• Rob McNeil

Long Eaton's perfect start continues as Warwick are beaten

Jamie Walker’s first-half penalty helped Long Eaton United extend their unbeaten league run and walk away with a 1-0 victory over Racing Club Warwick at Grange Park on Saturday afternoon.

Both sides had plenty of chances throughout the match that simply went begging, but whilst the rain was plummeting down, Walker did manage to rescue three points for the Blues midway through the first half.

Ian Deakin made one change to the starting side that walked away 7-2 victors against Heather St. John’s in the Blues’ midweek game, Sam Wilson replacing Marcus Coombs in goal. There was also a return for Kameron Campbell who started on the bench after nursing injuries which caused him to miss the last four matches.

Wilson was forced into action in the opening ten minutes after a looping corner pinballed inside the box but ended with Nick Seabourne poking the ball towards goal and forcing a brilliant reaction save by the keeper.

Charlie Wilde whipped a cross into the box midway through the first half, and Mitchell Robinson attempted to convert with a glancing header, however, former United keeper Brandon Ganley pulled off a brilliant reaction save to tip the ball onto the crossbar and out of play.

Jamie Walker in action against Warwick. Photo: Long Eaton United

The Blues opened the scoring in the 24th minute with a penalty. Danny Gordon was brought down inside the box after a trademark Kieran Walker long throw-in, and the resultant penalty was tucked into the bottom left corner by Jamie Walker.

The scorer had several chances to extend the Blues' lead before the break, although the Racers threw bodies in front of him in hope that they could remain only one goal behind.

The winger’s best chance came after a scuffed header from Fortune Maphosa fell to Walker, then with composure, he was able to turn his man and look to place the ball into the top left corner with his weak foot, although Ganley saved comfortably.

Substitute James Shaw came out firing in the second half, looking to add to the two goals he scored mid-week. The forward chased a loose ball and launched a Long Eaton counter-attack, although when he got in the box to shoot, Mason Rowley came through with a last-ditch tackle for the visitors to deflect the ball away from the goal.

The Blues were then awarded another penalty in the 57th minute, this time for a foul on Alex Marshall. However, the resultant penalty was saved by Ganley after Jamie Walker tried to put the ball in the same place as his first.

Tom Smith came close to converting for the Racers late in the second half - when Tory Herbert was able to work to the byline and fire the ball across Wilson’s box; the forward was one of four Warwick players diving for it but he could not put his shot on target.

Minutes before the full-time whistle substitute Campbell had a speculative strike as he looked to get back to scoring ways. The forward latched onto the ball 20 yards out down the left, cut inside on his right foot, and curled the ball towards goal, however, too much power caused the ball to rise and fly wide of the target.

By Rob McNeil