BLUES BREAK BARREN NEW YEARS DAY RUN
By Stevie R
Blues ended a 25-year wait to record a win on New Years Day with a 4-1 victory over Newcastle Town.
The man in charge in the Leek dugout that day was also Neil Baker and he made two changes to the side that drew at Chasetown six days ago.
Tim Grice returned in place of Aaron Bott and Dan Trickett-Smith made his first league start since 15th September replacing Jordan Johnson.
Blues were fast out of the blocks and Rob Stevenson had two efforts go just wide in the opening five minutes.
Stevenson had another curler effort saved by Matt Johnson in the 20th minute and it was inevitable that he would be involved in the opening goal which arrived eight minutes later.
This time Stevenson broke down the right and crossed for Trickett-Smith who marked his return in style smashing the ball on the volley in off the underside of the crossbar.
Nine minutes later it was 2-0 when an almighty mix-up in the Castle defence saw Grice presented with the ball and he duly rolled the ball into the empty net for one of the easiest of his 166 goals for the club.
After dominating the opening half, Blues succumbed to the sucker-punch by conceding when Connor Heath fired low past Danny Roberts two minutes after the break.
However any hopes Castle had of making a comeback were soon dismissed. Lewis Short almost restored the two goal advantage three minutes later when his cross shot deceived the keeper and flew just past the far post.
It became 3-1 in the 54th minute when Rob Stevenson beat the offside trap and rounded Johnson to score.
Stevenson almost scored again two minutes later when his cross almost dropped in at the far post. He continued to be a thorn in Newcastle's side and on 65 minutes a super run down the left and pull back from the by-line set up Trickett-Smith whose shot from 12 yards was deflected just wide.
in the 80th minute another Stevenson run saw him reach the by-line on the right and his low cross fortunately for the visitors ricocheted off a defenders leg and just past the post.
Substitute Aaron Bott combined with Stevenson to set up the fourth goal on 83 minutes which was finished off with a low shot by Trickett-Smith.
Trickett-Smith almost completed his hat-trick a couple of minutes later when his free-kick was just about scrambled away by Johnson low down by the post.
Leek have a tough few weeks ahead but go into it in great form with five wins and a draw in the last six games.
1. Danny Roberts
2. Niall Green
3. Lewis Short
4. Marc Grocott
5. Billy Sass-Davies
6. Jack Sanders
7. Niall Maguire (12. Sam Hall, 83)
8. Billy Reeves
9. Tim Grice (17. Aaron Bott, 77)
10. Dan Trickett-Smith
11. Rob Stevenson (16. Jordan Johnson, 86)
Unused subs: 12. Scott Lycett, 14. Sam Hall
Man of the Match: Rob Stevenson
Match Sponsored by Rogers Barbers Shops