CLEVEDON TOWN 0 NORTH LEIGH 3
(EVO-STIK SOUTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION 1 SOUTH & WEST 18/02/12)
Clevedon Town entertained play-off hopefuls North Leigh on a very heavy pitch and were well beaten 3-0.
North Leigh started the stronger team, adapting to the wet conditions better than their hosts, and testing the Clevedon defence on several occasions. On 19 minutes they duly took the lead when captain Stuart Hole confidently converted a penalty awarded against Rhymel Henderson-Hudson for handball. North Leigh continued to push forward and Clevedon keeper Jason Mellor saved well from Morgan Williams. The Seasiders, having weathered the storm, then created a couple of chances of their own when first Matt Thorne
had a shot blocked on the line and then skipper Ashley Kington went close with a shot that was destined for the bottom corner before keeper Sam Warren pushed the ball away for a corner. But North Leigh responded positively through Elliott Osbourne-Ricketts whose dipping shot was tipped over the bar by Mellor at full stretch. And then a curling effort from Michael Hopkins sailed just wide of the post before the teams went into the break with the visitors good value for their 1-0 lead.
The second period had only just started when North Leigh went 2-0 up. Osbourne-Ricketts made a powerful surge from the halfway line and slipped the ball into Williams who beat Mellor with an excellent finish. Johnny Moss then had a chance to reduce the arrears but shot straight at Warren. Williams should then have made it three for North Leigh but skewed his shot wide of the target and Hopkins was also denied by a good save from Mellor. But the third goal came soon after when dead ball specialist Hole scored his second of the game with a free kick from the edge of the box which he expertly curled around the wall and into the net. Several Clevedon players were clearly struggling with the heavy conditions and suffering from having played 120 minutes against Thatcham three days earlier. So Micky Bell
made three quick substitutions to freshen things up and one of the replacements, Cameron Brown, went desperately close to scoring a consolation goal for The Seasiders when his acrobatic overhead volley just went the wrong side of the post. But that was the last of the meaningful action and soon after the ref blew the final whistle to confirm a well deserved 3-0 victory for North Leigh.
Team: 1. Mellor, 2. Muggeridge, 3. Gale, 4. Thorne, 5. Kingdon, 6. Henderson-Hudson, 7. Mills (17. Brown 65m), 8. Kington (c), 9. Moss (15. Edwards-Samuels 65m), 10. Hemmings, 11. Brimson (14. Best 59m).
Subs not used: 12. Fisher & 16. Geeson.
FT 0-3 (HT: 0-1)