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Leigh RMI 0 Chester City 4

By Matt Lawton
January 17 2003

Leigh RMI have traditionally been impressive against the top teams in the Conference and have often gained favourable results, however, today's game against North West rivals Chester City threw that theory completely out of the window.

RMI were looking for revenge for their controversial 2-1 defeat at the Deva Stadium earlier in the season when Ian Monk should've won a penalty which could've gained a famous RMI victory but were denied by the referee. This time however, Leigh had no excuses against an impressive promotion chasing Chester side.

Leigh found it very hard to get a hold of the game and fell behind as early as the sixth minute. City defender Scott Guyett, who ironically scored an own goal in the meeting between the two sides earlier in the season, fired past Stuart Coburn in the RMI goal to send the visiting masses into raptures.

Any other side after conceding a goal would rally for a goal of their own straight away but RMI failed to do this and the same pattern returned as Chester continued to put pressure on the Leigh goal instead of the other way round. The next goal was indeed scored by Chester and it was by a man who really shouldn't have been playing. Chester striker Darryl Clare was originally supposed to be suspended for today's game but the red card he received against Southport a couple of weeks ago was rescinded by the FA in midweek. Clare latched onto a poor Neil Fitzhenry backpass to round Stuart Coburn and slot the ball home.

This goal struck Leigh even further into their own half and they just couldn't create anything even slightly productive to even bring a save out of Chester goalkeeper Wayne Brown. All that Brown had to deal with was a few poor crosses, hopeful long balls and a couple of goal kicks.

The game was over as a contest before half time when Ryan Sugden scored Chester's third goal to destroy any remaining RMI hope and to prompt the Chester fans to sing about possible promotion back to the Football League.

From an RMI and neutral perspective you would hope that the RMI team got a roasting in the changing rooms from manager Steve Waywell to prompt any sort of a fightback. However, it was not to be and normal service resumed after the restart with Chester putting yet more pressure on Stuart Coburn's goal.

RMI finally came into the game as it wore quickly on toward it's conclusion. Tunisian striker Dino Maamria inexplicably missed an open goal from six yards out and Ged Kielty had a goal disallowed for offside and also forced a smart save from Wayne Brown after he shot from ten yards out.

However, Chester had the last word when Darryl Clare scored his second goal of the afternoon with five minutes left to give Chester a 4-0 victory.

Leigh will have to improve hugely for their next game, which is a Roses battle with Halifax Town on Boxing Day. Town were only relegated from the Nationwide League Third Division last season and are a good side which RMI can beat on their day. Unfortunately, RMI havenít been on their day for a long time, the LDV Vans Trophy defeat against Third Division Wrexham was the only performance this season of true quality.

As for Chester, former Liverpool captain Mark Wright has moulded them into an organised, efficiently professional unit who look worthy promotion candidates.

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