REPORT: High-flying United are too good for Wood
Tom Marshall’s first goal for Long Eaton secured all three points at Grange Park on Tuesday evening and extended their unbeaten run in the league to seven games.
Very few chances fell to either side in a cagey opening half of play. Javia Roberts and Johnno Atherton looked dangerous for the visitors, they linked up early on with a slick one-two, but Marcus Coombs was ready and stopped Roberts’ shot from a wide angle with a composed catch.
Kameron Campbell had a chance to put the Blues in from Kieran Walker’s trademark long throw-in. The ball fell to him at the near post, although there was a crowd of defenders in front of the goal and Campbell’s shot deflected wide.
A curled cross from Jamie Walker out on the left wing provided Campbell with another chance on goal, but the striker could not get enough contact on the header and the ball bounced out of play for a goal kick.
Several corners were awarded to The Wood towards the end of the half, Kyle Rowley headed the ball down towards Phil McKerdy, who did not react quick enough to turn the ball in.
In the final seconds of the first half, the visitors were lining up to take a shot on goal, yet they could not find the back of the net and the two sides went into the break goalless.
The visitors looked on form at the start of the second half and challenged Coombs with several chances on goal. Roberts found himself through on goal, but Coombs courageously commanded his area and stole possession from the feet of the quick winger.
Roberts then beat Romaine Graham with a quick turn but was denied once again by Coombs who made a fantastic diving save to stop the shot, which looked destined for the top corner. Next, Coombs made a third save, getting down quickly to push Romario Martin’s low, drilled shot wide of the target with his outstretched palm.
The Blues took the lead in the 61st minute, another long throw-in from Kieran Walker was headed clear, but only as far as Tom Marshall, who hammered home from the edge of the area, his first goal since signing last week.
Atherton had a chance to bring the game level; the forward found space inside the area with some quick footwork, but he failed to keep his shot down and the ball sailed over the bar.
Charlie Wilde came close to scoring his second goal of the season from Jamie Walker’s corner, but the midfielder was denied by the boots of ‘keeper James Wren.
In the final minute of the match Jordan Fitzpatrick struck the post from range and, much to Coombs’ relief, the ball stayed out and was cleared from danger.