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Palin’s double strike keeps Leeming on top

Report by Samuel Hays

Leeming Strikers ensured they remain on top of the Belt up. Amateur Premier League table with a 2-0 victory over Belmont Villa at John Connell Reserve on Sunday afternoon.

Two goals from player-coach David Palin either side of the break handed Leeming a well-deserved three points that will go a long way in such a competitive league.

Palin was pleased with his teams work ethic and felt the better team won.

“I think we deserved it from the first minute to the last minute. I think we worked hard, I think we matched their intensity and in the end I think the quality overshone them,” Palin said.

“It’s something that we work towards every week to pick up three points and so there’s no pressure, we just take it week by week.

“It’s not about what we’re doing in five weeks’ time, it’s just a matter about that game and that 90 minutes and making sure we get three points.”

When asked about his individual success Palin added: “As a player-coach sometimes you get looked at in different ways so being able to score two goals today sort of takes a little of the pressure of me as a coach and a player.”

It was Leeming who had the better start but they were unable to create any clear-cut chances.

Karl Gorman went close after 24 minutes but he sent his free-kick from just outside the box sailing over the crossbar.

Palin then delivered a great cross onto the head of Lee Thoelie but he could only send his header wide.

Leeming went in front in the 35th minute courtesy of a mix-up between Belmont keeper Kadir Valkan and one of his defenders which allowed Palin to slot the ball home into an empty net.

There were promising signs for Belmont after the break as they maintained possession and created a few chances of their own and from one James McDaid headed wide from a corner.

But Leeming doubled their advantage on 61 minutes when Palin latched onto a through ball, rounded Valkan and scored.

Belmont had a late chance to get back into the game when substitute Ahmed Alzaidawi got on the end of a through ball. His shot rebounded of the post to Alan Dutton who showed no composure with his first-time shot.

Belmont coach Kevin Mulgrew put the loss down to missed chances and mistakes and was frustrated as he felt his side can perform better.

“I thought we probably started a bit slowly. It was a very scrappy game, we knew it was going to be a massive fight and you’ve got to earn the right to play out their today,” Mulgrew said.

“I thought the first 20 minutes they were the better team, after that I thought we got a foothold in the game.

“At the end of the day we make mistakes like that, we miss an open goal, we’ve missed a one-on-one, we missed two, three headers from six yards out … in games that are that tight and scrappy, they’re the ones I question.

“It’s hard for us to take but that’s football. I thought we were the better team for 65-70 minutes of the game. We know we can compete at this level, we’ve just got to learn to take our chances and we’ve got to learn to cut the mistakes out.”

Leeming now turn their attention to Ellenbrook United while Belmont will face Southern Spirit at home.

Leeming Strikers 2 (Palin 35min, 61)
Belmont Villa 0
Sunday, May 27
John Connell Reserve
Kick-off: 3pm
Referee: Ammor Timow
Assistant referee: Greg Birch

Leeming Strikers: 1. Jordan Jones, 2. Lee Thoelie, 3. Kudzi Chiguanda, 4. Matt Benion, 5. Tom Grant, 8. Danny McKenna, 12. Paulo Coelho, 6. Karl Gorman, 15. Leandro Fernandes, 7. Ben Grieves, 19. David Palin, (11. Oli Murtensen 80), (9. Jay Dost 80), (18. Michael Maratea 48)
Substitutes not used: 23. Josh Blackmore, 9. Tom Wood
Yellow cards: Chiguanda 69
Red cards: Nil

Belmont Villa: 1. Kadir Valkan, 6. Dean Armstrong, 4. Warrick Bates, 2. Mohamed Hirst, 3. Darrel Gibney, 8. James McDaid, 12. James Fay, 7. Paul McCormack, 11. Patrick Barry, 13. Alan Dutton, 10. Nased Hussein, (14. Emmet Colhoun 46), (9. Ahmed Alzaidawi 56)
Substitutes not used: 15. Andrew Horrill
Yellow cards: Hirst 23, McDaid 41, Colhoun 73
Red cards: Nil