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Lancaster City 0 Leigh RMI 0

By Matt Lawton
April 3 2007

After failing to defeat bottom side Lancaster City, RMI are now facing the grim possibility of relegation to the Unibond Premier League if they cannot start to turn such draws in to victories. After conceding a heartbreaking equaliser deep in to second half stoppage time in the 1-1 draw at Farsley Celtic on Saturday, Stuart Humphreys' side were quickly back in action for the short trip to face a spirited Lancaster side, determined to get their first point since drawing 2-2 with Redditch United in early November.

With the youthful Dolly Blues line up working overtime in defence, the RMI forward line found them particularly hard to break down, with only half chances falling at the feet of strikers Kevin Rapley and Chris Simm, while the hosts missed an opportunity or two of their own when on the counter attack.

With the club already relegated, Lancaster played with a degree of freedom that was evidently missing from an RMI side that now find themselves two points adrift of safety, having played one more game than fourth bottom Vauxhall Motors, 3-0 victors at Hilton Park only a couple of games ago.

After a drab first half, the game started to open out in the second period with Leigh again dominating both in terms of possession and territory, but severely lacking the killer touch that is required to produce goals from half-chances or balls bouncing around the box.

RMI forced an almost unprecedented number of corners in the second period, but despite a number of desperate goal mouth scrambles, they still failed to find the net, although they were a whisker away from doing so on two separate occasions when first Chris Simm was denied a certain goal by a fantastic point blank James Brindle save before Kevin Rapley somehow managed to flick the ball against the crossbar from barely six yards out in the desperate scramble ensuing from yet another set piece.

Although the lack of a decisive touch was costing RMI dearly, it must be noted that they were denied in doing so because of some heroic City defending that summed up their evening's efforts, and indeed their constant battle against the odds throughout the season.

On another evening, the home side could've even walked away with all three points, with RMI goalkeeper John Lamb twice called in to action to make top class saves on the ground from close range, while, on the single occasion that Lamb was finally beaten, one of his defenders came to his rescue towards the end of the game and was forced to hack the ball off the line.

Lancaster heralded the final whistle as if they had won a cup final, and in all fairness their 'moral victory' would certainly appear to be far sweeter than the single point that RMI achieved from the game, with two vital games in three days coming up when first Moor Green visit Hilton Park on Saturday before Leigh travel to Gainsborough Trinity next Monday.

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