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Blues News

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: February 12, 2014

By Gary Shenton

Blues are anxious to keep hold of  Michael Lennon (blue shirt) whose loan deal has come to an end.

Blues are anxious to keep hold of Michael Lennon (blue shirt) whose loan deal has come to an end.

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LEEK Town manager Lee Casswell moved quickly to organise a private practice match when the home league game against Brigg Town was postponed on Saturday due to a waterlogged pitch.

This was the second game in less than a week that Blues were rained off despite all the hard work put in by the Harrison Park ground staff, so it was important that the team management kept things ticking over.

So Casswell took his full squad to Northwood Stadium in Hanley to play on the 3G pitch, with Staffordshire Senior League neighbours Ball Haye Green providing the opposition.

Commenting on the postponements Casswell said: "It was frustrating to have the last two home games postponed so it was important that we try to keep the players match-fit ahead of the game at Chasetown – if the weather breaks.

"It was a great exercise for both teams. We stressed to the players how important it was to get something out of the game, although the scoreline was irrelevant.

"We were able to give the whole squad a run-out, with the exception of Ant Danylyk, who was unwell.

"I'd like to thank Ball Haye Green manager Darren Baker for agreeing to play at such short notice," Casswell added.

Danylyk is still waiting to make his 300th appearance for the club after also missing out when the previous week's fixture against Gresley was postponed.

However, by the time you read this, the midfielder may have reached his milestone providing Tuesday's game against Chasetown went ahead.

Blues were looking to complete the double over the South Staffordshire outfit.

Defender Andy Bratt, who picked up his second dismissal of the season just over three weeks ago in the home win over Loughborough, is currently sitting out a four-match ban.

So far, Bratt has only sat out one game due to the recent bad weather that has caused the suspension to be extended time-wise after the last two home games were postponed.

The big defender was therefore ruled out of the Chasetown fixture and will also miss games at home to Sutton Coldfield and away to Carlton.

On-loan striker Michael Lennon's stay at Harrison Park comes to an end after the away fixture at Chasetown – but Lee Casswell is keen to hang on to the prolific front-runner.

Casswell will review the Rugeley-based striker's position when he talks to the chairman later this week.

Former Blues' players Ross Davidson and Mitch Husbands are on the move to new clubs.

Midfielder Davidson, who captained Nantwich against Leek in the Doodson Cup earlier in the season, has moved back to his former club New Mills.

Striker Husbands, who spent three months on loan at Harrison Park before Christmas, has gone on loan at league rivals Goole Town.

Blues are pressing ahead to secure grant funding to replace the existing notorious Harrison Park playing surface with a new grass pitch.

Club director Paul Bateman is driving the project forward and is confident that sufficient funding will be found to replace the playing surface during the summer.

Commenting on progress to date, Bateman said: "In recent weeks, two specialist sports ground contractors have visited the stadium to prepare quotes for the work required, including pipe drainage and a sand base.

"The new pitch will be laser-levelled to ensure a flat and even surface and we're also hoping to install a rainwater harvesting system, which will enable us to collect and store water drained from the pitch which can then be used for irrigation when required.

"The club needs grant funding for the project and already we have an indication of funding from one source.

"We are now preparing an application for the balance of the funding required, which will need to go through a lengthy vetting process, and we won't know if we've been successful until May at the earliest.

"If we get the approval, we would hope that the work could commence in the close season."

Meanwhile, BetBright, the official betting partner of the Evo-Stik League, is offering a special reward for supporters of all Evo-Stik NPL clubs.

Every supporter who joins and bets £25 will earn £40 for their chosen club, as well as a £20 free bet.

Visit the Leek Town website and click the link to bet £25 or more to earn instant rewards for the club.

Only a small number of Blues supporters need to join and bet to earn the club a substantial amount of money – five members joining will raise £200 for the club, while 25 members would raise £1,000.

After clicking the link, simply select the Evo-Stik Division One South, then select Leek Town and follow the on-screen instructions.

Blues are staging a race night after this Saturday's home game with Sutton Coldfield Town.

Betting will start at 5.30pm and the first race will be at 6pm. Admission is free.

LEADING SCORERS

Jordan Johnson 30 (inc 3 pens); John Johnston 8; Andy Kinsey 7; Mitch Husbands 6; Dan Shelley 6; Dan Smith 3; Anthony Danylyk 2; Matt Bell 2; Sam Hall 1; Ryan Dicker 1; Niall MaGuire 1; Tim Grice 1; own goals 2 – total 70.

COMING UP

February

Tue 11: Chasetown - a, 7.45pm.

Sat 15: Sutton Coldfield - h, 3pm.

Wed 19: Carlton Town - a, 7.45pm.

Sat 22: Bedworth United - a, 3pm.

Wed 26: Gresley - h, 7.45pm.

March

Sat 1: Halesowen Town (A) 3pm.

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