FOOTBALL: North Leigh hit back to draw

Elliott Osborne-Ricketts scored for North Leigh

Elliott Osborne-Ricketts scored for North Leigh

First published in Sport

Two goals in as many first-half minutes helped North Leigh recover from two goals down to earn a draw 2-2 at home to play-off rivals Shortwood United in Calor League Division 1 South & West on Saturday, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.

The Millers, who now drop out of the play-off p laces, had trailed to efforts from Ashley Thomas and Adam Price.

But a Jacob Walcott penalty and a fantastic Elliott Osborne-Ricketts strike levelled matters at the end of the first half.

North Leigh found themselves behind inside ten minutes after getting off to a sluggish start.

Thomas opening the scoring in spectacular fashion with a magnificent first-time effort after the home side’s defence had failed to clear their lines.

The visitors capitalised on more sloppy defending, doubling their lead shortly before the half-hour mark when the dangerous John Cant robbed defender Andy Caton.

His cross was pushed away by goalkeeper Adam McHugh, but Price was on hand to follow in from close range.

North Leigh had struggled to create any chances of note, but they were handed a lifeline shortly before half-time when Aaron Woodley was tripped in the box by Thomas.

Walcott made no mistake from the penalty spot, firing low into the right-hand corner of the net.

Moments later, the hosts were level, Osborne-Ricketts finding the net from 25 yards with a powerful effort.

North Leigh were unable to build on their momentum after the break as the match descended into a scrappy midfield battle.

Chances were thin on the ground for both sides, but Duncan Culley wasted a golden opportunity for Shortwood.

Substitute Connor McDonagh went closest for North Leigh, shooting narrowly wide after exchanging passes with Osborne-Ricketts.

But there was one final heart-in-mouth moment for the hosts as Michael Halpin turned his man and unleashed an effort on goal deep into injury time.

But he was denied by the woodwork and North Leigh held on for a point.

North Leigh: McHugh, Hole, Organ, Turk, Gunn, Caton, Bowles, Osborne-Ricketts, Walcott (Else 85), Woodley (McDonagh 69), Williams (Dobson 69). Subs not used: Clarke, Hopkins.

Attendance: 99.

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