Five-star Long Eaton maintain title push with win over Heanor
UCL Premier North
Long Eaton Utd 5
J Walker 26, Robinson 68, Gordon 75, T Marshall 79, Graham 86
Heanor Town 0
Long Eaton United began the new year with a five-star performance against Heanor Town at Grange Park.
Jamie Walker’s 15th goal of the season saw the Blues lead by a goal and a penalty save from Sam Wilson kept the clean sheet intact going into the break.
Mitchell Robinson, Danny Gordon and Tom Marshall extended the lead in the second half and a goal from captain Romaine Graham put the result beyond doubt.
Long Eaton United took control of the match straight from kick-off but struggled to make their dominance count against a determined Heanor Town defence.
Jamie Walker and Gordon saw early long-shots blocked and Lions goalkeeper Charlie Mansfield denied Robinson at the near post after an inventive free-kick from Jamie Walker.
Heanor looked for gaps in-behind Long Eaton’s high defensive line, but Wilson rushed out of his goal several times to command the final third.
Larell King advanced forward from full-back as Long Eaton United continued their high press. The attacking-minded defender hit a driven cross towards Ben Hutchinson, although the striker glanced the header wide.
King had another chance to deliver moments later and made it count. A well-weighted cross from the edge of the area was headed over the goalkeeper by Jamie Walker to put the Blues ahead after 26 minutes played.
Hutchinson had a chance to make it two-nil as the half came to a close, King won the ball back out wide and cut it across the goal for Hutchinson to strike, although Max Thornberry dived in to make a crucial block.
Heanor Town dangerman Jamie Sleigh then won a penalty late in half but Wilson saved the spot kick with a strong palm to maintain the clean sheet going into the break.
The Blues picked up from where they left off and continued to put the visitors defence under pressure. King tried his luck from range and almost found the back of the net with an ambitious effort which rattled the crossbar.
Sleigh remained a threat on the break, using his pace to create a mount a dangerous counterattack; yet the striker dragged his shot wide from an acute angle.
Keiran Walker’s long throw-ins caused trouble for the Heanor Town defence and saw Long Eaton double their lead in the 68th minute. The rocket of a throw-in was flicked past Mansfield by Robinson to strengthen the advantage.
Gordon made it three-nil in the 75th minute. Unmarked on the edge of the box, Gordon received the corner, took a touch and lobbed the ‘keeper with a well-placed shot from range.
Gordon turned provider for Long Eaton’s fourth, as he crossed the ball in for Tom Marshall to head home at the near post with a lovely finish.
The Blues were not finished yet, as a towering header at the back post from Graham wrapped up a five-star performance from the Blues following Tom Marshall’s in-swinging corner.