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Onwards and upwards

The man who writes the editorial in the Leigh RMI official programme is clearly psychic.

The man who writes the editorial in the Leigh RMI official programme is clearly psychic.

On Tuesday, he commented: "The current RMI outfit is more than capable of finishing on top in this evening's encounter. There will be a result this evening with extra-time (Golden Goal) and penalties if required. The 'Golden Goal' rule has clearly played a significant part in the LDV Trophy games. This evening should be a tremendous contest and great entertainment for both sets of supporters."

How right he was in all respects. The LDV may not be the most glamorous of competitions, but the Leigh-Wrexham clash was an amazing spectacle.

Picture the scene: a bleak Lancashire mining town, a dilapidated stadium that plays host to both rugby league and football fixtures, a bitterly cold evening, a pitch that was cutting up badly and, if you took a peak behind the main stand, a set of toilets that looked as if they had last been refurbished in the 1920s.

Going to Hilton Park was like going back in time. There was one catering hut for all supporters - home and away - and the Coronation Street-style terraced houses that surrounded the ground were a wonderfully old-fashioned sight. If LS.Lowry were alive today, I'm sure he would choose the urban panoramas of Leigh as his subject.

As to the game, the scoreline said it all. The Reds eventually scraped home 4-3, but it could easily have finished 8-7. According to page 26 of the programme, Leigh RMI FC are running a special "sponsor a goal" scheme this year. On the basis of Tuesday night, this should net the club a fortune - particularly if it could be extended to cover goals scored by the opposition.

Over 90 minutes and more, the woodwork was hit on any number of occasions and there were goalmouth scrambles aplenty. If the LDV is dull, give me dull every week.

Manager Smith gave a start to several players short of match practice: Morgan, who was eventually substituted; Lawrence, who looked ropy throughout; and Jones, who disappointed even though he bagged a brace of goals.

It was full marks to the league side for navigating a troublesome tie, but the performance did nothing to inspire those who are hoping for promotion or a play-off place this year.

The build-up play of Thomas, Trundle and Jones was poor, and the Wrexham back line never got to grips with the unpredictable Leigh forwards. RMI are struggling in the bottom half of the Nationwide Conference, but to be honest, on Tuesday night, it was difficult to tell which side played in the

Football League and which did not. The entertainment was excellent, but thequality of the play was moderate.

However, football is anything but scientific. Last Saturday, the Reds stormed to a fantastic last-gasp victory over pace-setters Bournemouth, and it would not surprise me if today the Dragons banished the memory of theirmidweek scare and moved relatively smoothly into the second round of the FA Cup.


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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