Long Eaton continue winning run with win over Heanor
UCL Premier North
Heanor Town 0
Long Eaton Utd 2
A Marshall 2
Long Eaton United moved to the top of the table with a fourth consecutive league win away to Heanor Town on Monday afternoon.
The Blues were ahead after just two minutes through Alex Marshall and extended their advantage with a goal from Romaine Graham just before the break.
The second-half remained a cagey midfield battle which Long Eaton saw out for all three-points and a fourth straight clean sheet in all competitions.
Ian Deakin made just one change to the side that beat Melton Town 3-0 at the weekend. Ben Hutchinson made his debut in an attacking midfield role as Danny Gordon was left out due to an injury.
Long Eaton took the battle to Heanor’s final third almost immediately after kick-off. Alex Marshall hounded The Lion’s defence and scored his fifth of the season to put the Blues in front after two minutes played with a shot that deflected off Jake Carlisle and found the back of the net.
Keiran Walker’s long throw-in was as dangerous as ever, and Tom Marshall almost capitalised from the clearance, as he struck a powerful volley from range, although Dylan Wharton was in position to catch the strike.
Lewis Weaver had a chance to challenge Sam Wilson with a free-kick right by the edge of the box after a strong challenge from Graham. However, the set piece was hit directly at the wall and Brad Wilson hooked the ball clear.
It looked as though Alex Marshall should have won a penalty when Jamie Walker’s shot from out wide was parried by Wharton. Marshall ran across to the loose ball and Carlisle appeared to catch the Blues’ striker as he slid to clear the ball. The referee was adamant that the challenge was clean and waved play on.
Tricky footwork by the touchline from Taylor afforded him the space to cut the ball back to the Blues’ midfielders queuing up for a shot. Jamie Walker and Kameron Campbell saw their efforts from close range blocked, before debutant Hutchinson’s rebound was stopped by a diving header from Max Thornberry.
Long Eaton captain Graham doubled the Blues’ advantage with a composed half-volley at the far post in the 42nd minute. A textbook long throw-in from Keiran Walker was headed down by Alex Marshall for Graham to hit in off the post from point-blank range.
As the first half ended, Jamie Sleigh had a chance inside the area from Weaver’s cross, but he did not strike the ball cleanly, and the shot looped over the bar.
Clear-cut chances were few and far between in the second half. Hutchinson had a half chance from Jamie Walker’s in-swinging free kick, but the shot from the forward was headed just wide of the far post.
Possession was contested in the midfield and Long Eaton’s defence, commanded by Graham, remained resilient. Substitutes Micah Jebbison and James Shaw caused havoc for the Heanor defence with their quick counterattacks. Shaw played a well-weighted forward pass for Jebbison to run on to, but the resultant effort on goal was blocked by Carlisle’s slide tackle.
A clash of heads between Heanor captain Thornberry and goalkeeper Wharton left the latter unavailable to continue and Thornberry put the gloves on for the final couple of minutes.
In the last move of the game, Jamie Walker surged forward from full-back and produced a great early cross which substitute Marley Fearon rose high above the defence to head goalward but could not quite find the target.