Long Eaton march on as skipper scores twice in win
UCL Premier North
Long Eaton Utd 3
Robinson 42, Graham 54, 58
Captain Romaine Graham led by example with a second-half brace as Long Eaton United beat Newark 3-0 at Grange Park on Saturday afternoon.
Mitchell Robinson scored against his former club with a headed goal just before half-time and the Blues skipper Graham scored twice in the second half to wrap up the win.
Ian Deakin made one change to the Long Eaton starting 11. Robinson replaced Alex Marshall after the Blues forward picked up his fifth yellow card of the season against Anstey Nomads last weekend and was suspended as a result.
The Blues started on the front foot and looked to exploit the space out wide and deliver the ball into the box. Jamie Walker worked an early cross, which looked inch-perfect, but could not quite find Ben Hutchinson at the far post.
Several minutes later the visitors had a chance of their own, the ball fell to Kern Miller on the edge of the area following a set piece, but the midfielder blasted the ball wide with a speculative volley.
After winning the ball back in the middle of the park, Tom Marshall tried to pick out Robinson with an inviting cross, however, Newark ‘keeper Sam Andrew was quick off his line to punch clear.
Full-back Sam Parker looked to take matters into his own hands, as he dribbled through the Newark midfield and shot wide on his weak foot from the edge of the area.
One minute later Andrew made a crucial save on the line to deny Hutchinson. Jamie Walker flicked the ball on to Hutchinson, who headed the ball downwards, but Andrew got down quickly to claw the ball off the line and out of danger.
As the Blues searched for the opener, Newark defended with bodies on the line. A corner whipped in by Jamie Walker dropped for Danny Gordon to hit – the shot was blocked and deflected to Robinson, although his volley was stopped by a wall of orange shirts in the goalmouth.
In the 42nd minute the opening goal finally came. Tom Marshall chipped the ball to the back post and Robinson found the back of the net with a composed header to give the Blues the lead heading into the break.
With a succession of corners after the restart, Long Eaton doubled their lead nine minutes into the second half. Jebbison crossed the ball into the middle and captain Graham headed the ball in off the underside of the crossbar to make it two.
Four minutes later Graham bagged his brace. Keiran Walker’s long throw-in was flicked on by Robinson for Jamie Walker to volley, the effort was blocked and pinballed around the area. Jebbison hit the rebound, which deflected for Graham to hit home from close-range.
Newark’s half-time substitute Kairo John probably should have reduced the deficit. The winger ran through on goal, one-on-one with Sam Wilson and flicked the ball past the ‘keeper but watched on as it bobbled wide.
Andrew stayed on his toes despite Newark trailing and made a fantastic double save to deny Jebbison late on, Jamie Walker hit the follow-up shot but James Berrett dived in to make the block.
With ten minutes left to play, the Blues were reduced to ten-men as Tom Marshall was sin-binned. Newark looked to capitalise, yet Long Eaton remained resolute in defence and saw out an eighth clean sheet of the season in the final minutes.