Leek Town step up their pre-season preparations with a fine performance at Stafford Rangers.

Leek Town stepped up their preparations for the new season with an impressive 2-0 win over Northern Premier League Premier Division side Stafford Rangers.

The game was just 37 seconds old when a delightful ball over the top of the Stafford defence found Dan Trickett-Smith. The magic man broke the offside trap and, lobbed the ball over the onrushing Cameron Belford to break the deadlock.

After the opener, the Blues continued to press Stafford as they looked for that second goal. Trickett-Smith should have scored when new signing Julius Ndene flicked an Olly Harrison free-kick into the path of the winger but, he put his effort straight at Belford.

While Rob Stevenson put two decent chances wide of the goal as Leek continued to play some fantastic football throughout the first half.

After the interval, Stafford Rangers got their act together as they started to press Leek but, apart from one occasion they never troubled the visitor’s backline which had two trialists playing at centre half.

That chance came midway through the second half when a free kick landed straight on the head of Nathan Blissett. The nephew of former England international and Milan forward, Luther Blissett, put his header well wide of the goal when he really should have at least hit the target.

With time running out Leek grabbed a second goal as Tom Carr broke past the Stafford defence and placed the ball past Belford to ensure Leek took the victory.

After the game, I spoke to manager Neil Baker to get his thoughts on the match.

I also spoke to midfielder Tom Scully whose arrival was announced on Friday by the club.

Elsewhere Kidsgrove Athletic rounded off their pre-season campaign with a 3-1 victory over Boldmere St Michaels.

Jimmy Garlick scored a fantastic strike to break the deadlock on eight minutes. It was 2-0 on 35 minutes when Nat Morley looped the ball over the visiting goalkeeper after the former Newcastle Town man saw his original shot saved.

Joe Woolley got a third just before the break when he headed in Tom Merrill’s cross to rubber stamp a dominant performance for the Grove.

After the interval, Garlick had a chance cleared off the line, while Aaron Bott put a header over as Kidsgrove searched for a fourth goal.

However, the game’s fourth goal went the visitor’s way as they pulled one back with 15 minutes to go.

Nantwich Town headed over the border to Wales to continue their pre-season preparations but, returned to Cheshire having been beaten 4-1. Callum Saunders scoring a consolation goal for the Dabbers.

On Friday night, we had two games as Hanley Town hosted Northwich Victoria while Congleton Town headed to Hednesford Town, and both of our local teams recorded victories.

Hanley Town ran out 4-1 winners over the Vics and, in truth, it could have been a bigger scoreline for Ryan Shotton’s men.

Louis Dodds put Hanley 1-0 up after just 11 minutes of play when he pinched the ball off the Northwich defender before placing his strike beyond the reach of the keeper.

Northwich pulled themselves level when two trialists combined before guiding the ball past Ben Chapman to give the Vics hopes of recording a decent result, something that has lacked throughout pre-season as they have lost 8-1 at Newcastle Town and 6-0 at home to Bootle.

However, that wasn’t going to be the case as Hanley’s new signing Jeanny Akpo raced clear of the Northwich defence before slamming the ball past the keeper to restore Hanley’s lead midway through the first half.

After the break, Joel Stair and youngster Charlie Grocott added to the scoresheet to give Hanley a comfortable win. However, Hanley’s night was soured when Luke Walsh had to come off with a dislocated elbow just after the restart.

Following the conclusion of the game, I spoke to Hanley’s assistant manager Ben Chapman.

Congleton Town won 3-2 at Northern Premier League new boys Hednesford Town thanks to goals from Dan Needham, Billy Buckley (penalty) and Danny Cocks.

It wasn’t just pre-season friendlies that have taken place this weekend as the North West Counties Football League got underway on Saturday.

Alsager Town sit second in the NWCFL first division South thanks to a 5-0 win over division new boys Winsford United.

A hat trick from Jack Woolley and one each from Tom Hassell and Sam Latham gave the Bullets an outstanding opening-day win.

Meanwhile, it wasn’t good news for Sandbach United and Abbey Hulton United as they both suffered defeats on the opening day of the season.

Sandbach lost 1-0 at Barnton thanks to Amir Hajri’s third-minute strike while Abbey Hulton United were beaten 3-0 at Droylsden on the Bloods’ return to action following a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Richard Scott
Richard Scott
Sports Reporter

Latest Local Sports News

Must Read News