League & Cup Results 2002/03
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Leamington 0 Rugby Town 0 - 28/12/02 - Midland Combination Premier Division
Taken from the Leamington Courier Online
It was a case of big crowds but big disappointment on Saturday as Leamington once again failed to topple arch-rivals Rugby at The New Windmill.

Nearly 800 fans braved the wintry weather for the annual clash of the titans, which proved to be as tight as ever with neither side able to break the deadlock - and get away with it.  Co-manager Barry Proctor joked they needed a Russian linesman after the only goal of the game was ruled out because the ball had allegedly gone out of play.

Paul Nicholls and Harj Dhesi had combined to free Ben Adams on the right wing, who sprinted down to the goal-line before pulling it back for skipper Darren Timms to score. But the linesman flagged that Adams had crossed the line and the goal was disallowed for the second time in as many home fixtures against Rugby. Proctor said: "It was a very tight game as usual - it always is against Rugby.

"There were a couple of controversial incidents towards the end when the goal was disallowed because Ben's cross had gone out. "We had a few substitutes warming up in that corner at the time and Si Walker was adamant that it hadn't crossed the line. We could've done with a
Russian linesman!"

A second controversial moment struck moments after the disallowed goal when Rugby's Paul Gibbons was given his marching orders. Having already been booked in the first half for a series of heavy challenges on Timms, he pulled Andy Ellis down just outside the area. And despite Ellis' protestations, the referee sent him off. The two incidents appeared to fire up the home side, who had been bolstered by a 771-strong crowd, and several shots were pelted in the direction of a
very in-form Ian Brooks in the Rugby goal. The first half had been fairly quiet in contrast to the drama of the last 20 minutes, even though the stereotypical derby-day spirits were in abundance.
There was no shortage of passion on the field as challenges flew in from all corners, maybe fuelled by the muddy conditions.

Leamington's defence dealt well with the highest-scoring team in the division, with Tom Sidwell and Andy Gregory performing an admirable job, while both Adams and Johnny Burgess at full-back frequently switched defence to attack with a near-devastating effect. But despite the efforts on goal from Timms and Paul Nicholls, the match seemed doomed to end goalless with both keepers in top form.

Proctor said: "Both their keeper and ours did really well because there was a lot of goal mouth action. "Overall, we were very pleased with the players' performance, although we would've liked a win."