Evostick Northern Premier League First Division South
Coalville Town 0 Leek Town 0
THE Blues maintained their unbeaten start to the new campaign with a gritty, goalless draw in Leicestershire.
The visitors were a little fortunate to go in at the break on level terms after being put under a lot of pressure.
However, Blues got to grips with their robust opponents and more than matched their usually high-scoring hosts in the second period.
Leek were solid in defence as the home side mounted raid after raid, in a game that was punctuated by free kicks.
Blues boss Lee Casswell named the same side that won at Mickleover in midweek.
Jamie Pointon was drafted in to fill a seat on the bench following the departure of winger Tom Urwin to Kidsgrove Athletic.
Coalville won four corners in quick succession and defender Jamie McAteer went close with two headers, one superbly tipped over by Ben Chapman.
The hosts were quick and effective going forward but the Leek defence stood firm.
Leek came close to opening the scoring in the 38th minute, when Bell played a free kick into the box for Shelley.
He knocked the ball back to Anthony Danylyk, who blasted a shot from just outside the box – flying just inches wide.
Two minutes from the break, Coalville came close – again from a set piece corner – but Alex Dean drove a shot way over the crossbar.
After the break, another Woodward corner was headed wide by Phillip Watt and then Woodward looked suspiciously offside – but play was allowed to continue and Anthony Carney shot wide of the target.
Blues almost took the lead when Bell launched a free kick to the far post, where Andy Kinsey rose highest – but his looping header dropped onto the crossbar.
In the 67th minute, a mistake by Coalville allowed John Johnston to race forward and force a fingertip save from the goalkeeper.
Blues continued to press and in the 67th minute, Johnson fired just over, after combining well with Shelley.
Coalville countered in the 74th minute, when Woodward got on the end of a cross – but volleyed wide from the edge of the box.
A minute later, Paul Donnelly picked out Jordan Johnson, who crossed into the box where a glancing header by Shelley almost opened the home defence.
In the 81st minute, Coalville came close again from a corner through Liam Crouchman’s header which cleared the woodwork.
Deep into added time, the home side almost carved out the winner when Woodward’s free kick from the edge of the box took a deflection. Chapman reacted quickly to make a good save.
Coalville Town: Gibson, Dean, Jenno (Crouchman 74), Watt, McAteer, Kay, Woodward, McGovern, Carney (Piggon 87), Charley, Miveld. Subs not used: Rathbone, Woodbine.
Leek Town: Chapman, Donnelly, Bell, Dicker, Bratt, Hall, Danylyk, Shelley, Kinsey, Jordan Johnson, John Johnston. Subs not used: Brannan, Bradbury, Brough, Pointon, Evans.
Man-of-the-match: Ryan Dicker Attendance: 212
FIXTURES August Sat 31: Walsall Wood (FA Cup) h, 3pm September Sat 7: Lincoln United – a, 3pm.
Tue 10: Belper Town – h, 7.45pm Sat 14: FA Cup first qualifying round.
Sat 21: Kidsgrove Athletic – h, 3pm Mon 23: Romulus – a, 7.45pm.
Sat 28: Gresley – h, 3pm.