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Weather woes add up to more Blues frustration

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: February 19, 2014

Continuing bad weather has meant that Ant Danylyk, pictured (blue shirt) in action against Lincoln last year, has had to wait to make his 300th appearance for Leek Town.

Continuing bad weather has meant that Ant Danylyk, pictured (blue shirt) in action against Lincoln last year, has had to wait to make his 300th appearance for Leek Town.

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THE WEATHER again caused the postponement Leek Town's home league game against Sutton Coldfield Town on Saturday.

With the Harrison Park pitch waterlogged, it meant another wait for midfielder Ant Danylyk to make his 300th appearance in a Blues shirt.

Only four games survived in the Evo-Stik Premier Division and only seven games went ahead in the First Division South, while the entire First Division North programme was wiped out.

Blues have now lost four successive games to the weather.

To add to the club's mounting frustrations, the fixture at Carlton has been called off due to the Nottinghamshire club's County Cup commitments, which take precedence.

As a result of their inactivity on Saturday, Leek dropped to fourth place in the table, after they were leapfrogged by Belper Town, who beat Romulus with a last-minute goal.

Coalville took over at the top with a 5-1 win over Brigg Town. Previous leaders Halesowen dropped two points after being held by Goole.

Blues' boss Lee Casswell said: "It is frustrating but on a positive note, the enforced break has probably come at a good time for us, having just suffered a blip in form over Christmas and the New Year.

"We are still in the top five with games in hand and the lads have responded well in training, with good turnouts at our regular Tuesday and Thursday sessions.

"However, the lads need to be playing games and, following the success of the private practice match last weekend, we organised another on Saturday against high-flying North West Counties neighbours Norton United, who are managed by former Leek striker Scott Dundas.

"Both sides did well on the 3G pitch at Northwood and we were able to give everybody at least 45 minutes' playing time.

"We would like to thank Scott for agreeing to play and hope they do well for the rest of the season – he certainly looks to have put a good side together."

Assistant manager Peter Ward took advantage of Blues' postponed game on Saturday to watch their next opponents Bedworth United, whose game at Newcastle Town survived the weather.

Bedworth helped themselves to a 3-1 win to slightly ease their relegation worries, leaving them second-bottom just a point behind struggling Kidsgrove, with two games in hand.

Two goals from Daniel Dubidat helped Bedworth on to an impressive away win – their fifth league success in seven games.

Lee Casswell is expecting a tough game against the side.

He said: "They are in good form after a poor start to their first season in the Evo-Stik league so we're expecting a tough game when the two sides clash at the Oval on Saturday.

"Our commitment in training and the two private practice matches has been fantastic and the lads are looking to get back into playing again in order to regain our previous form."

It looks as though Andy Bratt's four-match ban will extend into March after the bad weather led to four postponed games that would otherwise have counted towards his ban.

The big defender began his suspension at Belper on February 1 but Blues haven't played since, so Bratt still has three games to sit out.

On-loan striker Michael Lennon, whose appearances with Leek were limited due the adverse weather conditions, has returned to his parent club Hednesford Town after spending a month at Harrison Park, during which he made three full appearances and another as a substitute.

Meanwhile, former Blues' keeper Daniel Lloyd-Weston has been called up to the England C International squad for the fixture against Jordan's under-23s in Amman on March 4.

Ironically, Lloyd-Weston celebrated his call-up to the squad by retrieving the ball from the back of his net no fewer than seven times in Hereford United's record defeat at the hands of Luton Town on Saturday.

Lloyd-Weston, aged 21, joined Leek in September 2012 after previously being on the books at Crewe Alexandra, West Bromwich Albion, Port Vale and Cheltenham Town – he also played in Greece for AEL Kallonis.

Towards the end of the season, he moved on to Market Drayton Town before being snapped up by Hereford United.

COMING UP

February

Sat 22: Bedworth United – a, 3pm.

Wed 26: Gresley – h, 7.45pm.

March

Sat 1: Halesowen Town – a, 3pm.

Sat 8: Brigg Town – h, 3pm.

Wed 12: Carlton – a, 7.45pm

Sat 15: Rainworth Miners Welfare – a, 3pm

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