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Worcester City 1 Leigh RMI 2

By Matt Lawton
December 9 2006

A goal of the season contender from on-loan midfielder John Dillon gave RMI all three points as they came from a goal behind to claim their third league victory in succession. With Tuesday night’s thrilling 4-3 victory over Hucknall fresh in the memory, Stuart Humphreys’ young RMI side faced a daunting trip to St. George’s Lane to face a Worcester side challenging from a play-off spot, showing the kind of form that earned the November Manager of the Month award for City boss Andy Preece, who was presented with a bottle of champagne before kick-off in recognition of his achievement.

With captain Andy Roscoe failing a late fitness test, veteran centre half Mark Maddox was recalled to the side, with Steve Brockley playing at left back, while the continued absence of Chris Simm saw Dan Owen once again partner Mark Jackson in attack.

Worcester dominated the early proceedings as RMI failed to retain possession on a tight pitch, putting themselves under a certain degree of pressure with a particularly deep defensive line.

RMI goalkeeper John Lamb was once again inspirational between the posts in a continuation of his recently excellent form, but he was left helpless in the fifty-eighth minute when he failed on to hold on to a long distance Chris Cornes shot, with Lamb only managing to parry it invitingly in to the path of Craig Wilding, who was left with the simple task of heading his eleventh goal of the season.

The joy of the home side and it’s sizeable support was short lived though as RMI, just as they did on Tuesday evening, were back on level terms almost immediately when an Ian Taylor corner was powerfully met by the head of Gavin Lee-Ellison to level the scores.

Suddenly RMI looked a changed side and looked a lot more confident in the final third than they had previously in the game, with the pace of substitute Kieran Lugsden particularly effective against a tiring Worcester defence.

RMI grabbed the winning goal with thirteen minutes left when Worcester goalkeeper Danny McDonnell raced out of his area to head the ball clear, only for it to land at the feet of Dillon, who superbly lobbed the ball in to the net from thirty five yards out.

Anxious moments were to follow as RMI were forced to hold out against a succession of desperate Worcester attacks, but despite Preece introducing himself to the game for the last few minutes, RMI held on for a valuable victory in their fight against relegation, much to the delight of their small band of faithful followers.

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