• Rob McNeil

Long Eaton maintain top spot with win at Loughborough

UCL Premier North

Loughborough Students 0

Long Eaton Utd 3

J Walker 41, 83, A Marshall 72

Jamie Walker netted a brace as the Blues battled to secure a 3-0 victory over the Scholars at the Loughborough University Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Walker scored the only goal of the first half to put the Blues ahead at the break. Alex Marshall netted with a glancing header mid-way through the second half, before Walker secured his brace with a bullet strike late-on.

Cameron Moore had a big chance for the Scholars in the fourth minute, as the forward drove onto a through ball which found him one-on-one with the keeper, but Romaine Graham displayed blistering speed to chase back and deny the forward a shooting opportunity.

The first Blues chance came through Danny Gordon – a trademark Keiran Walker long throw was cleared by Loughborough but only as far as the edge of the box, in which Gordon was waiting to fire, although this time the hosts’ defence did well to put off the midfielder and force a sliced shot.

Tom Marshall rattled the crossbar in the 21st minute. A free kick from 20 yards out down the left arrowed towards Ben Whitting’s near post and the keeper looked stranded but then relieved as he saw the effort ping off the top of the crossbar.

Nine minutes later, the Blues came close once again, this time Alex Marshall connected with Keiran Walker’s long throw-in, although he could only find the roof of the net.

Jamie Walker had a chance only ten minutes before half-time, after he displayed some excellent footwork to weave past the outstretched legs of two defenders and get a snap shot off towards the near post, but Whitting did well to stop the shot.

The Blues kept pushing to go in at the break ahead, and it eventually came to avail with less than five minutes to play. Keiran Walker’s long throw once again displaying its benefits as it caused confusion in the box and could only be cleared as far as Jamie Walker at the far post, who then simply drilled a strike through the crowd and into the back of the net.

Jamie Walker celebrates scoring for Long Eaton at Loughborough. Photo: Long Eaton Utd.

Loughborough started the second half with a spring in their foot as they looked to launch a counterattack through Kieran Smith who nicked the ball on the half way line and looked to play through Tope Fadahunsi, but the weight of pass was poor and allowed Sam Wilson to gather.

The Blues did have a chance in the 50th minute through Tom Marshall – loitering at the back post – as he latched onto a cross with a volley that stung the keeper's fingertips, however the referee pulled play back for an offside decision.

Midway through the second half, Alex Marshall made it two. Keiran Walker’s long throw – as dangerous as ever – flew into the box and met the head of the towering forward who thumped a header into the bottom right corner of the goal, despite Whitting’s best efforts to keep it out.

Jamie Walker secured his brace with less than ten minutes left to play – a was ball played forward and Walker gathered comfortably before unleashing a venomous strike that flew past the keeper and slotted inside the far post.

The final few minutes saw both sides battle for the ball in the middle of the park, but no real chances for either side, which meant the game ended with Long Eaton comfortably taking all three points.