Slazenger 3’s went into the weekends match, anticipating a tough encounter and knowing that a win would be a boon to their promotion capaign; The previous (away) leg had resulted in a goalless draw.
Slaz started jittery though at pace; fielding their usual formation, with the addition of newcomer Dave Gascoigne, the team looked stable and in control. The horbury team attacked quickly, and put pressue on the Leeds back line. However, the curse of the 3rds continued, being unable to convert to a goal.
However, this time it was going to be different; a well worked move from the Slaz midfield set up Andy Birkett; flicking the ball towards the keeper, to be plucked out of the air and into the net by Steve “sea-sick” Johnson. After conferring by the umpires, the goal was awarded; putting Slaz ahead. Leeds were a well drilled side, and broke fast when given the opportunity. The team took advantage of this, unfortunately beating keeper Ralph Toon; who otherwise had pulled off some impressive save.
The second half was much more one-sided. The home site consolidated; and reduced the frantic speed at which they had beeplaying. The ball flowed better and attacking play improved. Slaz piled on the pressure; passing more, and making better use of a strong midfield, scoring a further 4 goals to put the game beyond doubt. The second came from a well timed aerial ball, picked out of the air by Andy “Roo” Birkett.
Johnson wrapped up a further 3 goals; a tap-in past the keeper, a finish (or is that poached?) from a shot by Ian Hedges and from a top of the “D” shot by Ste Roberts.
Honourable mention should go to left-half Dave Gascoigne, who put in an impressive performance for his first outing with the 3rd team.
With 2nd place Brigg loosing at the weekend, Slaz now sit in 3rd place; 2 games in hand, 5 points adrift with 4 games of the season remaining. Promotion is now in the teams’ hands.