CUP OF WOE FOR TOWN
Leek Town added to their catalogue of dismal FA Cup exits over the years after being beaten 1-0 by Vodkat League Division One side Eccleshall in the Preliminary Round at Harrison Park.
Blues start to this season has been poor but they sunk to a new low after being humbled by a team who play at a level two divisions below.
Wayne Johnson made three changes to the side that started at Rushall Olympic with goalkeeper Start Heeps making his debut and Carl Allen and Dan Cope coming in for Darren Alexander and Matt Johnson.
Blues started well with Leon Ashman and Wayne Corden both hitting the bar in the first quarter of an hour but that was about as good as it got for the home side as Eccleshall played their way into the game without unduly threatening the home goal.
It was goalless at the break but the visitors took the lead eight minutes into the second half when Danny Hughes was quickest to react following a good save from Stuart Heeps to slot the ball into the corner of the Blues net.
Leek pushed forward after that but failed to create much in the way of goalscoring opportunities until both Matt Johnson and Bobby Gee had goalbound efforts blocked in the final minutes.
The final whistle demonstrated the agony and the ecstacy of the FA Cup as the Eccleshall players and staff celebrated wildly in contrast to many of the Blues players who sunk to the floor in dejection and disbelief. (above and below)
1. Stuart Heeps
2. Pete Johnson (15. Paul Rutter, 63)
3. Paul Taylor
4. Andy Taylor
5. Carl Allen
6. Ashley Miller
7. Tom France
8. Rob Hawthorne (12. Matt Johnson, 63)
9. Leon Ashman (16. Bobby Gee, 81)
10. Dan Cope
11. Wayne Corden
Unused Subs: 14. Mitch Shenton, 17. Mark Bradbury 18. John Ritchie 19. Luke Robinson
Yellow Cards: Tom France, Andy Taylor