Sports face a fight to hold on to their promotion place

Callum Convey was spot-on for Sports at North Leigh
Callum Convey was spot-on for Sports at North Leigh

Easington Sports face a fight to hold on to second place in the UHLSport Hellenic League.

Ben Milner’s side lost 2-1 at North Leigh United where all three goals came in the second half of Saturday’s Division One West clash. But Sports failed to convert several second half chances.

Both sides started well but the home side had the edge and showed greater fluency with their passing. Sports tried to get Andrew Stidder and Mike Spaull in over the top but struggled to create chances against a side that has conceded very few goals.

Sports did well to go in at halftime all square after a late flurry of half chances for North Leigh but Josh Rose headed over from a corner at the other end.

Sports got on top after the restart with Joe Eyre and the substitute Nathaniel Lewars offering more of a threat down the flanks. Both players set up chances for Stidder while Callum Convey’s fierce drive went just wide of the far post.

But North Leigh took the lead against the run of play following a Sports’ corner when a quick break away ended with Jamie McCuaig cutting inside before beating Adam Rimmer with a fierce shot.

Sports’ pressure finally told when Eyre was brought down in the penalty are and Convey converted the ensuing spot-kick. After that, there seemed to be only one winner, Charlie Hill headed over from close range, Lewars smashed a shot over after some neat build-up play and Convey hit the bar.

But North Leigh won it with four minute left following what looked a foul on James Lambert, Declan Shepperd’s shot was blocked and the ball rebounded to a couple of North Leigh players who looked offside. In the confusion, Ben Green beat Rimmer from close range with Sports appealing in vain for offside.

Leaders Ardley United beat Pewsey Vale 3-2.

Greg Hackett struck twice to put Ardley in control before the break. After the restart David Cope reduced the arrears only Deon Gallacher to restore Ardley’s two-goal cushion before James Blake pulled one back late on.