It took a while to decide whether to visit the Riverside, or head off to the Fieldings to see Sutton entertain Pinxton. As the Real United v Linby game was the game originally selected in August when our visits were being planned, we decided to stick with it and were not disappointed. Not the best game we'll ever see, but down by the river on a smashing sunny afternoon - marvellous!
Should call "The Riverside" by it's new name I suppose - now renamed by Real as The Inspire Stadium, in my mind it will always be "The Riverside", home of Gedling Town. Many thanks to Jevon Swinscoe again for the "guest" status....
No programme, but Jevon kindly let us have a look at the line-ups - Real included former Eastwood Town defender Matt McKenzie in the staring eleven - with another former Badger Nick Kennerdale on the bench, along with former Mansfield Town (albeit for a short time) left back, Johnathan Ventrella.
Daniel "Ginge" Belcher looks a few pounds over his ideal playing weight, but he had a cracking game and despite he heat - covering almost every blade of grass, causing all sorts of probelms for the Linby back-line.
The first real chance of the game fell to Belcher in the 8th minute, but he headed over from 10 yards. On 16, Belcher was clear on goal, and only a good block by Linby keeper Mark Beaumont kept the scores level.
Matt Murphy had Linby's first decent chance two minutes later - he was foiled when his shot was deflected away from the goal. It was Murphy who created the opening goal of the game though, his pass picking out DAMIAN MANN on the left. The tricky winger dribbled to the near post and although this made the angle extremely acute, the no. 11 somehow managed to squeeze the ball across the goal and in at the far post.
The lead lasted barely 5 minutes, and it was that man BELCHER who netted. His initial shot was parried at the foot of the post by Beaumont, but the keeper spilled the ball straight back to the no. 10 who couldn't miss from a yard out.
Linby re-took the lead from the penalty spot on 35, Alfa Gray tripped Jonty Bradshaw after he was played in superbly by Mann. MATT MURPHY made no mistake from 12 yards. H-T 1-2
Murphy had a great chance to increase the visitors' lead straight from the restart, but his chip just failed to clear Ryan Murphy in the United goal. Beaumont made a good save from Belcher's 20 yarder on 59, but he was unable to stop CORY JOHNSON grabbing the equaliser in the 67th minute, the sub getting to the goal line before clipping the ball home.
Kyle McDermott headed wide from a Murphy cross seconds later, and on 72, Aaron Ryan hammered the ball over the bar, the telephone lines and the trees behind the goal after he was played in by Ashley Winfield.
BELCHER grabbed what was to prove to be the winner in the 75th minute after he was found unmarked in the box by Ricki Robinson. A great finish from Belcher, but despite his two goals, and terrific performance in general, Matt McKenzie (just) got Kev's vote for MOM. F-T 3-2
Admission - guests of Real Utd
H/C went up from 5 when we arrived to around 40.