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Wyberton 1-9 Reserves

Lincolnshire League

Report by Colin Woodcock

The pundits pointed to the local derby with near neighbours Wyberton as to where United Reserves' march towards the Lincs League championships could potentially falter and their unbeaten run come to an end after the hard-fought draw at York Street earlier in the season. How wrong they proved to be in the final estimation as United blitzed the home side and romped to a 9-1 win, rising star Anthony Elding grabbing a scintillating hat-trick to impress the watching Steve Evans. The visitors opened the scoring on 12 minutes when a Ross Nicholls corner wasn't cleared and Gary CHILDS picked up the ball on the right edge of the box and advanced two paces before cracking a drive into the far corner from 12 yards. Five minutes later Elding won another corner which Nicholls took for Leigh TAYLOR to open his account. United were on a high, pouring forward in waves, and it was no surprise when Childs set up Mark MELSON who scored United's third with a looping shot over the static Richard Bringeman in the Wyberton goal. Two minutes later, playmaker Nicholls fed ELDING who scored with another lob over the keeper to give United a four goal advantage. Wyberton pulled a goal back on the half-hour through Steve MELADY, but Nicholls set up CHILDS for his second on 35 minutes before ELDING headed his second five minutes later to make the score 6-1 at the break.

United continued to put the home side under intense pressure after the restart and Wyberton were thankful for the presence of former United star Derrick Nutttell, whose work at the heart of the Wyberton defence prevented a complete rout. On the 70 minute mark Elding left a clearly unfit Glenn Maddison for dead and crossed to the far post for TAYLOR to head his second before Nicky REESON, on for Steve Appleby, scored a superb goal on 81 minutes after showing good close control in the box. ELDING completed the scoring for United with five minutes to go with a far-post header to complete his hat-trick after good work down the left by Gary Walters. After the match, manager John Luffman was in ebullient mood while Derrick Nuttell acknowledged the skills of the fast emerging Elding, stating that the youngster had a great future in front of him. Last week the football world paid homage to the legendary Stanley Matthews, a man of great talent and humility. On Friday evening young Anthony Elding cycled to Wyberton alone in the pouring rain to play for United while everyone else travelled by car. At half-past 11 he was seen happily cycling back along the London Road, smiling as usual. Shades of Matthews? It would be nice to think so.

United team: 1. Lee Crew, 2. Mark Melson, 3. Andy Lodge, 4. Ross Nicholls, 5. Gary Pawson, 6. Len Curtis, 7. Gary Childs, 8. Steve Appleby, 9. Leigh Taylor, 10. Anthony Elding, 11. Gary Walters, 12. Alan Ross, 14. Danny Dack, 15. Nicky Reeson.