BLUES FORCED TO SETTLE FOR DRAYTON DRAW
Blues picked up a point from their trip to Market Drayton Town as the match finished in a 1-1 draw.
Neil Baker had selection problems with Niall Maguire (back) added to the injured list along with Dan Trickett-Smith and Tim Grice.
Darren Chadwick was also only named on the bench as he was unable to make it in time for the start of the game. His place went to Andy McWilliams with Niall Green moving into the centre of defence.
A drab first half saw little in the way of chances created although both sides had one good opportunity each.
On 23 minutes Aaron Bott found himself through on goal but he scuffed his shot and it trickled wide of the far post.
Eleven minutes later Drayton should have done better with a free header form a corner but the ball was headed back across goal and just wide of the post.
Joe Kearns replaced McWilliams at half-time and the second half soon erupted into life when Rob Stevenson saw his low effort pushed round the post by Ash Rawlins.
From the resulting corner, Rawlins produced another fine save from Scott Lycett’s bullet header. Two more goalmouth scrambles followed soon after but Blues were unable to force the ball home.
Leek had a lucky escape in the 54th minute when a speculative 25-yard effort smacked against Danny Roberts post. A minute later Stevenson had another effort parried by Rawlins as play swung from end to end.
The deadlock was broken on the hour when Jordan Johnson (pictured) struck a magnificent free-kick from 30 yards that gave Rawlins no chance and went in off the post.
Twelve minutes later disaster struck for Blues as another corner was played in and another free header was allowed which Johnson instinctively handled on the line.
He was shown the red card and Glyn Coney sent Roberts the wrong way from the penalty spot.
Six minutes later the playing numbers were evened up when Drayton sub Harvey Howell clattered Niall Green with a wild tackle and was shown a straight red card.
Blues had one last chance in the final minute of normal time when Lewis Short burst into the box but his shot was smothered by Rawlins.
1. Danny Roberts
2. Niall Green
3. Lewis Short
4. Marc Grocott
5. Scott Lycett
6. Andy McWilliams (15. Joe Kearns)
7. Billy Reeves
8. Sam Hall
9. Jordan Johnson
10. Aaron Bott
11. Rob Stevenson
Unused subs: 12. Charlie Walford, 14. Jessy Bavanganga 16. Darren Chadwick 17. Ben Chapman
Yellow cards: Scott Lycett, Sam Hall, Aaron Bott
Red card: Jordan Johnson