IN-FORM Leek will continue to improve says coach Kev Heath after signing off for 2012 with victory over Durham University.
An early strike from Ben White and close range finish from Paul Nixon near the death sealed Saturday's win which maintains Leek's 100 per cent home record and keeps the Moorlanders five points behind table-topping Sheffield Hallam.
Heath said: "Leek will continue to learn and develop and build on their progress so far. This emerging side will continue to improve and with the development of the squad that is now happening the future looks very promising."
Durham edged a seven-goal thriller in Leek's season opener. And as early as the eighth minute the deadlock was broken. The move was started by the ever-improving Jared Oliver who tore through a series of would-be tacklers - creating space in the Durham defence. Oliver's incisive drive was supported by a host of team-mates who overpowered the Stafford rearguard and Ben White was left with a simple tap-in.
A lively period of play followed with neither side afforded space in a real test of fortitude and concentration for the hosts. And despite losing key player Paul Dawson with a back injury the home side held firm. The home side were further under the cosh after losing another key central midfield when Paul Nixon was sin-binned. However, the cool heads of Peter Sekula and Jon Harper directed play from the back and in fact it was Leek who offered the greater great. But despite asking questions of the Stafford keeper the away side survived to the interval with just a one goal deficit.
After the break a disciplined Leek continued to play controlled hockey while utilising the space left vacant by the visitors who were now chasing the game. When called upon the defence dealt with any threat and apart from one fine low save Leek keeper Mark Brazier enjoyed a quiet day.
Durham's task was made greater due to their own indiscipline and a series of suspensions while Leek for most part remained silent and let the game unfold. With clever skills and slick passing moves it seemed only a matter of time before Leek would extend their lead. Several gilt-edged chances were either saved or spurned before Durham's indiscipline gifted the hosts a short corner. A new routine straight from the training ground was introduced. And Nixon completed the move off from close range via a slight deflection to seal victory.