Long Eaton Sunday League
AFC Kimberley 3
Shardlow St James 1
AFC Kimberley maintained their 100 per cent start to theseason with a 3-1 victory over Shardlow St James Res.
Kimberley were once again very good value for their victory, but it came at a cost as the impressive Sam Groves was injured during the game and had to be replaced.
Kimberley were forced to make a change in goal with Rich Kelley unavailable, striker Gary Pickering instead taking over between the sticks.
The Dragons came out of the blocks quickly, however it was Shardlow who created the first chance after good work down the right hand side saw a low driven cross nearly turned into his own goal by captain Ant Harwood, Pickering managing to brilliantly turn the ball onto the post.
AFC then started to create openings and were playing some fantastic passing football and carving open the visitors’ defence seemingly at will, with big striker Reilly Marshall causing havoc once again.
But it was the visitors who drew first blood in the ninth minute against the run of play after a long, aimless ball forward was not dealt with by AFC’s defence and the on-rushing striker ran through and passed the ball into the back of the net.
On 15 minutes AFC got their equaliser, when a long through ball from Darren Barber bounced in the area and Marshall held off two defenders before heading the ball past the keeper.
Marshall was to strike both crossbar and post with efforts soon afterwards, while Groves’ departure just before the break was a major blow to AFC’s hopes.
But from the free-kick resulting from the incident which caused Groves’ injury, AFC took a much-deserved lead as the ball was pumped into the box and Marshall was on the end of it to take a touch before driving the ball past the goalkeeper.
Kimberley continued to create chances in the second half but it wasn’t until the 70th minute that they killed the game off, as Christian Holmes took the ball past a defender and smashed the ball past the Shardlow keeper.
The visitors could find no way back into the match, and Kimberley held on for a well-deserved victory
Man-of-the match - Reilly Marshall.