by Garry Clarke Photos: John Hopkins
WARRINGTON Rylands did not get the Christmas present they wanted from Leek Town as the three points remained in Staffordshire.
A much changed Rylands side, missing several players due to injury and illness, was further disrupted after 7 minutes when substitute manager Jack Hook, replacing absent Dave McNabb and Fraser Ablett, was forced to change quickly as Influential midfielder Joe Coveney limped off the pitch.
The home side entering the game in 6th place, 6 points behind Rylands, warned of their intentions in the opening minutes when Tim Grice chased a long ball into the opposing team’s area. however his shot was well saved by Graeme McCall.
The Rylands goaltender also made a good save in the 15th minute to beat Dan Trickett-Smith but couldn’t stop Leek from taking the lead in the 20th minute. Rob Stevenson broke the left wing, slid the ball in to Trickett-Smith who lifted the ball over the advancing McCall.
A hardworking and well-organized team, Leek seemed content to defend his lead, frustrating his visitors, not allowing them to play their normal smooth passing game and knocking on the break.
And it is from two of these breaks that they added to their count in the second half.
Leek took a quick free kick down the halfway line; they quickly moved the ball forward, a raucous low drive was blocked by McCall’s feet, the rebound fell on Rob Stevenson who blew the ball home from the edge of the box.
In the 70th minute, another right wing failure by Stevenson saw the leek man take a shot at a right-back, full-back Jessy Bavanganga followed by the recovery to wrap up a 3-0 victory for the team local.
Not that Rylands didn’t have scoring opportunities, especially in the first half when they dominated possession.
In the opening rally, quick-witted Callum Dolan saw a blocked shot and in the 25th minute he warmed the keeper’s hands with a fiercely slapped angle shot which Leek keeper Sam Booth did well to push over the top of the ball. bar.
In the finals of the first half, Declan Walker came close twice with long range shots that were right off target.
Five minutes into the second half, a Rylands corner left Leek’s penalty area confused and panicked, as he stepped out of the edge of the zone. Andy Scarisbrick’s attempt to bring the ball back into the danger zone is thwarted by a hand from the defender.
Dolan’s free-kick bit the underside of the crossbar, off the rebound Booth made an excellent save to prevent Charlie Doyle’s shot, the ball is propelled towards goal again but is pushed out of the line by frantic defenders .
Further forays into Leek’s penalty area were limited as the home side controlled the game although in the dying minutes Booth made a good save to deprive Scarisbrick of late consolation.
LEEK TOWN: Booth Bavanganga Keenan Grocott Harrison Ryder Wakefield Short (Reeves) Grice Trickett-Smith Stevenson (Saxon); Unused caption: Wara Brownhill Baker
WARRINGTON RYLANDS: McCall Walker (Hughes) Cunningham Gerrard Egerton Denman Doyle Coveney (Djalo) Dolan Scarisbrick Francis (Simpson); SUBSCRIBERS: Hilton
GOALS – Leek Town Trickett-Smith 20, Stevenson 56, Bavanganga 71
Referee William Davis Presence 526