We had to be at Linby's first foray into the pyramid - especially as they were entertaining our old friends Blidworth Welfare.
Linby opted for a move to the CML, hoping, as the programme notes say, to "get this historic club back where it belongs, with the elite of Notts non-league football".
Grabbed a photo opportunity with Jonathan Dakers and Damian Mann before the kick-off. We have sponsored these players - although I must ask Ade Ward to note that we both sponsored one player each - therefore Kev's name should be against one of them...!
Teams - Linby : Holmes, Marlow D, Dakers, Peberday, Jago (c), Winfield, Bradshaw, Ryan, Murphy, McDermott, Mann.
Blidworth : Yates, Meehan, Cobb, Voller, Webster (c), Carl Gould, Goody, Smith, Craig Gould, Brentnall, Townsend.
Linby have made a lot of improvements to their Church Lane ground, although it always looks a picture when the sun's out....
The home team made the best possible start to their CML campaign, netting after only 28 seconds had been played! Damian Mann's fierce drive was parried by Michael Yates in the Blidworth goal, but MATT MURPHY didn't hesitate, and took great delight in slamming the loose ball home from close range.
Blidworth had the better of the rest of the half as their midfield gradually took over the game. Kier Webster made a poor challenge on Murphy after 20 minutes, bringing a few choice words from Linby skipper Dave Marlow. The reason for even mentioning this is that Dave promptly apologised to me and Kev for his language! That's a first!
Jonty Bradshaw was cautioned on 37 by Referee Tom Knight for a reckless challenge, but it was, in reality, no worse than the Webster one.
Blidworth almost levelled in the 38th minute, only a superb diving save by Curtis Holmes keeping out Craig Gould's well placed shot.
So it could have been level, but seconds later, as is usually the case, Linby doubled their advantage. Blidworth were playing a high line and when Bradshaw played a ball for MURPHY to run on to, the striker made no mistake firing past Yates. Despite Blidworth protests, the no. 9 was ok, Ryan Meehan was playing him onside as the ball was played through.
Kyle McDermott had a great chance to deepen the Blidworth depression right on half-time, but he fluffed his shot when superbly played in by Murphy. H-T 2-0
Strange to see both teams opting to forsake the comforts of the changing rooms at half-time - mind you it was a little on the warm side. Can't see them doing that on a cold mid-winters day though!!
Linby should have added their third five minutes into the second half, but Winfield's tame effort from Murphy's cross was save easily by Yates.
On the hour mark, the visitors were back in it - Meehan's cross from the left went over Peberday's head and found CARL GOULD unmarked in the six yard box who had plenty of time to pick his spot.
Dakers, Winfield and McDermott linked well down the Linby left on 68, but when the ball was eventually played to Arron Potter, the sub took too much time and was dispossessed before he could get a shot in on goal.
The home team did go further ahead in the 82nd minute. Winfield's shot was blocked by Yates, Charlie Niblett's header was also cleared, but WINFIELD had remained alert and flew flat out to nod the loose ball home. Unfortunately, Blidworth keeper Yates suffered a bad elbow injury during the play and had to be replaced.
When play restarted, Joel Smith made a terrific run down he left before firing in a great cross. Holmes did well to parry, but JOSH BRENTNALL was on hand to volley the ball home after it fell kindly to him. So 3-2 and we had just 5 minutes to go.
Unfortunately the Blidworth defence was breached again straight after the re-start, ending any hopes of a comeback. NIBLETT was played in one-on-one with sub keeper Curtis Garfitt, and "Chaz" fired past him with ease.
In stoppage time, Niblett picked out MCDERMOTT in the six yard box, and the no. 10 had the simplest of tap -ins to give the score a very unrealistic look. This was not a 5-2 game, but that's football.
Blidworth looked very good at times, but lack a biting edge up front - Linby fought hard for their victory - it wasn't as easy as the scoreline suggests.
Admission £3 ( including programme and raffle)
Attendance H/C 57