A 4-0 scoreline would suggest an easy afternoon’s work by Leek. But the truth behind the scoreline is that the Blues were fortunate to go into the break with a two-goal advantage thanks to goals from Lewis Short and Tim Grice. It was a totally different story after break as the visitors took control of the game to earn the points thanks to strikes from James Kirby and Rob Stevenson.
Leek took the lead after a quarter of an hour when Louis Keenan found Short who stroked the ball past keeper David Reay for his second goal in successive games.
That lead was doubled eleven minutes before the break when Grice notched his seventh of the season – and the 180th of his Leek career – when played in behind a stranded defence. Leek’s record goal scorer placed the ball past the advancing keeper to net in customary style.
However, playing into a driving wind and squally rain, Leek found themselves struggling to keep a clean sheet as Worksop took advantage of the conditions. With the score still goalless Leon Mettam swivelled on the eighteen-yard line but saw his effort beat a stranded Danny Roberts only for the ball to rebound from the post.
Roberts did well to save with his legs as Matthew Templeton looked certain to score and Jack Brownell and Matthew Reay both had efforts cleared from the line. But the most glaring miss came shortly before Grice’s goal.
Niall Smith did well to advance down the left and put in a telling cross. Unfortunately for the Tigers the inrushing Lynton Karkach was unable to direct the ball into the gaping net.
Conditions improved after half-time and this allowed the visitors to take control of the game. After surviving an early scare when Templeton sliced wide from an excellent position, Leek put the home goal under constant pressure with David Reay performing heroics including one acrobatic save to prevent Kirby from scoring.
But Reay could do nothing to stop another strike from Kirby after his defence had failed to clear their lines.
And Leek left the best till last when Stevenson broke down the left, cut into the area and finished with a sublime dink over the keeper.
The win put Leek back on top of the League and, following the match, Assistant Manager Peter Ward spoke exclusively to Moorlands Radio. He said “We had one or two things to sort out at half-time and I thought we came out in the second half and took over the game. I thought we ended up much the stronger and better side. In training we work on getting the ball down and today, especially on the counter, we did really, really well and I thought some of the football was really good to watch.”
Ward added “It was disappointing to concede in the 91st minute at Stocksbridge but you have to bounce back. We’ve come to a difficult place and we expected them to come at us. I thought we weathered it and scored two great goals.”
Regarding Grice’s performance the Assistant Manager enthused “It’s incredible. He’s always getting you a goal. We actually said on the bench that his injury has been a long time coming. Tim is always getting knocks but he’s done extremely well. He’s been immense in the past and he’s continuing that this season. We have to manage him but I think he has a lot more in him.”