FOOTBALL: A GAME of two halves saw Long Eaton United come from behind at half-time to beat Coventry United in what was a spirited second half fightback by the struggling Midland League Premier Division side.
Coventry United made a return trip to Long Eaton having been knocked out of the FA Vase there in October, and this time around they were beaten 2-1 with former Sky Blues midfielder Kevin Thornton seeing his goal cancelled out by two second half strikes.
The visitors thought they had taken the lead after ten minutes but Josh O’Grady’s goal was ruled out because of an offside infringement and moments later Kai Williams shot narrowly over the bar.
For the hosts Scott Stannions sent a free kick wide of the post before forcing United keeper Rich Morris into a smart stop.
O’Grady engineered some space in the area before sending a well struck shot onto the base of the post and agonisingly back out across the goal but the deadlock was broken two minutes before the break.
Williams had only the keeper to beat after being played clean through on goal and after taking the ball past him twice he was hauled to the ground. The referee pointed straight to the spot and after brandishing a yellow card to Long Eaton goalkeeper Matthew Cottrell, Thornton dispatched the spot kick to give United a one goal lead at the break.
Long Eaton began the second period on the front foot and launched a series of crosses into the United box which the visitors failed to deal with.
Andy Todd was able to convert one uncontested to level the scoreline from just three yards out, a goal which would have left manager Terry Anderson fuming following his side’s inability to deal with a high ball.
It was now Long Eaton who were playing the better football and it was not long before they scored what proved to the winner. This time, in contrast to the first, an excellent football move ended in a curling first-time shot from the left corner of the penalty box that rasped into the bottom corner giving Morris little chance.
In the dying moments a goal area game of pinball looked as though it may come to United’s rescue, but Long Eaton were not to be undone and defended resolutely until the final whistle.
United face Long Eaton yet again in a home time to be played at Sphinx Drive on January 28.