Leek Town thrash Market Drayton Town 4-1 to retain top spot

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Leek did not have to be at their fluent best to register a comfortable 4-1 win against lowly Market
Drayton Town. The visitors provided energy and willingness but lacked the necessary bite up front
during their spells of pressure to hurt a rampant Blues side. Tim Grice was once again amongst the
goals as he notched yet another hat-trick to leave him just five goals short of the two hundred
milestone while Lewis Short added the fourth.

The Gingerbreads did get the ball into the back of the net when the hugely under-used Danny
Roberts was beaten by a deflection from his own centre-back Ollie Harrison. But this setback proved
just a minor irritation for the home side as they protected their tw0-point advantage at the top of
the table.

Leek made the breakthrough on the quarter hour mark when Rob Stevenson fired a low drive
goalward, Debutant keeper Sam Agius dropped smartly to his left to parry the ball but, with no
defender to help their goalie out, Grice was able to turn on the loose ball and fire it into the empty
net.

The Blues huffed and puffed for much of the rest of the first half and doubled their lead shortly
before the break. Josh Agbozo showed the strength and determination to burst through the
defenders before hitting a low cross into the goal area. With no Market Drayton player in sight Grice
had the simple task of finishing with a side-footed effort into the roof of the net.

Leek’s progress was halted within seconds of the restart when Harrison had difficulty in dealing with
a cross from the right and only succeeded in putting the ball past his wrong-footed keeper.

Fortunately for the home side the visitors were unable to capitalise on this stroke of good fortune
and Leek restored their two-goal lead with the best move of the match. Stevenson did well to shield
the ball from his marker when played in from the left. The ball was then swept into the path of Short
who outpaced the defenders before hitting his shot across the face of Agius’ goal and netting at the
bottom of the far post.

There was plenty of time left in the game when Grice scored his third close-range goal. Charlie
Walford put in an excellent cross from the left and Chris Baker was able to beat the onrushing Agius
to the ball. The effort seemed not to have the legs to carry itself over the line but Grice won the
chase with the defender and tapped in for his third.

Leek could have gone on to record a higher score but the closing stages were disrupted by a raft of
substitutions and the stretchering off of visiting defender Zak Hill with what looked a serious leg
injury.

Following the game Blues’ boss Neil Baker spoke exclusively to Moorlands Radio and said
“Supporters expect five, six or seven goals and there was a certain air of frustration even among the
players as they came in at half-time. I told them that if they had been two up against some other
teams they would have been delighted. They were having little digs at each other and I told them to
be realistic about it. Play better in the second half, use the ball a bit better and we will win.

We were disappointed to concede the goal but we won 4-1 and in my eyes that’s a decent victory.

I’ll have a word with Ollie because it was a concentration thing as much as anything. If we had been
playing a top team, he would have dealt with that. Gricey was once again really good for us. He
scored three goals from inside the six-yard box. We don’t have other players who get into those
situations.”