Grange Park - Long Eaton United

No Halloween Scare for Long Eaton United

Jamie Griffiths
Long Eaton United book their place in Round 3 of the Senior Challenge Cup

Long Eaton controlled the game for long periods and found themselves 3-0 up just after half time. United went down to ten and conceded late on, but stood firm, adding another from the spot to seal the win and deny any comeback from Hilton. 

The game started at a fast tempo, with Long Eaton missing a fantastic chance from close range only moments into the match. They didn’t have to wait long for the opening goal however. 

After neat build up play, Long Eaton burst down the left and squared the ball across the face of goal to Shaun Rickford, who found space and tapped in from close range after 16 minutes. 

Despite the fast paced start and a goal, the game calmed down as Long Eaton largely controlled possession as they passed their way through the thirds looking for another opening. 

It was Hilton Harriers who had the next opportunities however. After 39 minutes, they broke down the left and squared the ball into the middle of the box, but their effort was scuffed wide of the right hand post. Soon after Scott Abbey nearly equalised in audacious fashion, sending an acrobatic effort just wide of the post after the ball was crossed into the box. 

Long Eaton responded immediately though, doubling their advantage just before the break with a carbon copy of their first, combining well down the left before passing to Rickford who slotted in from close range. 

Half Time: Hilton Harriers 0 Long Eaton United 2 

Long Eaton started the second half as they finished the first, bright and on the front foot, and it didn’t take them long to get their third. Charlie Scanlon got on the end of a cross to the back post and crashed a header off the underside of the crossbar into the back of the net. 

They went on in search for more, narrowly missing the target when Tom Gamblin fizzed an effort over the bar from long range and when Scanlon curled an effort over the bar after bursting through the defence. 

They didn’t have it all their own way however. David Baofo was shown a second yellow card after 70 minutes, and moments later Hilton pulled one back. 

After combining well in the middle of the park, Dan Waltho was sent through on goal before firing the ball past the advancing keeper from the edge of the box. 

Hilton tried to rally and take advantage of the extra man but they found clear cut chances hard to come by. 

Any hint of a comeback disappeared with ten minutes to go when Rickford was judged to have been brought down in the box by Hilton’s keeper, Harry Wood. Gamblin stepped up to take the penalty for United and calmly sent the keeper the wrong way, slotting it into the bottom right corner. 

That goal made it 4-1 and ensured that Long Eaton would progress to the next round, where they will travel to face Belper Town. 

Full Time: Hilton Harriers 1 Long Eaton United 4

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