SAM THE MAN TO SETTLE DERBY
After failing to breach the Moatmen on Saturday, Blues at least managed to topple the Castle with a 1-0 victory over Newcastle Town.
Neil Baker was forced into changes to his starting line-up with most notably Rob Stevenson missing due to the concussion he suffered late-on in the game against Gresley.
A drab first half saw Leek rarely threaten with their best moments a couple of Niall Maguire headers that went just over the bar.
Castle had one clear cut opening in 25 minutes when Alex Curtis intercepted a pass and found himself running through on goal but Danny Roberts came out well to make the block.
After the break Blues stepped up a gear and the majority of the game was played in Newcastle’s half as they set about looking to break the deadlock.
Dan Trickett-Smith had a shot brilliantly cleared off the line by Sam Bradbury in the 55th minute. Then his free-kick was well tipped-over by Castle keeper Adam Alcock.
Tim Grice had a shot that went just wide on and Trickett-Smith fired another free-kick just over the crossbar.
Five minutes from time Leek were awarded another free-kick on the edge of the box but this time Trickett-smith cleverly squared the ball to Sam Hall who drilled the ball low into the net from just outside the box.
In added time, Blues were denied a certain penalty when substitute Jessy Bavanganga played in Jordan Johnson who was then clearly felled in the box when through on goal.
The defender was red-carded but the referee decided the offence started outside the box and awarded a free-kick right on the edge of the area.
Johnson hit the free-kick wide but it was immaterial as the final whistle followed moments later and Blues celebrated their first win since 2011 against Newcastle Town on their own ground.
Team: Roberts. Lemon (Johnson), Richards. Green, Lycett, Chadwick, Grocott. Hall, Grice (Bavanganga), Trickett-smith, Maguire
Unused subs: Bailey, Wyatt