Leigh Genesis 2 Woodley Sports 3
By Matt Lawton
March 15 2011

Not for the first time this season, Leigh somehow failed to collect anything from a game which they led by two goals going in to the final stages after conceding three goals in the final twelve minutes at home to Woodley Sports.

Having conceded an injury time goal to lose 2-1 at home to relegation rivals Harrogate Railway Athletic, Leigh again suffered a last minute defeat having held a two goal lead as late as the seventhy eighth minute.

Genesis boss Alan Kershaw made just one change from the weekend defeat with David Webb dropping out of the side and Ali Asgari in the starting eleven for the first time in almost two months since a 3-2 win over Trafford in January.

Leigh had a huge scare after only thirty five seconds of play when a mix up when dealing with a long ball forward left Genesis goalkeeper Phil Priestley stranded and grateful for the quick thinking of right back Dale McDonald to cover for Priestley and block the ball on the line.

With neither side getting a grip of the game and a multitude of free kicks, the first half was a particularly stop-start affair which was probably summed up on thirty nine minutes when Connor Millington played in a terrific crossfield ball that released John Hedges to cut inside the full back and gain a clear of view of goal, only to skew his shot horribly wide of the target.

Just as the half-time whistle looked set to great an uninspiring half, Leigh managed to get a goal in front when Millington fired against the post but Genesis finally had some luck when the rebound dropped to Alex Grisedale who made no mistake in sweeping home his second goal for the club.

31 year old striker Terry Murphy was handed his debut from the substitute's bench after nine minutes of the second half and he made an immediate impact with a bustling run that created the space for Stuart Rudd to have a pop at goal from the edge of the area that went straight through to Woodley goalkeeper Liam Higginbotham.

With sixty one minutes on the clock Murphy showed an unexpected piece of quality, reminiscent of Eric Cantona, that would be talked about for weeks had it happened at a higher level as he got what seemed to be a decisive second goal for Leigh. Receiving the ball to his feet well outside the penalty area and with his back to goal, Murphy turned and flicked the ball up for himself to volley an absolute screamer of a shot inside Higginbotham's right hand post that gave the goalkeeper no chance whatsoever.

As only twelve minutes remained, Leigh could be forgiven for thinking that they had done enough to feel comfortable about what appeared to be a vital victory but the visitors instead halved the deficit when Nathan Neequaye broke through on goal and poked the ball past Priestley.

Leigh memories were still fresh from surrendering a 2-0 lead at Radcliffe last month and it was something of an inevitability that Woodley would level the scores as they did on eighty four minutes when Neequaye and, most importantly, the referee's assistant ignored the seemingly plausible calls for offside and took advantage of an inexplicably large amount of space in an otherwise packed penalty area to smash the ball in to the net past Priestley.

As if conceding an equaliser wasn't bad enough, Woodley secured all three points with a minute of normal time remaining when Sam Walker slotted home a penalty after Dale McDonald had brought down Stuart Wellstead just inside the penalty area after the Woodley winger had hared forward with the ball.

Genesis now have to dust themselves off ahead of another pair of home games when first second-placed Chorley and their array of former Leigh players, management and coaching staff visit Crilly Park this Saturday (19th March, 3pm kick off) before a home fixture against third-placed Skelmersdale United the following Tuesday (22nd March, 7.45pm).

Leigh Genesis; Phil Priestley, Dale McDonald, Adam Parkhouse, Alex Grisedale, Rob Flint, Steve Ferrigan, Dave Dempsey (Jack Smith 82), Connor Millington, Stuart Rudd, John Hedges (Terry Murphy 54), Ali Asgari (Craig Carney 76). Subs (not used); Nathan McDonald, James Kelly

Tuesday 15th March 2011
Evo-Stik League First Division North
Crilly Park, Atherton
Attendance: 53
Half time: LGFC 1 Woodley 0
Alex Grisedale (45)         
Terry Murphy (61)
Nathan Neequaye (78, 84)
Sam Walker (89 penalty)