Leaders’ form downturn is now becoming a worry

Craig Wilson
Craig Wilson
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Leyland and Chorley slipped to a third defeat in five games as a below-par performance saw the table-toppers lead cut to 12 points in the Barrington Sports Division Four North.

Craig Wilson was the only scorer for L&C as Didsbury Northern fourths ran out worthy 3-1 winners.

Leyland and Chorley lined up with several debutants in the staring XI due to a number of first teamers being unavailable.

Early on, L&C struggled to cope with the fast breaks of the Didsbury wingers and they had Terry Fredericks to thank after he made several last-ditch tackles.

With their backs against the wall, they conceded after just 10 minutes as a slick penalty corner routine saw the hosts take the lead.

Leyland changed their formation and started to have success down the flanks with Matt Wilson, Alex Wilson and Roger Swansbury getting free to open up the Didsbury defence.

However they were unable to create clear opportunities for Wilson or Simon Myers.

With Gary Swann and Tim Button finding space and time, Leyland and Chorley drew level as Swann intercepted a hit out and released Myers for a quick break, and a slick pass found Wilson at the top of the D, whose snapshot beat the flat-footed keeper.

But five minutes later, Leyland and Chorley were behind again when a hopeful ball was sent into the D, it evaded Fredericks’ stick and landed at the feet of the attacker and his snap shot beat keeper Ande Wilding.

Leyland and Chorley almost drew level on the stroke of half-time but Button’s shot could only rattle the post.

Myers, Matt and Wilson all failed to test the keeper in the second half and as the game went on mistakes crept into Leyland and Chorley’s game.

Didsbury took advantage of the mistake and scored a third in the 55th minute.

L&C struggled to respond and failed to create any meaningful chances in the final stages of the game.

This Saturday, Leyland welcome third placed Warrington in the league.

n The Ladies’ first-team fixture against Witton Warriors was called off.

As the game was cancelled, they now have a short break off the pitch and they will return to action on Saturday, February 28, when they travel to East Lancashire to take on Clitheroe and Blackburn Northern Ladies thirds.