Hockey: Leek make their point at Khalsa
LEEK emerged from their long winter break to earn a 2-2 draw at Khalsa in Conference North.
There were a few cobwebs to be blown away after several weeks of inactivity, which included seeing three friendly fixtures fall victim to the weather.
Paul Dawson and Dan O'Neil were on target for the Moorlanders, who were forced to battle back from 2-0 down in Leamington.
Leek squandered an early penalty corner opportunity, and were quickly made to pay when a hopeful 70-yard pass from the hosts resulted in them earning their own set-piece.
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Aaron Nagra showed how things could be done by rifling home into the roof of the net.
Leek were struggling to find any fluency in their passing game, and despite dominating territory, they couldn't muster a killer pass or clinical final touch.
Khalsa were content to hit the visitors on the break, and out of nothing, they doubled their advantage when Alex Iodine finished another long pass.
The Moorlanders, though, soon upped the tempo, although it required a set-play to drag them into the match.
Paul Dawson was the man of the moment, flicking home to breathe new life into his side.
The goal was just the fillip the visitors needed, and they gradually found their form after half-time.
Leek keeper Mark Brazier was called into action a couple of times to deny Khalsa, but the Moorlanders were also looking a more fluid outfit in the final third.
Ben White was thwarted in his search for an equaliser after being ruled offside, but Leek were soon level.
Rich Cordon orchestrated the move, and after reaching the base line, set up O'Neil to apply the final touch. Paul Nixon was sin-binned for crashing into a Khalsa defender, but despite their numerical disadvantage Leek continued to attack.
Khalsa, though, held on, and with Stu Waby becoming the second Moorlander on the sidelines, Brazier had to be alert to repel the home side.
And once they were back up to full strength, Leek had a golden chance to win the match.
Stefan Sekula was upended in the D, but White's penalty flick was saved.
NORTH Stafford celebrated double delight with weekend victories over Kings Heath and Worcester.
Andy Barker broke the deadlock in the fifth minute, rounding off some fine work from Randall Moore, and the same player soon doubled his and North Staffs' tally when he converted Amaan Merali's cross.
Kings Heath pulled a goal back shortly before the break, but North Stafford turned on the style in the second half.
Stu Stanway slotted into the bottom corner, before Barker completed his hat-trick with 15 minutes remaining.
And a 5-1 victory was wrapped up when a visiting defender inadvertently diverted Stanway's cross into the net.
North Stafford hit the road to Worcester on Sunday and returned with a 2-1 win.
Worcester took an early lead, but Moore levelled shortly before half-time.
And the winner came 10 minutes from time when Keelan Sherwani pounced on a loose ball following a penalty corner to score.