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Leigh RMI 0 Alfreton Town 0

By Matt Lawton
February 21 2006

A second goal-less draw in succession for RMI saw them stay just ahead of the relegation zone after a drab encounter against fellow strugglers Alfreton on a freezing February evening. Although visitors Alfreton currently have two games in hand over RMI, the game was dubbed as the proverbial relegation "six pointer" ahead of two similar encounters to come within the next couple of weeks against Vauxhall Motors and at Hednesford.

As was the case at Stafford on Saturday, the kick off was slightly delayed because of the Alfreton team being stuck in traffic, although not on the scale of the twenty minute wait that followed the referee going AWOL in Staffordshire.

Saturday afternoon provided a massive boost for RMI when they upset the odds to join a select band of teams that has managed to come away from Stafford with a share of the spoils this season, with even the loss of goalkeeper James Coates at half-time failing to deter a terrific defensive performance, with RMI almost grabbing a winner late on that could've topped it off. Whilst RMI were claiming that shock point, Alfreton were doing a good job for themselves by grabbing a 2-1 victory at home to Barrow that helped them rise the table slightly and ease their relegation worries a little bit, though they are far from out of the mire.

With goalkeeper Coates ruled out with the back injury that he picked up in the first half at Stafford, John Lamb was recalled to the side by Andy Nelson with Danny Moreton coming on to the bench as goalkeeping substitute, while Steve Brockley was relegated to the sidelines in order to allow new signing George Manning to make his debut for the club.

RMI were the brighter starters of the vital Conference North encounter, with Wes Wilkinson looking lively on RMI's left wing while Chris Simm tried his best up front to create any chances, although strike partner Alex Hay continued to flatter to deceive alongside him.

The game sparked in to life on the brink of half time when Alfreton finally created a chance of their own, RMI captain Andy Roscoe almost putting the ball in to his own net in the process of clearing a low cross, before Roscoe redeemed himself from the resulting corner, clearing the ball off the line at the side of the post with Lamb beaten.

Neither side particularly threatened in the second half, and although Scott Willis scraped the bar on a couple of occasions with shots from around the edge of the area, a draw was probably a fair result with neither side doing enough to earn the three points.

Other results on the night went pretty well for RMI, with bottom side Vauxhall Motors falling to a 3-1 home defeat to runaway leaders Stafford, although Redditch calimed a point their own relegation battle with a last minute equaliser at home to Hinckley.

Friday's game at home to Vauxhall Motors now has added significance as each week brings the end of the season a little nearer, and the battle to stay up is really hotting up, with no less than seven teams all involved in the scrap at the bottom.

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