6:47pm Sunday 15th February 2009
BARELY 24 hours after rejecting a move to FC United, Phil Marsh showed the club he spurned exactly what they had missed when he scored a hat trick to help Genesis secure their first UniBond Premier League win since October.
Marsh took less than a minute to underline his commitment to Leigh. Racing through on goal he was brought down by former Bolton Wanderers’ keeper Sam Ashton and duly tucked away the penalty In recent fixtures, Leigh have been left to rue early missed chances and they were their own worst enemies again, inviting pressure on themselves as they looked to defend their slender lead. But with Alex Cunliffe in sterling form alongside Ben McHugh at the heart of the defence, nullifying the aerial threat of Carl Lomax, Genesis were still ahead at half-time.
FC, unlucky in the first half when a Neil Chappell shot deflected against the post, hit the woodwork again early in the second half when Lomax was the unfortunate attacker. But the Rebels pulled level on 64 minutes, Chappell pouncing after Danny Morton parried Simon Garner’s free kick.
Genesis, showing character in front of a Gigg Lane crowd of 1,800, were back in front six minutes later when Marsh won and converted his second penalty – only for FC to draw level once again when Lomax pounced on another rebound after Morton had saved a long-range strike.
Lee Merricks’ young side would not be denied though and were back in front within a minute when Kyle Lambert set up Chris Thompson before Marsh completed his hat-trick in stoppage time, challenging Ashton as he tried to collect Danny Warrender’s throw and scoring at close range.
Leigh will look to build on the win when they take on Kendal Town in a ‘home’ fixture at Ashton United tomorrow.