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Leigh RMI 0 Hednesford Town 0

By Matt Lawton
September 19 2005

An entertaining goal-less draw saw RMI get a point from a home game with Hednesford, but RMI boss Andy Nelson was left to rue a number of missed chances by his side that could've sealed victory. Although not featuring quite as many goals as last weekend’s game with Vauxhall Motors, Saturday’s game with Hednesford Town was no less exciting with an excellent end-to-end, albeit scoreless, game being played out in front of 301 spectators at Hilton Park.

After conceding four goals in that amazing draw at Rivacre Park last weekend, RMI boss Andy Nelson will undoubtedly be delighted with a clean sheet, though he may be a little disappointed that his strike force of Chris Simm and the impressive Ryan McDowell failed to show the same clinical nature that they have demonstrated for most of the season so far.

With young centre-back Liam Coyne expertly marshalling £200,000 worth of an experienced striker in the shape of former Crewe striker Steve Anthrobus, RMI and impressive debutant full back Lee Atherton built strongly from the back and started brightly, created a couple of early chances and playing some excellent passing football.

With Chris Simm and Ryan McDowell in particular holding the ball up very well in attack and bringing the RMI midfield in to the game on regular occasions with some superb ball skills and passing, it was no surprise to see the Hednesford goal under pressure and RMI forcing a few corners in the early exchanges.

It was no surprise to see RMI creating the first clear cut chance, the ball breaking to midfield stalwart Gareth Stoker on the edge of the penalty area, only for him to blaze the ball over the crossbar.

RMI had looked to have taken the lead midway through the first half when a fantastic Chris Simm run from inside his own half had taken him past a couple of defenders before he cutting inside, only to be denied on his left foot by the Hednesford goalkeeper. The ball rebounded to McDowell who was left with the seemingly simple task of tapping the ball home, only for him to stumble and land on his backside with the goal at his mercy.

This was the wake-up call that the visiting Pitmen required and they looked to create some more chances of their own, but they met a thoroughly resolute RMI defence looking to make up for some schoolboy errors last week and an equally determined John Lamb between the sticks, leaving the sides goal-less at the break.

The second half saw the game become a lot more open as the game, and the heavens, opened with Hednesford coming in to the game much more and RMI indebted to John Lamb who pulled off a string of magnificent saves.

Once again RMI and the Hilton Park faithful were left to rue another missed chance when substitute Lee Thompson headed against the top of the crossbar after an excellent cross from Gareth Stoker, before the Hednesford goalkeeper again denied RMI, with Ryan McDowell’s header on the rebound agonisingly hitting the underside of the bar, much to the dismay of most of the crowd and completing a pretty unhappy day for the young striker, though he played a big part in most of RMI’s build up play during the game.

After failing to kill off the game, RMI were left without the three points for the third game in succession, though they take a break from league action next weekend when they participate in the 2nd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup for the first time since September 1999 when they visit Northern League side Chester-le-Street Town.

- Anybody wishing to attend next Saturday’s FA Cup encounter should contact Leigh RMI Supporters Club chairman Peter Lowe on 07900 264 137 or by emailing

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