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Leigh RMI 1 Hinckley United 0


By Matt Lawton
August 29 2005

John Lamb kept his first clean sheet of the season while at the other end, Gareth Stoker scored his first goal of the term to give RMI a deserved 1-0 victory against Hinckley United at a sweltering Hilton Park. While Hinckley were on the crest of a wave following their impressive 3-1 defeat of Hucknall at the weekend, RMI were looking to get back on track just two days after they fell to a 3-1 defeat at Barrow, their second defeat in the opening four games of the season.

Early on, it was the visitors who backed up their pre-match status with the first chance of the game, RMI somehow keeping firm in the face of a Leicestershire onslaught, RMI goalkeeper John Lamb getting the plaudits for twice denying Hinckley in a manic goalmouth scramble early in the proceedings.

As the first half wore on, it was RMI who began to create the more openings, with through balls to the slim-line Chris Simm particularly effective, with ample support coming from midfield in the shape of Steve Smith and Gareth Stoker.

Leigh started to exert more and more pressure on the Hinckley goal, with a constant barrage of crosses and corners making their way in to the box, only for RMI to be a little wasteful with their chances, Liam Coyne and Chris Simm both a little unlucky in front of goal when challenging in the air.

Despite RMI providing most of the goalmouth action, it was actually the visitors who should've been leading at the break, when, on the brink of half-time, they somehow managed to send the ball flying over the goal and half-way to Asda car park from barely a few yards out, when surely it would've been easier to score, much to the relief of the RMI fans.

The second half saw RMI take a much stronger grip on the game as they looked to regain the footballing touch of the bulk of the first half, and some excellent passing and movement continued to cause the Hinckley defence some trouble, with the visitors now reduced to the odd counter-attack as they looked to break RMI's stern offside trap.

It came as no surprised when RMI took the lead, with the umpteenth set piece only cleared as far as Chris Simm, who's shot was straight at the goalkeeper, only for him to spill the shot right at the feet of a gleeful Gareth Stoker, who poked the ball home from close range, much to the delight to most of the Hilton Park crowd.

RMI's confidence grew, and they played some Brazilian style "olé" passing football to the cheers of the crowd, but there was a danger of this confidence slipping in to complacency, and Hinckley started to come forward with more desperation as they looked to claim an equaliser.

They looked to have got it on two separate occasions when Lamb was beaten, only for the ball to drop wide of the post, one of which could be deemed to be an absolute sitter when clean through and one-on-one with the goalkeeper.

Despite a seemingly endless period of time added on, RMI managed to hold on and celebrate their third victory of the season. We're getting in to nosebleed territory here!

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