Long Eaton United White 1 - AFC Kirk Hallam 2
By Dave Morley
Boys go top after third league win in a row
AFC Kirk Hallam under 11's continued their impressive start to the Spring season in division 2 following their promotion from division 3 in the winter season.
Having played the first two matches against other promoted teams, the boys now faced a Long Eaton side who have just been relegated from division 1. Long Eaton unfortunately lost two players on the day due to illness, leaving them with just a single sub for the match.
The match itself had some added spice as players on either side were team mates at Spondon Dynamos on a Sunday in the Derby Junior League.
Things started very evenly with few chances being created by either team. A contrast of styles was on show. Long Eaton playing strong passing football with a physical edge to it, against a Kirk Hallam side who were set out to be strong in the middle with Emin Alcin and Richard Frost and then utilise the attacking pace that they possess and for some reason not playing as much passing football as usual. Ben Morley emphasised the pacey attack by picking the ball up on the halfway line, outstripping the entire Long Eaton defence and slotting in from a tight angle to put the visitors up 1-0 and make it fifteen consecutive goalscoring matches and 30 goals for the season so far for Ben. Long Eaton were visibly shaken and Kirk Hallam created two or three more good chances which were kept out by the Long Eaton goalkeeper and there was a narrow miss for Will Dudley which would've taken the score to 2-0 to the visitors. On twenty minutes, Wil Turner, Keane Eyre and Joel Ogden were thrown into the action and a change of formation to restrict the midfield was made. Long Eaton then steadied themselves and turned the screw. Kirk Hallam were put under pressure and conceded a soft goal to go in at half time with the score level at 1-1. Harris Khan was his usual creative self in the half in setting up chances for his teammates.
The second half saw Long Eaton come on stronger, kicking slightly downhill and with Kirk Hallam having to deal with the physical side of the game. Both things settled, became more even and both sides created chances, but the best one went to Long Eaton, who saw a shot heading for the bottom left corner until a miracle save by Caleb Topley came to the rescue to turn the ball up and over the crossbar with a save like Gordon Banks against Pele. Joel Ogden had a long range effort go narrowly over the crossbar and Ben Morley had a shot saved by the goalkeeper. Harley Rose, Owen Robinson and Liam Evans were again imperious in defence, despite having been bashed around for the majority of the game and any other shots went mainly over the crossbar. Long Eaton were left to rue that last missed chance when Ben Morley again used his pace, raced clear and after seeing his first attempt saved, stuck in the rebound to score the winning goal at 2-1.
A great game, with loads of action, against a very good team. Next week sees the boys visit Warriors in Newark, who have their sights on a championship challenge and promotion push for division one next season. On current form, Kirk Hallam will also be contenders for that spot and we expect Long Eaton to be there or thereabouts as well by the end of the season.
Onwards and Upwards.