Kimberley Miners Welfare’s challenge for the EMCL title took a blow on Saturday as third-placed Anstey Nomads ran out 2-1 winners at the Stag Ground.
A poor first-half performance proved crucial as the visitors went in at the break 2-0 ahead, and despite sub Jordan Alls pulling a goal back in the second-half and the hosts putting plenty of pressure on to try and earn a point, it was Nomads who took all three.
The first-half was one of few clear cut chances other than the two goals Anstey scored. Kimberley failed to test Nomads keeper Taylor McMillan at all other than a long range shot from Mazon Frizelle which went just past the post.
By then, the visitors had established their two-goal lead. Jack Lane had struck an early effort over the top but their first goal came on 36 minutes when the ball dropped to Tom Mangan 25 yards out and he hit a dipping half volley which bounced once on its way into the corner of the net.
It was 2-0 five minutes later, as a corner from the left found its way to the back post where Nomads centre-half Ellis Preston got up unchallenged to send a looping header into the net.
Strong words from Miners boss Andy Alls saw the home side come out with more purpose in the second-half although they failed to create a great deal until a change in shape saw them pepper the visitors’ penalty area with shots, crosses and in particular long throws from Sam Farn which caused several problems.
One of them, on 71 minutes, fell straight on the head of the manager’s son, Jordan, who headed home just four minutes after coming on as sub.
Conor Green fired a free-kick just too high ten minutes from time and then, from another Farn long throw, a flick on found Sam Harbottle but his turn and shot ended with the keeper saving easily.
Anstey’s best moment of the second-half saw Mangan sent through on goal but his effort was saved by debutant Kimberley keeper Monty Parkes, but they held on to take all three points.
Manager Alls said afterwards: “It shouldn’t taken a half-time telling off for us to play better. We were very poor in the first-half and if you are like that you get punished.
“It was one of those days and obviously a big blow in our season but there’s plenty of football to be played and we regroup ahead of the trip to Radcliffe on Tuesday.”