Deegan dons the gloves as Millers complete double over Brigg

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Evo-Stik First Division South: Brigg Town 1, New Mills AFC 4

New Mills continued to pressurise the teams fighting for the Evo-Stik Division One South play-offs with a comfortable victory at The Hawthorns on Saturday.

With the Millers beating The Zebras in the return fixture at Church Lane only a fortnight ago, it was again Ally Pickering’s side who made all the running particularly in the opening half when they opened up a three-goal advantage.

Ben Deegan opened the scoring in the seventh minute with a close-range effort following a scramble in Brigg’s penalty area.

Substitute Justin Pickering, who replaced Antony Field after the young midfielder suffered a suspected fractured ankle, scored the goal of the game three minutes before the interval with a delightful left-foot strike which found Tom Woodhead’s top corner.

There was still time for Leon Grandison to cap an excellent opening 45 minutes as the striker grabbed the third in stoppage time as he confidently beat Woodhead in a one-on-one situation.

Ten minutes after the interval, New Mills were reduced to ten men when goalkeeper James Coates was unfortunately sent off for handling the ball outside his area.

Ben Deegan, who entered FC United of Manchester folklore last year by saving a penalty against Northwich Victoria as a replacement keeper, donned the gloves for the remainder of the game.

Despite being at a numerical disadvantage, The Millers coped very comfortably with any threat posed by Brigg Town until the final few minutes when Lawrence Heward scored a consolation goal for the home side, thus depriving Deegan of a clean sheet.

There was still sufficient time in the game for Grandison to grab a fourth for New Mills which rounded off an excellent afternoon’s work.

New Mills: Coates, Bowler, Benson (Needham), Swirad, Chadwick, Lonsdale, Meakin, Field (Pickering), Deegan, Grandison, Horrocks (Moss).