Kimberley suffer huge blow to their promotion aspirations

Long Eaton Sunday League

Division Four

Shardlow St James Res 3

AFC Kimberley 2

A MAKESHIFT Kimberley side threw away a two-goal lead to put a dent in their promotion hopes.

With nine regular players missing the AFC side contained four who hadn’t played since pre-season, with Luke Hart taking over in goal in the absence of both of the club’s usual goalkeepers.

However, AFC created the first real opening when Vaughen Crompton saw his shot pushed onto the post by the goalkeeper but nobody was there to follow up.

But on 20 minutes AFC went 1-0 up when Sam Groves’ cross was met by Crompton and his shot again hit the post but this time Christian Holmes was following up to head home.

It seemed that if Shardlow were to score it would be from a set-piece but the half remained scrappy and AFC clung on to their lead at the break.

And they were 2-0 up within ten minutes of the re-start when Groves again whipped in a cross and Crompton fired home.

AFC seemed happy to sit back after the second goal and try to defend but it all fell apart and it was clear fitness was a factor as half the AFC side hadn’t played any football since pre-season.

Shardlow struck back when Matt Newton failed to clear and a shot was struck across Hart into the far side of the goal.

AFC looked on the ropes and it got worse. Shardlow got the equaliser from a corner on 75 minutes and although Hart made a good initial save he couldn’t stop the rebound being converted.

And with pressure mounting Shardlow got the winner when

A mix-up between Gary Pickering and Wright in the centre allowed the Shardlow striker to break away which brought about a free-kick 25 yards from goal after Pickering caught the player when running back, and the resulting set piece was curled into the top right-hand corner of the net.

It was aucker punch for AFC but no more than Shardlow deserved.

AFC did try in vain to get an equaliser but it wasn’t to be.

Man-of-the-match: Sam Groves

Wins in AFC’s last two games are now a must, beginning with the visit of fourth-placed Bulls Head at the Stag Ground on Sunday, kick-off 10.30am.