Blues all-square in Staffs.
Report of match Leek C.S.O.B. 1 Nelson 1 played 2nd March 2002
Reporter David Priestley
Nelson returned from their trip to Leek this afternoon with a creditable one-all draw at Harrison Park.Report kindly provided by Dave Priestley.
The Blues had the better of the oprning exchanges, with Lee Coldridge and Mick Molyneux creating chances from both wings.
Keiron Roberts almost opened the scoring after 15 minutes with a far post header which the keeper struggled to palm away from the top corner of the goal.
However, on the wet slippery pitch Nelson's defence were troubled by the lively Leek forwards on the break, and were often hesitant in clearing the danger.
Leek's Lee Fowler on the right wing posed the greatest threat with several good runs which finished with a shot at goal.
When Molyneux's cross went begging after 25 minutes, Leek broke quickly and Nelson had a let-off with Matt Sheldon just failing to connect properly with a header in front of goal.
Andy Howarth fired a 20-yard shot past the post on 33 minutes and then John Whiteside beat the keeper to a high cross but powered his header inches over the bar as Nelson looked for the opening goal.
Three minutes later though, Fowler again broke clear on the right wing and finished with a low shot just inside the far post to give Leek the lead.
Nelson began the second half on the attack and Stuart Mulligan saw his fierce drive turned round the post by keeper Rob Cooper on 47 minutes.
Cooper was in constant action as Micky Bartholemew and John Whiteside tested him with good efforts.
On the hour, Fowler again slipped through the Blues defence, and Mark Canning made a vital save, blocking the shot with his legs to clear the danger.
As play swung to the other end, Mulligan found space on the right wing and cut into the penalty area before shooting for goal. His shot hit a defender before looping over the keeper and into the net for Nelson's equaliser.
Nelson could have taken the lead in the next minute but Bartholemew miskicked in front of goal when presented with a great chance.
Laurie Cryer and Mark Harrison both joined the game from the subs bench and Nelson continued to look for the winner, with Bartholemew chipping a shot past the angle and Harrison being blocked in the goalmouth as he tried to finish Coldridge's low cross.
After 85 minutes it was almost a replay of the previous goal, as Mulligan crossed hard and low from the right. The ball ricocheted just past the post off a defender's boot.
In the closing minutes Leek put pressure on the Nelson defence and Mark Harrison put in some good tackles to keep the home side at bay, helping out the tiring legs of Bailey, Charlton and Tosney who had fought out a strong rear-guard action on a difficult pitch.
|Competition: N.W.C. Second Division Date: Saturday, 2nd March 2002 Kick off: 15:00 Venue: Harrison Park|
||1 - 1||Nelson
|Leek CSOB cards shown|
|Nelson cards shown|