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Leigh RMI 1-3 Harrogate

By Tom Owen
February 10 2007

After last week's draw at leaders Droylsden RMI had to face 2nd in the table Harrogate at Hilton Park. RMI had already beaten Town at home this season in the FA trophy 2nd round replay with a 2-1 win the same feat was not to be repeated as two goals from Kirk Jackson and Chris Ellerker sunk RMI. RMI started the brighter side winning a corner early on and putting Harrogate under some pressure but nothing came of it. With a side missing so many first team players such as midfield three McAurley, Settle and Porter and still no sign of Gavin Lee Ellison things were going to be tough for RMI. As Harrogate passed the ball about well and reversed the pressure RMI's goal was hammered with shots throughout the first half. Harrogate attacked down the wings and got a number of crosses into the box and as result Town had the first real opening of the game when a header was smashed against the bar and cleared. RMI failed to find a foothole in the game with the midfield almost missing. Harrogate's first goal came from number 4 Chris Ellerker when he found himself unmarked in the RMI penalty box and headed home. Barely 30 seconds after the restart Harrogate had again hit the woodwork this time hitting the post and RMI lucky just to be down by one goal.

The game was beginning to become totally one sided as Harrogate had a futher shot put wide and John Lamb making a fantasic save from another unmarked header. Still with Harrogate on top their second goal came from Kirk Jackson 33 minutes into the game. RMI held out until halftime just 2 goals down.

Into the second half and with Ex manager Steve Bleasdale watching on from the stands RMI had to find some sort of performance to save them from a big defeat. The manager made changes bringing on Dan Owen to make a 3 up front along with Chris Simm and Mark Jackson and also right back Lee Unsworth was changed for Tony Filipek who made some encouraging runs down the right and got some good balls into the box. The change was a masterstroke as Dan Owen rose the highest from a ball in from the left to head RMI back into the game. After the goal RMI came to life a little and had the ball in the net a second time from another ball in the box Owen again caused problems and the ball went in off a Harrogate player and made the scoreline 2-2 until the referee blew for a foul which happened in the build up much to the disgust of the small RMI faithful. RMI proved that football is well and truly 'a game of two halfs' as they continued to pour pressure on Harrogate but failed to make an impact in the final thrid of the pitch. Harrogate continued to look good when on the ball and created some good chances only to also have a two good chances go away from them due to offides. As RMI went in search of a second Harrogate broke with pace with 5 minutes left and Jackson finished neatly under John Lamb to wrap up the victory for the Yorkshire side.

So for RMI another game without a win and a big game against Hyde next week which, if you looked at the stats RMI have a good chance of winning as Hyde have failed to beat Leigh RMI since they changed from Horwich RMI to Leigh RMI. Work needs to be done to get RMI back on track and back into the form which saw RMI climb the table but as we go into mid Feb another relagation battle seems on the cards.

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