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Leigh RMI 2 Workington 0

By Matt Lawton
January 2 2007

Two second half goals allowed a decidedly below-par RMI to extend their unbeaten run to nine games with victory over play-off chasing Workington. While Workington were playing out a 1-1 draw with Cumbrian rivals Barrow at Borough Park on Saturday afternoon, torrential rain in Lancaster saw the postponement of RMI’s game and as such gave them a week’s preparation ahead of the second meeting between the sides during the festive period, with RMI winning the first game in Cumbria by a goal to nil.

The extra preparation time wasn’t particularly evident in the opening stages as Leigh made a sluggish start to the game with an unusually high number of passes failing to meet their intended target, with these misplaced passes putting RMI under an unnecessary amount of pressure as a result.

Although the visitors provided a sporadic threat with shots from distance and looked rather threatening when attacking down the flanks, it was RMI who had the best chance of a drab first half when Mark Jackson could only end an excellent jinking run with a shot that was inches wide of the far post.

The early exchanges of the second half were similarly uninspiring as those in the first, or at least that was until Leigh midfielder Hugh McAuley, who up until that point had been performing well short of his ability, lit up the game with a terrific twenty five yard strike that flew in to the net and put the home side in the lead with twenty minutes remaining.

Workington almost managed an equaliser shortly afterwards but RMI miraculously survived after a powerful twelve-yard strike was superbly tipped on to the crossbar by goalkeeper John Lamb.

With only ten minutes left on the clock, RMI’s fifth league win in succession was confirmed when substitute Kieran Lugsden raced on to the through ball and took it beyond the onrushing goalkeeper before showing a tremendously cool temperament to knock the ball in to the back of the net, despite a Workington defender rushing back to stand on the line and block Lugsden’s route to goal.

The early season misery of the almost weekly RMI defeats has now completely disappeared, and it certainly speaks volumes that RMI can still comfortably defeat a high-flying opponent, even when they aren’t performing in top gear, and that is something that will come in handy with a league game at full-time Kettering on Saturday before the FA Trophy trip to Conference National side Stevenage Borough the following weekend.

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