Millers edge out promotion rivals

New Mills v Stone Dominoes (white)
New Mills v Stone Dominoes (white)
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Vodkat Premier Division

New Mills 1

Ramsbottom United 0

A TERRIFIC all-round team performance helped New Mills consolidate their place at the top of the Vodkat Premier Division as they triumphed by a single goal to defeat promotion rivals Ramsbottom United on Saturday.

The first 45 minutes saw a tight affair with both defences looking fairly solid as clear goalscoring opportunities were few and far between and mainly restricted to long range efforts which kept the goalkeepers on their toes.

The Millers should have been awarded a penalty in the 23rd minute when Leon Grandison was blatantly pushed in the back. Things livened up almost immediately after the interval as Dominic Ingram-Hughes made an excellent low save to deny an acrobatic effort from Lee Gaskell.

Grant Shenton made an equally impressive block to deny birthday boy Carlos Meakin.

Just after the hour, Mark Drew’s fierce effort crashed against the post, after which the attacker was sent off for a challenge on Syd Pickford. Drew led with a raised arm and caught the midfielder flush in the face.

Rammy continued their fairly physical approach, and there was a bizarre sight of Joel Pilkington lunging in and fouling one of his own players, Billy Crawshaw, and being booked for his troubles.

The Millers made the breakthrough with 14 minutes remaining. Grandison’s blistering pace saw him break free of his marker to collect a long through ball. After steadying himself, the striker cooly slotted the ball under the advancing keeper.

Grandison almost repeated the strike but scuffed his shot wide of the upright. The visitors threw caution to the wind in the closing stages in a vain attempt to grab a share of the spoils but New Mills’ rearguard of centre halves Liam Coyne, Nick Swirad and home debutant Richard Rowe stood strong. Both teams gave their all in a very competitive game which was a fantastic advert for Vodkat League football.

New Mills: Ingram-Hughes, Bowler, Mather, Swirad, Coyne, Rowe, Meakin, Pickford, L Grandison, Innes, Horrocks (Hirst). Unused subs: Barras, K Grandison, Monaghan, Moore. Att: 252.