Evostick Northern Premier League First Division South
Leek Town 4 Mickleover Sports 0
THE Blues’ unbeaten start to the league season continued with an emphatic victory over third placed Mickleover at Harrison Park on Saturday.
Whilst most of their league rivals were involved in the FA Trophy, Blues took advantage to regain a seven point lead at the top of the table.
In a rather disjointed opening 45 minutes, Blues took the lead midway through the half before having penalty appeals turned down.
A disallowed goal quickly followed and then the hosts contrived to miss a number of good chances shortly before the break.
However, after having another penalty shout turned down in the second half, a two-goal salvo 10 minutes from time sealed the win with Blues adding a fourth goal deep into added time.
Blues boss Lee Casswell said: “This was a really important game with all our rivals engaged in the FA Trophy.
“It was essential that we took advantage to stretch our lead at the top and things went our way when we took the lead.
“We started at a good tempo and deserved to take the lead. Unfortunately we panicked a little in the second half but the second goal settled us down and we went on to win comfortably.
“We’re now at a stage where we need to clear up one or two knocks and with Gresley involved in a Trophy replay, we’ll take this next week off to get a few of the lads some treatment before the trip to Goole on Saturday.
“Our all-round performance was very good today but I would like to take time out to highlight Ant Danylyk’s performance. He gets us going with his allaction style and he thoroughly deserved his goal – I think he enjoyed that”, he added.
Casswell went into the game making two changes to his side with Paul Donnelly getting the nod over Andy Bratt whilst Andy Kinsey was preferred up front to Mitch Husbands. New signing Rhys Swetnam from Market Drayton Town won a seat on the bench.
Blues took the lead in the 25th minute after a cross into the box was worked back to Danylyk to strike and from around 25 yards out.
Sports knocked the ball about well but ran out of ideas in the final third whilst Blues failed to take their chances.
John Johnston wriggled his way into the box in the 34th minute before appearing to be tripped but the referee waived away the penalty appeals.
Four minutes later Blues caused panic in the Sports’ area and John Johnston blasted home from close range but was caught by the offside flag.
On the hour mark Shelley opened Sports up with a superb ball for Jordan Johnson to run onto but when he went to ground the referee ruled out a penalty.
Leek were forced to defend their slender lead midway through the half with the visitors looking to get on top but with little to offer up front.
Blues finally got the break-through they were looking for in the 79th minute when a great ball into the area was pounced on by Jordan Johnson who held off a challenge before rounding the keeper and then sliding the ball into the empty net.
Less than a minute later, Husbands chased a ball he shouldn’t have had a chance with but the on-loan striker did well to pull the ball back for Jordan Johnson to slam home his second and killer goal.
In the final 10 minutes of normal time Shelley and Dan Smith both went close to increasing the lead but in the 4th minute of added time Leek stretched their lead when Husbands split the visitor’s defence to leave MaGuire clear.
Mickleover keeper Chris Martin blocked the effort but MaGuire followed up to smash the loose ball home to claim his first goal for the club.
Leek Town: Chapman, Smith, Bell, Dicker, Donnelly (Bratt 17), Hall, Danylyk, Shelley, Kinsey (Husbands 70), Jordan Johnson, John Johnston (MaGuire 65). Subs not used: Evans, Swetnam.
Mickleover Sports: Martin, Bryant, Grocott (McGhee 45), Walshe, Slater, Degirolamo , Smythe, Hall, Davidson, Oshoboke, Riche-Smith. Subs not used: Holland, Mansfield.
Attendance: 251 Blues man of the match: Ant Danylyk