Central Midlands League (South)
Linby Colliery Welfare (0) 2
Ash Winfield 53, Barry Payne 86
Aaron Ryan (Linby CW) sent off 42 mins
Sutton Town AFC (3) 5
Gary Atkins 5,
James Whitehead 33, 63, 77
Nathan Holdsworth 43
Admission £3, inc. programme and raffle
6.30pm kick off
But the awful weather didn't deter a decent crowd from turning out.
There were a few complaints from some of the ground hopping fraternity present, that Linby ran out of programmes before kick off.
But I do have some sympathy with the home club regarding this matter.
They printed 40, which is far more than most CMFL clubs ever produce per game and regardless of the fact that they had been told to expect a larger than average attendance tonight, the rain was hammering down and there is very little cover at the Church Street ground.
So they sensibly erred on the side of caution and offered to print more after the game and send them on to anybody who didn't get one.
I walked into the ground at the same time as 'Olly the Spireite' (though I must hasten to add that it was merely a coincidence that we arrived at the same time, because I'd never knowingly travel anywhere with a Chesterfield supporter in my car), roughly 20 minutes before kick off and there were programmes a plenty still available then.
I had my CMFL committee pass with me in my pocket tonight, which entitles me to free admission at all CMFL North & CMFL South games, but I didn't present it at the gate. I paid. I'm not after a medal or 'owt, but ... I mean, £3, for a combined admission, programme and a raffle ticket bargain package, is hardly going to break anybody's bank, is it?
Not when you consider how much clubs have to pay for match officials fees and expenses, let alone all their other outgoings. It doesn't hurt to contribute a bit.
And they were well on their way to a three points haul this evening, when Gary Atkins gave them the lead inside the first five minutes.
However, Linby hadn't turned out to just be extras as Sutton commenced their run in to what they hope will be a league winning climax to the season and the Snipes were lucky not to be 2-1 down, when Linby hit both the left and right hand uprights in quick succession.
James Whitehead powered towards the Linby goal from midfield, steadied himself and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net, to double Sutton's advantage in the 33rd minute.
He was subsequently red carded (significantly the referee appeared to give him a straight red instead of a second yellow, which will cost the player more fines wise) because of the way he protested about the decision. Whether or not Ryan feels that his yellow card was harsh or not, marching towards the referee to confront him and calling the official a C U Next Tuesday, is not going to go in your favour if you want to put in an appeal.
To compound Aaron Ryan's misery, Scott Miles in the Linby goal could only get a touch on the resulting free kick as Natahn Holdsworth put the visitors three nil in front.
HT - Linby 0 v Sutton 3
I'm getting on a bit since my most recent birthday and one can't be too careful at my time of life.
Much to my annoyance, I found that some imbecile had backed into my car.
OK, it had only caused a slight and virtually superficial amount of damage, but it was fairly obvious which vehicle had been in contact with mine, due to some tell tale signs on the nearside corner of his rear bumper.
If the other driver had made any attempt to put a note on my windscreen or find out who my car belonged to, I would probably just have shrugged it off.
But they did neither. So when a shaven headed man in a bone dry hooded sweatshirt, (that he'd just got out of his car at half time), kicked the culprits nearside door and made a big dent, I didn't tell him about that either.
It was another case of a team upping their game once they had been reduced to ten men and Linby were seeing far more of the ball than their title hopeful visitors. But, as often happens, when a team seem destined to be on course for a trophy, fate plays its part and completely against the run of play, the Snipes counter attacked and James Whitehead scored their fourth goal, at the second attempt after Ashley Miles blocked the first.
With just four minutes remaining, Barry Payne scored a consolation goal for Linby, with a simple tap in, but it was too late for them to stage a comeback now.
FT - Linby CW 2 v Sutton Town AFC 5
Were Sutton really three goals better on the night than Linby?
Probably not, but the final score says they were and that'll be all that the Snipes are concerned about as their title charge picks up momentum at just the right time.
Cheers for covering my camera with your umbrella tonight Malc ;-)