Stoke City’s Scott Wara makes a winning debut for Leek Town

LEEK Town’s 4-2 Boxing Day defeat of local rivals Newcastle Town moved them to within three points of the promotion play-off places in Division One South of the Evo-stik Northern Premier League table.

Highly-rated teenage central defender Scott Wara, pictured, signed on a month’s loan from Stoke City, made his debut in a Blues shirt.

Leek led 2-1 at half-time through goals from Jordan Johnson (15 mins) and man-of-the-match Rob Stevenson (28 mins), with Aaron Bott (36 mins) replying for the visitors.

Jordan’ opening goal for Blues took him onto nine for the season, two behind the club’s leading scorer Tim Grice on 11.

Niall Maguire (70 mins) and substitute Sam Grimshaw (82 mins) extended Leek’s lead in the second half, before Newcastle had the last say with a goal from William Bailey in the 86th minute.

Leek Town team: Chapman, Green, Lemon, Grocott, Wara, Lycett, Maguire, Crawford, Johnson, Trickett-Smith, Stevenson. Subs: Davies, Grice, Grimshaw, Shelley, Kearns. Attendance: 350.

This coming Saturday Blues are at home to Loughborough Dynamo, three places below them in the table, in eleventh spot, ahead of travelling to Market Drayton Town on New Year’s Day (Monday).

Alvechurch fan Rick Edwards is recovering in hospital as staff and fellow supporters at his club are being hailed for saving his life on Saturday after he suffered a cardiac arrest.

His family, fans and clubs across the Non-League scene and match officials at the abandoned game heaped praise on Alvechurch’s medical team and others who rushed to his aid when he collapsed only minutes into their Division One South clash with Gresley FC at Lye Meadow.

The supporter was rushed to hospital after the club’s defibrillator was used and CPR administered before match referee Rich Gardner abandoned the fixture amid emotional scenes.

Mr Edwards faced a critical 24 hours in hospital and Gardner led the tributes as family members posted updates from his bedside confirming he was conscious and speaking.

The match official said: “It should be noted that the response and actions of all that treated the man were absolutely amazing, they gave him the very best chance they could for him to survive this horrendous moment. All club officials, staff and players acted with great respect for the seriousness of the incident.”