BLUES SINK GRESLEY AT THE MOAT
3-1 victory gives Leek third successive league win
Blues entered this game looking to get back on course following their shock exit from the FA Cup with Leek Town manager Neil Baker looking for a response and he got just that on Saturday when his side visited the Moat Stadium.
At times the game was played in a mixture of bright sunshine and torrential rain making life difficult for both sides.
Baker was left short-handed for the game with Darren Chadwick and James Curley both unavailable whilst Niall Green and Sam Grimshaw are still nursing injuries.
The Blues boss therefore drafted in Notts County defender Pierce Bird on loan to play along-side Scott Lycett in the centre of defence with Rob Stevenson replacing Niall Maguire who won a seat on the bench.
Tim Grice, who was wearing the captain’s armband, and Jordon Johnson both had chances during the early exchanges and Grice tried a cheeky lob over the keeper from 35 yards that dropped just over the crossbar.
With only 25 minutes gone Leek lost influential midfielder Dan Shelley with a leg injury picked up after taking a free kick and he was replaced by Niall Maguire.
Despite this blow Leek went ahead on 38 minutes when Grice fired home from close range after goalkeeper Robert Peet deflected the ball into his path,
After the break Johnson twice went close to increasing the lead and Grice mis-hit a shot inside the box.
Blues worked hard and it wasn’t too long before they went further ahead with Grice setting up Johnson who went round the keeper before finishing with a fine, angled shot.
Ben Chapman was relatively untroubled throughout the game but Gresley came close on 70 minutes when Charlie Woolfe fired into the side-netting.
Blues were too strong for Gresley and went on to increase their lead on 81 minutes thanks to a superb solo effort by Rob Stevenson.
However, after Blues had defended their clean sheet for 85 minutes, Gresley pulled one back but it only proved to be a consolation effort as Blues went on the take the points and move up to 5th place in the table.
Team: Chapman, Kearns, Morris, Grocott, Lycett (Faulkner 82), Bird, Stevenson, Blake, Grice, Johnson (Melingui 89), Shelley (Maguire 25):
MOM: Rob Stevenson