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FOOTBALL: Hard-earned draw hits Millers' play-off hopes
7:00am Monday 24th March 2014 in Sport
Cirencester Tn 0, North Leigh 0
North Leigh’s play-off hopes in Calor Keague Division 1 South & West suffered a setback with a goalless draw at Cirencester on Saturday.
It was not a bad result for the Millers against the second-placed team, but it drops them three places below the play-off spots.
In fact, the draw suited neither team.
Playing down the slope, but into a stiff wind, North Leigh matched their opponents in the first half.
Cirencester’s dangerous striker Lee Smith whistled a shot past keeper Adam McHugh’s far post.
Then Millers’ central defender Zak Westlake did well to block two goalbound shots from Smith.
Kieran Sanders looked to have scored a quality goal for the visitors in the 19th minute, following Conor McDonagh’s pass, but it was ruled out for offside.
Home central defender Leigh Henry was booked for a robust foul on McDonagh and was lucky not to receive a red card moments later for a crude challenge on Saunders.
The second half was all about the Millers’ brave defending as Cirencester became more and more desperate to break the deadlock.
North Leigh looked dangerous on the breakaway, and Morgan Will-iams directed a header from Mark Bell’s cross straight at home keeper Glyn Garner.
A few minutes later, McHugh made a great save from substitute Shayne Bumphrey with his outstretched foot.
Williams and Sanders both had chances to win the game for the Millers seeing their shots deflected away for a corner, while their excellent defence held firm to secure a point.
North Leigh: McHugh, Hole, Hopkins, Osborne-Ricketts (Bell 77), Westlake, Caton, Else, Malone (Turk 71), McDonagh (Woodley 71), Sanders, Williams. Subs not used: Dobson, Gunn.
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