• Bradley White

Long Eaton fail to win for the first time this season

UCL Premier North

Long Eaton United 2

J Walker 37, 50

Loughborough Uni 2

Bowman 60pen, Parsons 78

Long Eaton United dropped points for the first time this season but remain unbeaten after an enthralling encounter with Loughborough University at Grange Park on Tuesday.

In a cagey first half, Jamie Walker’s direct free kick proved to be the difference as the Blues led by a goal to nil at the break.

Walker doubled his goal tally not long after the restart, although The Scholars mounted their comeback with a penalty converted by Matty Bowman. Ollie Parsons found an equaliser for the visitors with 15 minutes left to play and the match ended all square.

Action was end-to-end in the opening 45 minutes, both sides played a high line and possession was contested in a midfield battle. The first clear cut chance of the half fell to James Shaw. A classic long throw-in from Keiran Walker was flicked on by Romaine Graham to Shaw, who fired a driven shot which was blocked on the line by George Ward.

Action from Long Eaton's clash with Loughborough Uni. Photo: Long Eaton United.

Loughborough had a half-chance as Bowman worked the ball towards the final third and took aim from out wide; Keiran Walker blocked the initial effort and Graham dived in to cut out the follow up from Tope Fadahunsi.

Moments later up the other end of the pitch, Mitchell Robinson hit a thumping header at goal from a Tom Marshall corner, though Ben Whiting got down quick to stop the shot on the line.

In the 37th minute Jamie Walker fired Long Eaton in front. Alex Marshall was fouled by the edge of the area and Walker stepped up and whipped the set piece around the wall and, with a slight deflection off an opposition defender, found the back of the net.

The Blues led at the break and not three minutes after the restart Walker scored his second of the match to double Long Eaton’s advantage. Tom Marshall played an excellent through ball down the middle of the pitch and Walker beat the offside trap, flicked the ball past the goalkeeper and passed into the empty net.

As The Scholars pressed on and looked for a reply, Sam Parker was adjudged to have brought down Bowman as he attempted to clear the ball and the referee awarded a penalty. Bowman stood over the 12-yard spot and tucked the penalty just beyond the reach of Sam Wilson.

Wilson was not phased by the goal and made an excellent fingertip save to deny a fantastic volley from Bowman at the near post.

Loughborough continued with their high intensity press and found an equaliser through Parsons in the 75th minute. An inviting free kick from Finn Brennan was met with a well-placed volley at the back post from Parsons to bring the game level.

As the match went into injury time, Loughborough pushed for a winner and a snapshot inside the area was cleared off the line by substitute Bartosz Korzeniewski saw the match finish honours even.