Bennett strikes to earn Leyland derby day draw

Photo Neil Cross'Leyland United v Croston Sports.

Photo Neil Cross'Leyland United v Croston Sports.

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James Bennett’s third goal in two games ensured it was honours even between Leyland United and Croston Sports in the West Lancashire League Division Two derby.

Bennett’s 75th-minute strike cancelled out a fine individual effort from Croston’s Matthew Masterson.

Both sides had chances to win the game late on, but in truth a draw was a fair result on the day.

Croston started the better of the two sides as they looked sharp in the opening stages.

Leyland started to come into the game and both Mikey Hindle and Ryan Greenwood created chances.

Just as United started to compete, the visitors took the lead.

Masterson showed great quality cutting in from the right, before unleashing an unstoppable left-footed shot which nestled into the top corner.

Leyland appeared from the break rejuvenated and they took the game to Croston in the opening stages.

Jack Lumsden made a difference after coming on for the injured Ryan McIntyre as it was from his pass that United equalised.

The 17-year-old released Hindle out wide, his shot was spilled by the Croston goalkeeper and on hand was Bennett, who stabbed home the loose ball.

Both sides pushed for a winner late on, but neither side could find one meaning the points were shared.

n In the Premier Division, Coppull United returned to winning ways as they defeated sixth placed Garstang 2-0.

Ryan Salmon opened the scoring two minutes before the half hour.

And in an evenly contested tie, the impressive Mitch Leece put the game to bed as he doubled Coppull’s lead with just over 15 minutes left.

Victory for Coppull sees them sitting in 12th with six games remaining.

It was an unlucky start for Coppull as Pete Dunkley hobbled off injured.

Leece and Salmon also both missed chances to open the scoring.

Salmon then put right his early miss as he rose above everybody to head home a

Steven Lynch corner.

Garstang missed a chance to equalise as they blazed over a penalty before Leece extended the hosts’ lead finishing well from inside the box.

The Coppull back-line held on and the victory was not only a welcomed three points but it was United’s first clean sheet since September 20.

n This Saturday, Coppull United, Charnock Richard and Euxton Villa are without fixtures.

In Division Two, Croston Sports travel to Haslingden St. Mary’s while Leyland United are also without a fixture due to the Easter break.

On Monday, Euxton Villa make the trip to East Lancashire facing Burnley United in a rearranged game

(kick-off is 3pm.

Next Tuesday, Charnock Richard reserves face off against Hurst Green reserves at Mossie Park.

Kick off is 7pm.