PEMBERTON 2, LEIGH ATHLETIC 3
Saturday 15th July, 2017
Athletic made it two wins from two as their pre-season plans slowly slipped into gear against a physical Pemberton side that provided stubborn resistance and contributed greatly to an absorbing contest.
Sadly, for the second time in those two games, it wasn’t until they went behind that Leigh began to put in the kind of performance that they are capable of.
Less than two minutes were on the clock when Pemberton struck to take an early lead, and even though there was a hint of offside about the finish, the Athletic defence were static as the home side sliced them open with ease.
Leigh came close in the next few attacks, with miss-hit efforts, goal-line clearances and near misses but the pressure was building. A free kick on the edge of the box on twenty-one minutes led to the breakthrough as Matthew Babilinski’s exquisite free kick curled round the wall to nestle in the bottom right hand corner.
Debut boy, Kiel Brennan, who would go on to win the Man Of The Match Award, added a second less than two minutes later and when Danny Eaton increased the lead just before half time things were looking good.
But then half time came, and amid a multitude of second half changes, Athletic were unable to add to their tally despite some gloriously created chances.
Pemberton pulled a goal back with ten minutes remaining, again a debatable goal due to a clear foul in the build-up, but it all added to the excitement of a tense and nervous finish.
So far so good in the pre-season preparation stakes.
STARTING LINE UP: David Fulton; Grady Mountford, Daniel Babilinski, Ashley Glover, Thomas Babilinski; David Hunt, Kiel Brennan, Dale Pollitt, Rob Henrys; Danny Eaton, Matthew Babilinski
SUBSTITUTES (Used): Tom Sims, Adam Jones, Ryan Connell, Jack Davies, Milo Ogden, George Carri
SUBSTITUTES (Unused): Scott Hough
MAN OF THE MATCH: Kiel Brennan