• Rob McNeil

More joy for Long Eaton as Khalsa are beaten

Debutant Jake Askew’s clean sheet helped guide Long Eaton United to their seventh league victory of the season against Sporting Khalsa at Grange Park on Saturday afternoon.

It was a very end-to-end first half, with both sides having chances but both keepers on top form – and the only goal of the first half came through a composed strike from Kameron Campbell.

Another back and forth second half seemed as though the Blues were going to walk away as 1-0 victors, however, an added-time strike from Mitchell Robinson helped overcome league leaders Sporting Khalsa by two goals to nil.

Ian Deakin made two changes to the team that started in the win over Walsall Wood mid-week. Jake Askew made his debut in goal and replaced Marcus Coombs, whilst James Taylor came back from injury and started ahead of Jude Brittain.

The Blues kicked the game off and began on the front foot, a close-range strike from Charlie Wilde forced Sam Arnold into an early save.

Campbell then opened the scoring in the seventh minute, after an inch-perfect through ball allowed the forward to beat the offside trap and simply place past the committed Arnold.

Only ten minutes later, Campbell was given another chance to score. This time it was a cross from Jamie Walker that was glanced towards goal by the forward, but the ball flew just wide of the post.

The Lions launched a counterattack down the right through Kieron Whittaker, and the winger was able to cut inside Ryan Head and strike towards goal, although Askew was able to save comfortably.

Mid-way through the first half the Blues had another chance to extend their lead. Campbell closed down a clearance from Arnold and managed to recover the ball; the forward then found Taylor inside the box, although his strike was saved brilliantly by the outstretched glove of the keeper.

In the final seconds of the first half, the visitors saw themselves through on goal with Rikardo Reid, yet they could not find the back of the net as Askew denied the forward once again.

The Blues came out firing in the second half, piling the pressure on the visitors. Blues captain Romaine Graham had the best chance when Kieran Walker launched one of his trademark long throws into the box and Graham got on the end of it, although his strike could not quite hit the target.

With 20 minutes left on the clock, Sporting were given a chance to equalise, this time the ball was whipped into the box from a free-kick 30 yards out and sent towards goal with a powerful header from Sean Williams, but yet again Askew saved gracefully.

Jamie Walker had the chance to get his name on the scoresheet with ten minutes to go after Tom Marshall’s backheel pass allowed the winger to strike from just outside the box, although it was straight at Arnold.

Substitute Robinson put the game to bed in stoppage time – when he found himself in acres of space inside the box and received a brilliant pass from Campbell, in which he was then able to fire underneath the diving goalkeeper.

By Rob McNeil