Leek Stutter With One From Six

Leek Town update

Leek Town’s good start to the season became a stutter after they picked up just one point from the six on offer at Harrison Park last week.

Blues found themselves on the end of a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Sutton Coldfield Town last mid-week, and on Saturday they were held to a 2-2 draw after throwing away a two-goal lead - a result that saw them drop to nine places to 11th in the league table.

Blues had shot up into second place following their first three games and were unbeaten until the visit of the Royals who replaced them in second-top spot.

Leek’s Director of Football, Neil Baker, was therefore looking for a reaction from his side when they entertained Goole Town at Harrison Park on Saturday.

However, after looking a lot better against an aggressive Goole outfit that picked up no fewer than five yellow cards, Blues threw away a two-goal lead and with it two valuable points.

Edwards loaned out
Leek Town Director of Football, Neil Baker, has allowed one of his fringe players go out on loan to ground-sharers Leek CSOB.

Winger Oliver Edwards has rejoined his former club after making just one appearance from the substitute’s bench in the goal-less draw at Hucknall.

Edwards was a member of Blues’ successful youth set-up and is currently in his third spell at Harrison Park, having also played for Alsager Town, Kidsgrove Athletic and Leek CSOB.

Other player news
Defender Ben Nixon made his full debut for the club when he was named in the starting line-up for the visit of Goole on Saturday.

He made his club debut as a first half substitute when he replaced Ashley Woolliscroft who aggravated a groin injury in the home defeat against Sutton Coldfield.

Nixon, 22, is a product of local football and joined the Blues from last season’s Staffordshire Senior League Champions and neighbours Ball Haye Green.

Meanwhile, striker James McCarthy, 25, returned from holiday to make his full debut in the home draw with Goole and celebrated with the opening goal

He also made his club debut in the Sutton Coldfield game, also from the bench, when he replaced Christian Millar midway through the second half.

McCarthy had twice previously appeared in pre-season friendlies for the Blues but never actually signed until the current campaign.

He finished last season helping Colwyn Bay gain promotion to the Blue Square North following earlier spells with Chester FC and Kidsgrove Athletic. He has also had a spell on trial with Crewe Alexandra as well as playing for Alsager Town and Warrington Town.

FA Cup
Leek Town will make a rare Sunday appearance when they play Causeway United in the FA Cup Preliminary Round tie next month.

The Blues will travel to Baker Joiner Midland Alliance side Causeway United in a game that will take place on Sunday 4 September with a 3pm kick-off.

Causeway are unable to play the tie on the scheduled date of Saturday 3 September because they ground-share with Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division side Stourbridge at the War Memorial Athletic Ground and Stourbridge have a league game that day.

'The Cause' overcame Malvern Town 5-0 in an extra- preliminary round replay last Wednesday night to book their spot in the next round after the original fixture finished goalless.

Blues had the opposition watched in the replay that attracted just 45 spectators and so the fixture is likely to result in a shared financial loss.

However, there will be some compensation for the winning side with £1,500 prize money on offer from the FA Cup prize fund.

Anyone wishing to travel on the coach to the game should contact Margaret Barker on 01538 386356 - the price will be £8.

The winners of this tie will be at home to either Tipton Town or Highgate United in the first qualifying round when further prize money of £3,000 will be pocketed by the winners.

Chairman pleased with progress
Leek Town Chairman Andrew Wain remains up-beat despite two recent poor results on the pitch in the last week.

He praised Director of Football Neil Baker for all the hard work he has put in since his appointment during the summer and believes there is now a more positive feeling around Harrison Park as a result.

Wain is also pleased with the progress made in the junior section and heaped praise on Dr Dennis Bates and Tracy Reynolds as well as the managers, coaches and parents of the teams and the very popular crèche coaching scheme which continues to go from strength to strength.

The junior’s set-up has recently been expanded with the inclusion of Ashcombe Park’s teams who merged with the Harrison Park outfit during the close season with 20 teams now playing under the Leek Town banner.

As a result, the club is now working towards attaining FA Community Standard after picking up the FA’s Development Award last season.

The Chairman revealed this week that plans to install a new pitch perimeter barrier at Harrison Park are now at an advanced stage.

Wain has driven this project with the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council over the last two or three years and Club Director Dr Dennis Bates, who successfully completed the new floodlights project a few years ago, has run with the scheme as it reaches a conclusion.

Dr Bates has spent many months dealing with all the technical paperwork, funding applications and tendering process required to deliver another successful project and work is expected to begin in the not too distant future.

Meanwhile, Wain has been quick to heap praise on Baker, and his two assistants Lee Caswell and Kenny Scragg, who have spent much of the summer redecorating the Blues Bar, refurbishing the toilets and sprucing up the stadium.

Wain confirmed that work is still ongoing and whilst the three members of the management team have spent most days down at Harrison Park, they have had tremendous help and support from Blues’ fans and ground staff too numerous to mention

Where next?

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