GRICE GOAL GAINS POINT AT GOOLE
Leek Town secured a very valuable point in their quest for promotion via the play-offs when they recorded their first draw in 15 games on Saturday.
Blues had to come from behind to share the spoils after Goole’s leading scorer Vill Powell gave them the lead six minutes from the break but the lead was short-lived as Tim Grice netted the equaliser just 2 minutes later.
Both sides had good chances to win the game in an improved second half but the scores remained level at full-time.
After the game Casswell said, “I thought it was a good point but we are disappointed we didn’t get all three.
“However, we couldn’t have asked for more effort in the second half, we kept on knocking at the door and used our subs to try and make the break-though.
“Belper’s win saw them close the gap on us to three points and that has added a little more pressure to the run-in so we will be looking out for the Sheffield –v- Belper result on Monday.
“Monday’s game at home to New Mills is going to be very tough as they have a chance of reaching the play-offs themselves”, he added.
Casswell made one enforced change to his starting line-up with Ben Nixon replacing Christian Millar who picked up an injury during the pre-match warm-up.
After Goole mounted an early raid into Leek territory, Blues responded with Anthony Danylyk playing a superb ball wide for Matt Bell whose cross faded out of play.
Five minutes later Danylyk played another good ball out wide for Tim Grice but his shot cleared the crossbar.
Goole won a free kick on the edge of the Leek box in the 10th minute but the ball cannoned into the defensive wall whilst the follow-up shot was deflected into the keeper’s arms.
Leek then won 2 corners in quick succession but midway through the half, play was held up whilst the Goole physio was called into action on no fewer that five times to treat grounded players.
The Vikings almost took the lead in the 25th minute when Powell played the ball wide to Mark Baggaley who crossed in for Matty Bloor but Chapman got down smartly to turn the ball wide.
In the 27th minute a Goole free kick was cleared and the ball played down the middle for Grice who turned into the home half at pace only to be scythed down from behind but the referee waived play on.
Leek were still not at their best on a difficult surface but in the 33rd minute Grice swapped passes with Adam Roberts before crossing into the box where the keeper claimed Matt Haddrell’s looping header.
A minute later Tim Sanders’ free kick found Haddrell who headed the ball back into the danger area where there was a suspicion of hand ball but again the referee waved play on.
Goole took the lead in the 39th minute when Powell out-muscled George Ray on the edge of the box and then curled has shot wide of Chapman into the far top corner.
After Chapman had dealt competently with a Goole corner, Leek were back on level terms within 2 minutes when he launched a huge goal kick down the middle and Grice beat a defender to the ball to find enough space to roll his shot wide of the advancing keeper into the back of the net.
On the stroke of half time Grice turned the ball infield for Haddrell who then played a lovely pass into the box for Grice but the keeper saw the danger and raced off his line to dive bravely at the Leek striker’s feet.
The second half was a much better affair with Goole winger Mark Baggaley effective down the left but Leek were the first to show when a long clearance found Haddrell who worked himself an opening but then fired straight at the keeper.
The Leek goal led a charmed life in the 49th minute when first Matt Bell cleared off the line and then Chapman pulled off a remarkable save to clear the ball form his six-yard area at the expence of a corner.
Blues came close in the 57th minute when Danylyk played a good ball wide for Sanders who raced into the box to get in a shot that the keeper pushed wide for a corner bur when the flag kick came in Danylyk blasted over the crossbar.
In the 61st minute Powell saw a shot from just outside the box drift wide as Goole looked to get back in front.
Ray glanced a corner wide of the upright in the 72nd minute and then Oliver Edwards tried his luck with an overhead kick from the edge of the box after coming on as sub.
In the 87th minute Ray came agonisingly close to winning the game when he got on the end of another Sanders’ corner only ton head inches wide from close range.
A minute later Sanders’ deep corner was controlled at the back post by Cope who got in a good shot that was blocked. Cope then fired the ball back into the area where Grice headed wide of the upright.
Leek continued pushing forward looking for the winning goal with Ray pushed up front to provide more ariel threat but the tactic almost backfired when Powell released Baggaley to go one-on-one with Chapman who made a superb save.
Deep into added time Blues carved out two more chances but both Edwards and Cope were crowded out in a packed box.
Goole: White, Harrison, Johnson, Robson, Helliwell, Redei (Wright 76), Baggaley, Bloor Powell, Martin (Stirland 73), Jeffs. Unused subs: Stratford, Rose, Pugh.
Leek: Chapman, Sanders, Bell, Guthrie, Danylyk, Ray, Grice, Nixon (Bridge), Haddrell (Cope 86), Roberts (Edwards 73), Woolliscroft. Unused subs: Lane, Turner.
Cards: Matt Bell - yellow
Star man: Ashley Woolliscroft
Report: Mike Cope