A Kamil Leszczynski hat-trick saw the Ants break the 40 point barrier as their season came to an end and helped the Ants run out 6-0 winners at Victoria Park but it was Greg Marshall’s 35 yard free kick that everyone was talking about come full time.
The Ants got off to the best possible start with only two minutes on the clock, Smith was fouled near the corner flag on the left wing and he floated in the resultant free kick which saw GRAEME CRAWFORD put the ball into the net from inside the six yard box and the Ants were a goal up. Smith provided his second assist of the match 4 minutes later when his corner kick found the head of KRIS LITTLER who headed past Meek to double the Ants advantage.
It was pretty much all Ants in an attacking sense and it was almost 0-3 after 18 minutes but Gallachers header came off the crossbar and from the rebound Smith’s header from a deep Crawford cross was blocked. A long ball from Curran sent Gallacher through on goal but Meek produced a fine save as the Ants piled on the pressure with Leszczysnki starting to come more into the game, A turn and shot from a short corner was well held by Meek, then the keeper thwarted the Ants striker again with a fine save to turn the ball past the post after he had been played in behind the Newmains defence and then he fired over from the edge of the box. In the 28th minute they did make it three when finally KAMIL LESZCZYNSKI, surrounded by 4 Newmains players, turned and fired past Meek much to the joy of the small band of travelling Ants fans and committee.
Meek and Lezczynski were having a right battle as the Keeper once again scuppered the Ants striker with another great save only 3 minutes after the goal, getting a strong hand to the strikers shot to deny him and at the break it was
NEWMAINS 0 v 3 ANTS (CRAWFORD 2, LITTLER 6, LESZCZYNSKI 28)
The second half was more of the same with the Ants spending the majority of the half on the front foot but the first chance of the half was a free kick for Newmains, but they didn’t get the proper connection on it and it went well over Curran’s crossbar. The Ants had made a half time sub with the match winner v Forth Fraser Wheatley replacing Paul Smith and he almost made it 4-0 but his header from a Crawford corner clipped the outside of the post.
Despite having little to do Curran had to be alert in the 60th minute when Janik found himself with space in the box and fired goalwards but Curran made a fine save and the ball was cleared by Conway. In the 65th minute the Ants had a golden chance to add a fourth when KAMIL LESZCZYNSKI was fouled in the box by Anderson and the Polish hitman dusted himself down to take the penalty himself, beating Meek from the spot for his second and the Ants fourth of the match. Credit to Newmains that they didnt throw in the towel and they almost grabbed a consolation goal when Sneddon fired a half volley inches wide of the post. Leszczynski was in the hunt for his hat-trick but once again Meek denied him as he was put through on goal then Taylor almost grabbed his second goal in Ants colours but he couldn’t direct his header on target and headed over.
The Ants had held a goal of the season competition online prior to this match and we felt pretty silly that we hadn’t waited after GREG MARSHALL netted his first goal for the Ants with a free kick which he smashed past Meek from fully 35 yards, with the keeper rooted to the spot after 85 minutes to make it 5-0 before KAMIL LESZCZYNSKI put the cherry on the cake with his hat-trick goal in the 90th minute, another fine turn and finish from 12 yards to make the final score
NEWMAINS 0 v 6 ANTS (CRAWFORD 2, LITTLER 6, LESZCZYNSKI 28, 65,90, MARSHALL 85)
A good result and performance to sign off on John Kelly’s first season as manager and it’s now a waiting game to see where we finish in the league.