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Blues achieve target of victory but have to settle for play-offs

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: April 30, 2014

Leek's Sam Hall (in blue) challenges Bedworth's Marion Walters

Leek's Sam Hall (in blue) challenges Bedworth's Marion Walters

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Evo-Stik First Division South

Leek Town 1 Bedworth United 0

BLUES completed the double over the Greenbacks – but it wasn't enough to take the title.

League leaders Halesowen and second-placed Coalville also won on the final day of the season, meaning that Blues will now contest the play-offs with a semi-final game at home to Belper Town tonight (Wednesday), kick-off 7.45pm.

Leek created a host of golden opportunities before taking a deserved lead midway through the second half.

Blues soaked up everything the visitors had to offer and went on to miss further chances, despite the Greenbacks enjoying a ten-minute spell towards the end of the game.

Blues boss Lee Casswell said after the game: "We did what we needed to and won the game but results elsewhere didn't go our way.

"The top three sides have vied for the championship for many months and so I send massive congratulations to Halesowen manager John Hill – they didn't have a blip and his side deserved it.

"Just looking at ourselves, though, it was a funny atmosphere after the game.

"We had won it but we were a little down, but we said to the players we've had a fantastic season and we're still in with a shout for promotion.

"Now we've got to be ready for Belper. One or two players have little knocks but all will be fit for the game, whilst Ryan Dicker will return to the squad after missing the Bedworth game."

Casswell made one enforced change to his side for the visit of Bedworth, with Paul Donnelly replacing the unavailable Ryan Dicker in the heart of defence, whilst Ant Danylyk returned to the starting line-up at the expense of Dan Shelley.

Leek thought they had broken the deadlock in the 16th minute when Mills found John Johnston, who slipped the ball under the keeper, only for the effort to be ruled out for a dubious offside decision.

The home side almost opened the scoring in the 20th minute, when Johnston played the ball wide to Jordan Johnson. He went down the left flank before setting up Johnston, but his shot was saved by the keeper.

In the 27th minute, Blues came close again when Johnston broke free and raced into the box before attempting to play the ball square for Johnson, but the cross was intercepted.

Blues continued to push forward and in the 37th minute, Mills went on a good run before turning a defender but his effort was blocked and Johnston volleyed the loose ball over from 10 yards.

In the 53rd minute, Leek came close when Jordan drove in a free kick but the ball just skimmed the far angle of post and crossbar.

Leek put a good move together in the 64th minute but when the ball arrived at Sam Hall's feet he dragged his shot wide from 20 yards.

However, Blues took a deserved lead just two minutes later when Tim Grice's low cross was completely missed by Andrew Westwood and the ball fell to Andy Kinsey to drill home from 10 yards.

In the 69th minute, the Bedworth keeper spilled a cross into the six-yard box but Leek were penalised to the relief of the visitors.

A minute later, Matt Bell curled a shot wide of the target but three minutes later, the Leek full back did even better with superbly struck shot that saw Wren go full length to push the ball wide for a corner.

In the 75th minute, David Blenkinsop volleyed over following a cross by Dubidat and then the Bedworth striker headed a cross back into the danger area – but Chapman claimed the ball under pressure.

Seven minutes from time, Grice muscled his way into the box before clipping the outside of the far post but it wouldn't have counted after the referee spotted an infringement.

Blues played out five minutes of added time to claim the points.

Leek Town: Chapman, Smith, Bell, Donnelly, Espley, Hall, Danylyk (Shelley 41), MaGuire, Mills (Kinsey 58), Jordan Johnson (Grice 60), John Johnston. Subs not used: Swetnam.

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