Hockey: Dawson at the double to save Leek
PAUL Dawson's double earned Leek a 2-2 draw from their National Conference home clash with Khalsa.
Dawson put the Moorlanders ahead in the first half, but the visitors struck either side of half-time to leave Leek on the back foot.
However, the hosts' penalty corner expert rode to the rescue once again to earn his side a share of the spoils.
Leek were ahead as early as the sixth minute when Jared Oliver drew a foul from a defender and Dawson duly dispatched the resulting penalty corner.
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The goal settled the hosts and they passed the ball around, although they couldn't find the necessary cutting edge to increase their advantage.
Leamington-based Khalsa had been content to drop deep, but a rare attack saw Hew Hayer convert a cross with the aid of a deflection to draw the teams level.
The Moorlanders, though, continued to put the squeeze on the visitors in the second half, and it appeared only a matter of time before they re-established their lead.
And a goal duly arrived... although it was Khalsa who were left celebrating.
A slick counter-attack was expertly finished by Amritpal Atwal to leave Leek contemplating a first home league defeat of the campaign.
However, Dawson popped up to rescue a point when he executed a fine finish from another penalty corner to make it 2-2.
NORTH Stafford were pegged back by a last-minute equaliser in their 1-1 draw with Worcester in Midlands Division One.
North Stafford, looking to make a winning start to their home campaign, were slow out of the blocks, but gradually grabbed a foothold in the game.
And it was no surprise they took the lead when Amaan Merali took his time to wait for a lofted ball to settle in the D before blasting the ball past the keeper.
The home side had further chances to add to their tally, with Randall Moore in sublime form as he prompted and probed.
But chances came and went, which proved costly in the final minute when a rare Worcester foray resulted in a penalty corner, which was converted.
CREWE Vagrants were edged out in a nine-goal home thriller by City of Manchester in their Northern Division One encounter.
The Cheshire side made the worst possible start as they found themselves 2-0 adrift with just two minutes on the clock, aided by some generous defending.
Crewe tried to respond, but appeared shell-shocked as Manchester continued to threaten with repeated attacks.
Crewe had started to find fluidity with their passing, but a tough task became even harder when the visitors slotted home their third of them afternoon.
The half-time interval at least gave Crewe time to regroup, and they quickly put themselves back in the game shortly after the break.
Pete Cornell connected with a cross from the right and slammed home from close range to reduce the arrears to 3-1.
Manchester quickly re-established their three-goal advantage, although a rejuvenated home side continued to launch their fightback.
Andrew Ticehurst rounded off fine work by Cornell and Tim Alexander, before Ed Beak slotted home to make the score 4-3.
Manchester scored again to seemingly put the result beyond doubt, although Chris Regan's late strike reduce the deficit once more.
And Crewe were given a golden opportunity to level when they were awarded a penalty, but Dave Holland skied his effort over the bar to let Manchester off the hook.
National Conference: Leek 2, Khalsa 2.
Midlands Division One: North Stafford 1, Worcester 1.
Northern Division One: Crewe Vagrants 4, City of Manchester 5.
Other: Leek 4ths 3, Nottingham University 4ths 2; Leek 5ths 6, Beeston 5ths 1; Sutton Coldfield 5ths 6, Leek 6ths 0; Bridgnorth 5ths 1, North Stafford 4ths 1.
Cannock 1, Leek 1sts 0; Leek 4ths 2, Wolverhampton 1.