Mexborough and Swinton Times, September 5.
Denaby United lost Four Goal Lead.
Long Eaton 5 Denaby United 5
This was fantastic. Even more so when you consider that shortly after half-time Denaby were leading 5-1, playing the kind of football you count yourself lucky to see.
What went wrong, I’ll never know, and neither will Denaby. Whether it was all confidence whether they tired, Long Eaton were allowed to peg back that lead and equalised 30 seconds from time.
Without doubt, the introduction of three new men into the Denaby forward line – Harrison, Holden and Whitaker – was responsible for the transformation which turned Denaby into a footballing side. They have tremendous understanding, were not afraid to swing the ball about, and with a new-found confidence spreading throughout the team, made a shambles of the Long Eaton defence.
Denaby took the lead in the third minute, Kelly and the Long Eaton goalkeeper Taylor going up for a high ball, which dropped clear to Holden, who hit it straight back to hit a defender and bounce into the net. Within 2 min Long Eaton were level, Burton side footing in Nightingale’s centre, but before half-time Denaby had gone into a 4-1 lead.
A free kick by Bell was pushed to Harrison in the 18th minute for the inside right to hit through a crowd of players, straight as a die to the back of the net. 3 min later, Bell, picking up the ball after Staslukiewicz and Wroe had cleared an attack, sent a perfectly placed pass to Holden, will beat the goalkeeper in a race for it, rounded him, and pushed in the third.
The three new players were entirely responsible for the fourth goal, Whitaker, pushing the ball inside to Holden, who lobbed a pass over Taylor’s head for Harrison to touch the ball in with his head with ease.
Still, the superb football went on after half-time. In the 57th minute, Kelly crashed a shot against the post, picking up Holden’s past, and Holden was on hand to hit the rebound in.
Five goals to one. Everything looks set for a Denaby’s first win of the season, a win that was going to come in grand style – and away from home. Then one of the those things happen, which only seem to be able to happen to Denaby, and Long Eaton salvaged a point.
The pair slowdown, Denaby’s attacks were not as frequent as they had been, and worse, the defence started to drop back and lose the hit them first-time spirit which had stopped Long Eaton be long before they got to the penalty area.
Burton got the home sides second in the 62nd minute after Staslukiewicz mistiming a punch, and got his hat-trick in the 79th minute.
It’s not sour grapes to say that Long Eaton and the look with them for their last two goals, the fourth with 3 min from time when Bentley attempted to clear with a big kick, Roberts couldn’t get out of the way and it hit him in the face and cannoned into the net.
Denaby route began to panic as Long Eaton piled on the pressure, but when Brown scored the equaliser in the closing seconds full-back Foster was being held out of the tackle with elbows and hands.
All credit to Long Eaton for coming back like that, but even more to Denaby for providing some of the best Midland League football I’ve seen for a long time.
Team: Staslukiewicz 8; Wroe 8, Foster 8; Roberts 8, Bentley 8, Harvey 8; Kelly 8, Harrison 8, Bell 8, Holden 9, Whittaker 8