Kimberley title chances suffer a blow

Long Eaton Sunday League

Division Four

AFC Kimberley 2

Lovell Partnerships 4

LEADERS Lovell made the trip to The Stag Ground ready to face an in-form Kimberley side who have three games in hand on Sunday’s opponents - but a win for the visitors means AFC now have it all to do.

Kimberley were missing eight players including regular keeper Rhys Watkinson and centre-half Matt Newton.

Lovell pressed early on and in the opening minute a mistake by makeshift centre-back Darren Barber presented a fine chance but it was fired wide.

AFC were waking up slowly and Vaughen Crompton fired a tame shot straight at the Lovell stopper and Christian Holmes’ header from a corner was cleared off the line.

But it was Lovell who scored the opener against the run of play when a curling effort beat Rich Kelley in the AFC goal.

Kimberley got the equaliser just a minute later. Holmes and Ant Watkinson combined to release Crompton who forced the keeper into an error and prodded home.

But AFC then fell apart. A dubious penalty was awarded on 23 minutes which was scored to make it 2-1 to the visitors, and seven minutes later a ball across goal was tapped in to make it three.

AFC were all over the place and it just got worse. Despite rallying for another ten minutes and creating opportunities of which none came to fruition, Lovell got a fourth on 43 minutes when Kelley’s poor kick was met by an onrushing player who made no mistake.

It had been an awful first-half but the second got underway with Kimberley looking like a new team.

Several bursts of pressure paid off when AFC found themselves three on two at the back, Gary Pickering finding the net with a powerful drive into the roof of the net.

The game remained scrappy but end to end, yet there was nothing of note in terms of chances and ultimately Lovell were to take away the three points.

Man-of-the-match - Phil Wright.

AFC face another must win game this weekend when they travel to Erewash Hotel, kick-off 10.30am.