Red Lions 0 Leigh Athletc Academy 3
The first game of our Wigan League era. A side that has only had a chance to play two friendlies pre-season looked shaky at first, but the experience in the side began to settle a new group of lads, who then began to shine. Some great football from individuals such as Ricky Birchall, Dale Zinyemba and James Dooley started to inspire the rest of the team and the ship began to steady by the 30 minute mark.
The Tics Academy saw chance after chance go begging, some great goalkeeping from Red Lions shot stopper and some great chances squandered, until Leon Green stayed cool under pressure to finish on the rebound at 42 minutes in. Red Lions began to crumble after the first goal and a great cross from Ricky Birchall saw Jack Davies pounce at the back post to guide in a great finish to make it 2-0 at the break.
The second period started more energetically with the introduction of midfield engine Alan Rigby. His introduction settled new midfielder George Carri, who looked comfortable on the ball and made some great and vital interceptions in the holding midfield role. Some bursting runs from Scott Hough, a solid Dale Zinyemba from centre back and Alan Rigby provided a bucket load of chances only for the forward partnership to see chance after chance come close but no reward.
Shot stopper Fulton was rarely called into action, but his distribution to the flanks proved vital as he played a ball out to the wing, a great cross in from Scott Hough saw James Dooley fluff his lines, only fro Rigby to pounce with an athletic flick to evade the Lions keeper to take control with a 3-0 lead.
The rolling sub option in the Wigan League was used to great use, systematically introducing fresh legs every ten minutes to allow a new burst of pace at vital times in the game. A late introduction 5 minutes from time allowed a hard working Leon Green to take a well deserved break and a returning veteran of the club came on to see two great shots saved well by the Lions Keeper, who was there MOM without a doubt, keeping the scoreline down to 3.
As the final whistle went Player Manager Kev Hough finished with his first managerial win at the club, with a very impressive and convincing performance from his side. A great start to the new campaign, lets hope to build on this next week and continue the momentum.
STARTING LINE UP: Dave Fulton, Dale Zinyemba, Matt Rogers, Dave Wood, Neil Sumner, Jack Davies, Scott Hough, George Carri, James Dooley, Ricky Birchall, Leon Green
SUBSTITUTES : Kev Hough, Alan Rigby, Chris Wilcox
MAN OF THE MATCH: Dale Zinyemba