Leek Town clinch West Division title with four games to spare

By James Gordon

Leek Town have sealed a return to Step 3 football for the first time in 15 years.

The Blues, who took top spot in the Pitching In NPL West Division in early December and rarely looked like conceding that position, sealed the title with four games to spare after a 2-1 win at Newcastle Town on Easter Monday.

They took the lead at the Red Industries Stadium after five minutes through Tim Grice - who was making a club-record-equalling 481st appearance and is affectionally known as 'Mr Leek' by many within the club.

Jake Avery equalised before half-time for Newcastle, but it wouldn't be enough as Daniel Trickett-Smith restored the Blues' lead five minutes into the second half with his 16th goal of the season.

Leek Town promoted

Leek Town promoted

Monday's result moved Leek 17 points clear of nearest challengers Prescot Cables after they drew 2-2 with third-placed Runcorn Linnets.

The NPL West Division champions are currently on a 23-game unbeaten streak and also enjoyed a run to the fourth qualifying round of this season's FA Cup.

Led by manager Josh Brehaut, who only took charge at the start of September following the departure of club legend Neil Baker from his role, they will now have the chance of securing double silverware in the form of the Staffordshire Senior Cup, where they will face Rushall Olympic in the final later this month.

"[These are] incredible scenes, what a day," Brehaut told Moorlands Radio Sport after the final whistle.

Leek Town promoted

Leek Town promoted

"For the fans that turned out, what an incredible occasion they've made it. Thankfully we were able to get over the line on the pitch and done it in the way that we wanted by coming here and getting the three points.

"We've got this unbeaten run that we want to prolong and a cup final to look forward to as well, so we absolutely won't let up.

"The challenge now for me and the management team is how we continually make sure we plan each game right and select the right personnel.

"The players have got to enjoy this moment and no-one would begrudge us a sluggish performance along the way between now and the end of the season, but we really don't want that.

Leek Town promoted

Leek Town promoted

"We want to make sure that we bow out in style and amass as many points as we possible can."

Photo credit: Jim Booth Photography

Where next?

Brighouse Town part company with manager Brighouse Town have confirmed that manager Vill Powell has agreed to depart the club by mutual consent.
MLS academy graduate joins Atherton Collieries Atherton Collieries have announced the signing of forward Ethan Beckford from National League South side Havant & Waterlooville.

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