who were trying to shut up shop, the wonder strike from Dakin making it 3-3 at the final whistle.

Walsall Wood 1-0 Long Eaton United – Saturday 8 April
Midland Football League Premier Division
It has to be said that, since the return of Shaun Rickford to Grange Park, there have been some mixed results for Long Eaton United.  But having said that, even under Gary Hamson’s tenure, the results were equally mixed at times.

The Blues have experienced an unsettled season with three changes of management from Gary Sucharewycz and Ian Robinson to former Vics boss Hamson and now Rickford, although we’ve not fully established the reasons for the many managerial changes at the club in the south of the borough.

In any case, Rickford took his men to the West Midlands on Saturday for the latest Midland Football League Premier Division clash with Walsall Wood.

Neither side seemed eager to make an error during a tentative start, but Blues keeper Mitchison was at full stretch after just seven minutes from a shot through a crowded area.

Romaine Graham was in space with 12 gone, out to the right, a ball in was struck well wide by Matt Savage.  Twelve later, Graham was again involved in a move towards the Woodsmen’s goal, a strong shot deflected over the bar, and a minute later, Piliero strode forward, was pushed back and then dispossessed as Walsall countered.
Just one goal decided it the game in the direction of the hosts who tweeted in the aftermath that the three points had been huge in moving towards securing their league safety against what they said was a very organised Long Eaton United side.   The solitary goal came around the half hour mark – a move down the left culminated in a cross to Josh Mansell who finished well.

The rest of the game ebbed and flowed but with the home side shutting up shop to defend a slender but valuable lead, bringing on a sub with five of an anticipated three
minutes added, the game rounding out in the home side’s favour. Job done for them, a frustrating job not done for the Blues.