A POINT APIECE IN BOXING DAY DRAW
By Stevie R
Despite stretching their unbeaten run to five games, Blues had to be content with a point in a 1-1 draw at Chasetown on Boxing Day.
Manager Neil Baker made one change to his side with Tim Grice who has been troubled by a niggling injury replaced by Aaron Bott who scored twice after coming off the bench against Skelmersdale.
The home side almost got off to a great start inside 2 minutes when a long range effort from Jack Partridge was tipped over by Danny Roberts.
Two minutes later Bott had the ball in the net turning home Marc Grocott’s downward header from close range but the assistant’s flag was raised for offside.
In the 20th minute Blues went ahead when Rob Stevenson (pictured) rose to firmly head home a corner, his 13th goal of the season but a rare headed one!
Roberts stopped a certain equaliser when Tom Hill raised clear three minutes later, but he came out and made a fine save low to his left.
Jordan Johnson whipped in a free-kick on 32 minutes but Curtis Pond in the Chasetown goal was equal to it pushing the ball over the bar for a corner.
Leek had much the better of the half but conceded an equaliser three minutes before the break when George Cater curled in an excellent 20-yard free-kick into the top corner giving Roberts no chance.
Blues continued to do most of the pressing in the second half but rarely looked like carving open the Chasetown defence.
Billy Reeves had a good long-range effort gathered by Pond on 62 minutes and three minutes later the big keeper denied Johnson with a double save after he found himself through on goal.
Grice came on and saw his low shot saved in the 79th minute, before Chasetown staged a strong finish coming close twice late on when Ryan Wynter headed just over the crossbar and then saw his low shot blocked by Grocott in a goalmouth scramble.
Baker will be disappointed his side didn’t round off the year with a victory, but if his side can replicate returns of 13 points from 15 in the New Year, he knows his side will be right in the mix at the business end of the season.
1. Danny Roberts
2. Niall Green
3. Lewis Short
4. Marc Grocott
5. Billy Sass-Davies
6. Jack Sanders
7. Niall Maguire (15. Charlie Walford, 79)
8. Billy Reeves
9. Aaron Bott (17, Tim Grice, 66)
10. Jordan Johnson (16. Dan Trickett-Smith, 66)
11. Rob Stevenson
Unused subs: 12. Scott Lycett, 14. Sam Hall
Yellow card: Jack Sanders