Long Eaton Sunday League
AFC Kimberley 3
Toton Town 2
AFC Kimberley produced a charismatic display to gain victory over the current league leaders.
They had to produce a gritty and determined performance to grind out a terrific result after losing Vaughen Crompton and Reilly Marshall to injury during the tie.
Jake Courtney scored a marvellous hat-trick to give the dragons a 3-0 lead, but the visitors ensured that the game went the distance scoring twice in the final ten minutes.
The Dragons started the game very brightly, Marshall and Courtney both going close inside five minutes.
Ten minutes were on the watch when AFC took the lead, as a delightful ball over the top from Gary Pickering found Crompton who did well to put over a cross which was deflected to Courtney who made no mistake from six yards.
Toton were then awarded a controversial penalty after Lloyd Harmer was deemed to have fouled the Toton man in the penalty area, but Rich Kelley saved the spot kick for the third time in three games to keep his side in front.
AFC extended their lead four minutes before half-time as Harmer did well down the left and crossed for Courtney to turn and shoot home.
Matt Newton hit the crossbar before half-time but the 2-0 lead was well-deserved.
Harmer was just wide on the hour mark but goal three came on 74 minutes, as a defence-splitting pass by Sam Groves sent Courtney clean through and he lobbed the ball over keeper to complete a superb hat-trick.
Toton’s late rally saw a header and a solo goal reduce the arrears, and Kelley was forced into a fine save late on to deny Toton a dramatic equaliser as AFC took the points.
Kimberley: Kelley, Newton, Ryan, Harwood, Harmer, Barber, Pickering, Groves, Crompton (Alton 56), Marshall (Bainbridge 77), Courtney.
Man-of-the-match: Jake Courtney