FOOTBALL: McDonagh strike keeps North Leigh in touch

Oxford Mail: Conor McDonagh glides the ball past Swindon Supermarine keeper Kent Kauppinen to score North Leigh’s goal Conor McDonagh glides the ball past Swindon Supermarine keeper Kent Kauppinen to score North Leigh’s goal

North Leigh stayed in touch with the leaders in Calor League Division 1 South & West when Conor McDonagh’s early goal gave them a narrow 1-0 victory at home to lively Swindon Supermarine on Saturday.

The Millers lost the leadership when going down to Cirencester Town in midweek, but they recovered their poise to secure a deserved win.

They had an early escape when Marine’s leading scorer Ashley Edenborough lobbed the ball just wide after beating Paul White in the home goal.

The only goal came after 14 minutes when Aaron Woodley, under pressure from Swindon full back Sam Brown, crossed into the box.

McDonagh, running in to the near post, got to the ball first to glide it home past keeper Kent Kauppinen from close range.

Morgan Williams had a chance to make it 2-0, but his strike from distance was comfortably saved.

North Leigh’s early second-half pressure was disrupted by a suspected hamstring injury to Woodley, which forced manager Mark Gee to rejig the team with Jacob Walcott brought into the attack.

The Millers stayed on top with a quality run and shot from the edge of the box by McDonagh, forcing Kauppinen to save at full stretch.

Marine threw more men forward in an attempt to snatch a draw, and on 83 minutess had strong appeals for a penalty turned down by referee Shaun Barry as Aaron Ferris tumbled in the box.

Substitute Joe Tustain, the fomer Witney United striker now playing for Swindon, saw his shot well-saved by White as the hosts held on to take all three points.

North Leigh club captain Stuart Hole pulled out of the match, following the death of his father, Les, in an accident at work on Saturday morning.

North Leigh: White, Turk, Organ, Bowles, Gunn, Westlake, Else (Alexis 81), Osborne-Ricketts, McDonagh, Woodley (Walcott 52), Williams (Dobson).

Attendance: 106.

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