HomeFeaturedLocal SportTrickett-Smith puts the Boot into Bootle

Trickett-Smith puts the Boot into Bootle

Leek were dealt a major blow before their encounter with fellow promotion hopefuls Bootle as both Tim Grice and Rob Stevenson were declared unfit to play.

The disappointment was tempered by the absence of Bucks’ leading scorer Ben Hodkinson. Ultimately, the two sides provided a fine feast of entertaining football and the Blues put their recent woes behind them to come from behind after conceding an early Connor Millington goal. Leek were able to rely on a rejuvenated Dan Trickett-Smith to score twice and provide a first goal for Ammar Dyer.

Leek started very much on the front foot and, with better final balls into the box, could have made early inroads into the game. But Bootle stunned the home crowd by taking the lead against the run of play. A dire spot of defending gave Millington an opening and he had the time to juggle the ball past a stranded Danny Roberts before tapping the ball home.

It took Leek a while to recover from that setback and, with Bootle looking very easy on the eye with their crisp passing, the home crowd feared the worst. The Blues needed a touch of inspiration to get back into the game and that was inevitably provided by Trickett-Smith who arrowed an effort past a despairing Theo Roberts into the top corner for the leveller.

That proved a turning point in the game as Leek dominated possession for long periods and ensured the points were theirs with two goals inside two minutes just after the hour mark. Trickett-Smith wriggled his way into the penalty area to provide the perfect cross for Dyer to head in at the far post. Then Trickett-Smith was played in behind the visiting defence and made no mistake in his contest with the keeper.

Bootle continued to look dangerous in counter-attack and came close to reducing the arrears with a couple of dives that zipped past the post but Roberts was largely untroubled on his 200th appearance in Leek colours. Was Leek who came close to adding a fourth when Will Saxon turned in a cross but Roberts was perfectly positioned to make the save.

Leek’s fans were once again left to marvel at what a great experience it is to see Dan Trickett-Smith in full song.

After the match, Leek manager Neil Baker spoke exclusively to Moorlands Sport and said:

“I was quite encouraged. I think that was the best football we have played for weeks. We needed that because we haven’t been at our best for five or six games. We weren’t at our best today but we were nearer to. We played how we trained and I was pleased with that. We started at a good pace and tempo but our balls into the box weren’t great.

“But it was encouraging until we went one down. I was concerned because I don’t think we have too many goals in the team. The last few weeks have proved that. But Danny looked something like. It’s taken him a while.

“And Ammar came in and gave us something different. We never know what he is going to do. He is like a circus act at times but he’s a good kid, he keeps going and got his reward. He got a goal and was instrumental in a lot of our fine play. I’ll settle for that.”

Dave Stringer
Sports Reporter and Theatre Critic

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