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Hednesford Town 1 Leigh RMI 3

By Matt Lawton
April 3 2006

RMI's hopes of avoiding relegation from the Conference North took a massive boost when they returned from Hednesford with all three points this evening. Just two days after losing 3-1 at high-flying Nuneaton Borough on Saturday afternoon, RMI returned to the Midlands to face fellow strugglers Hednesford. With time quickly running out on the season, each game is rapidly becoming everything more than just a "six-pointer", with what could be RMI's entire future depending on each ninety minutes.

Saturday's result did little to boost confidence, and that lack of self belief took another hammer blow early on in this evening's encounter when veteran striker Steve Anthrobus gave the hosts the lead after just ten minutes of play.

RMI have failed to win a league game away from home since the opening day of the season when they returned from Worcestershire with a 2-1 victory over Redditch. On that occasion, RMI had to come back from a goal behind in order to claim the points, and the same would have to happen this evening if RMI were going to claim anything from this vital encounter.

Andy Nelson's side did manage to get back in to the game on the half hour mark when midfielder Scott Willis finally rediscovered the goalscoring touch that he displayed so promisingly earlier in the season to level the scores, before Neil Smith gave RMI the lead barely seven minutes later, giving RMI a lead they would retain until the half time whistle.

With the home side in the same boat as RMI and fighting for their lives in this division, they tried to build pressure and force an equaliser, but the RMI defence managed to hold out for long periods.

The victory was sealed with barely ten minutes remaining on the clock when much-maligned captain Andy Roscoe scored his second goal in three games to RMI an unassailable 3-1 lead and a huge boost to their survival bid.

With local rivals Droylsden doing RMI a massive favour by defeating Redditch 2-1 this evening, RMI have suddenly lifted themselves out of the relegation zone and now find themselves level on points with Worksop and Vauxhall Motors in the two league places above them. Against the odds, the miracle might happen, though there are sure to be plenty of twists and turns along the way.

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