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St. Helens Town 0 Leigh RMI 1

By Matt Lawton
July 18 2006

Several first team players made their first outing of the pre-season campaign, with RMI securing a comfortable 1-0 win against North West Counties League side St. Helens Town at Knowsley Road. On the hottest night of the year, a strong RMI side made the short journey along the East Lancashire Road to the cavernous Knowsley Road to face their North West Counties League neighbours.

Unlike Saturday's 1-1 draw at Clitheroe where the RMI side largely consisted of trialists hoping to catch the eye of Leigh boss Andy Nelson, a strong side featuring captain Andy Roscoe, star player Scott Willis and impressive debutant Mark Maddox all taking to the immaculately prepared pitch, while Gavin Lee Ellison made a welcome return at right back.

The visitors started very brightly indeed and created several decent chances with Will Ryder wreaking havoc down the RMI left flank, working well in tandem with veteran left back Roscoe, while former Bolton youngster Chris McDonagh looked very impressive up front alongside Willis. It was Willis who had the best chance of the first half when he put the ball wide of the far post with the outside of his boot after latching on to a terrific through ball. The RMI midfield in particular played some terrific football in the middle of the park but an RMI strike force that was missing Chris Simm wasn't particularly likely to provide the killer touch. At the back, George Melling and Mark Maddox picked up from where they left off, rekindling their assured partnership that had served Altrincham so well, and as such ensured that RMI goalkeeper James Mann was virtually a spectator for the entire first half.

Despite having the bulk of the possession and a large degree of decent chances, the sides were still level at half time, but the stalemate didn't last too long in to the second half when substitute Ben Ashmole creating a lovely chance for Scott Willis, who made no mistake in slotting the ball past the Town goalkeeper from twelve yards out.

As the game featured more and more substitutions and the heat took it's toll on the players, the game slowed down to a virtual standstill and neither side particularly bust a gut in an attempt to get another goal, although the fiery McDonagh continued to work his socks off up front.

All in all, a decent warm up for RMI who decent several flashes of very good football in the first half and that is something that is particularly encouraging, especially as any lack of a killer touch can certainly be rectified before the start of the new Conference North season.

RMI's next pre-season game sees Nationwide Conference side Altrincham visit Hilton Park on Monday 24th July with a 7:30pm kick off.

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