Long Eaton have, according to the local media, been playing really well - with strikers Kevin Mabon and Kelvin Mushambi among the goals. Eccleshill on the other hand are having a miserable time of it, winning only one game out of 16 played and conceding 73 goals prior to their visit to Grange Park. We set off for the game in anticipation of at least keeping our almost 4 goals a game average going!!
Mushambi has always been a Malc and Kev favourite. He suffered an awful achilles injury a couple of years ago and this took quite a while to heal. This type of injury takes a player some time to get over -- both physically and mentally -- consequently "Mushy" was not at his best for a considerable period after the injury had healed. It is great to see him back playing well and scoring on a regular basis. Kelvin is a genuinely nice man, and always takes the time to have a word. He has also added a little steel to his game - he is not easily pushed about now and his physique is superb.
Anyway - managed to make myself look a pratt at the turnstile.... I asked the young lad why he had only given me £0.80 change from my tenner when I was looking for £1.00 - mental arithmetic 2 x £4 = £8 plus £1 programme = £9 --- change £1... except the programme was £1.20 .... D'oh! I am that used to paying £1 for a programme that I assumed this would be as well.
The teams were announced on a PA system that can only be heard if you are stood standing next to it - still, I knew the Long Eaton player names anyway, and I only expected to use the Eccleshill keeper's name - who according to the programme is Darrell Crowley.
The first 15 minutes left us wondering which was he struggling team, after Eccleshill won a few corners and caused a little panic at times in the Blues defence. Everything was as it should be on 18 though - Crowley did well to save and clear from a Long Eaton corner, but as the ball was pumped back up field, Mabon latched onto it and raced on before poking the ball past the keeper. Looked clearly offside, but the Assistant thought differently and signalled the goal.
Mabon doubled the score after 24 minutes. Mushambi improvised by passing the ball while he was on his backside - the pass found Gamble who in turn found Mabon. The strikers first effort struck the foot of the post, but he somehow managed to squeeze the rebound between post and keeper.
Eccleshill still kept knocking the ball about, very pleasing on the eye - but they almost went 3 down on 36 - only a great block from Crowley keeping out Mushambi after a stunning pass from Piliero had put him through on goal.
Went for a half-time cuppa, but my beady eyes noticed that the tea/coffee were priced at £1.00 per cup. We didn't bother, opting to go into the Clubhouse for a warm and a glance at Soccer Saturday..
Long Eaton were soon in their stride, and Mabon completed his hat-trick just 5 minutes into the second half. Piliero found Mushambi who played the ball to his strike partner who finished at the secong time of asking. It was 4-0 seconds later, Mushambi tapping home into an empty after a backward defensive header looped over Crowley.
The fifth goal was the best of the lot - it was a beauty........just after the hour-mark, Mushambi collected the ball on half-way and some superb control saw him beat several challenges before he played the ball to Holmes on the edge of the box. Mushambi had carried on his run and when Holmes played an inch perfect pass to him he opened his body and slotted the ball wide of Crowley - what a goal - but what a pity there were on 60 odd in the crowd to see it...
Lee Sutton netted the Blues sixth on 81 - running on to a long ball before slotting past Crowley - he was at least 5 yards off-side ( we were right in-line), but the Assistant saw nothing wrong with the goal... "Should have gone to Specsavers!!"
Special mention for the Referee ... after the behaviour of the Ref at Rainworth, this one was a true Gent... I can't remember a card being shown - even when the Eccleshill no. 3 showed a bit of dissent... Mr. Michael Leslie we have seen on several occasions (he is from Nottingham) - he uses a quiet word or two to sort out issues, no fuss, no histrionics -- all I can say is "well done, Sir" !!
Programme £1.20 !!
Attendance 60 +
Tuesday - staying in to watch Champs League, but off to Greenwood Meadows on Wednesday to see them take on Dunkirk in the Notts F.A.Senior Cup.