LEIGH lost 16-5 at Southport after going up there with high hopes.

The first half saw both sides test each other out and defend brilliantly but it was Southport who were to go off in front, at the break, through a thirty ninth minute penalty.

Southport extended their lead to six points, in the fiftieth minute, through a penalty under the Leigh sticks but they were soon to add to this, in the fifty second minute, when a speculative kick from Leigh was charged down, just inside the Southport half. The foot race that ensued resulted in a penalty try being awarded to Southport, for their chaser being ‘taken out’, twenty metres away from the Leigh line, with two Leigh defenders still to beat, in his pursuit of the bobbling ball. It was highly improbable that the chaser would have got to the ball but the end result was seven points to Southport and a yellow card to Leigh.

Leigh upped their game as a result and put together several good attacking moves which, unfortunately, came to nothing, either by poor execution or a good scrambling defence by Southport. One Leigh attack, however, should have produced seven points for them but the decision of the Referee, sadly, went against them.

A sweeping move down the right culminated with Alex Leadbetter, who was chasing a chip through, being taken out about five metres out with the ball and the line beckoning and no Southport defenders in front of him. The probability that the chaser would have grounded the ball was very high but the Referee judged otherwise.

Leigh’s grit and persistence was eventually rewarded, soon afterwards, when Charlie Wood stepped his way over the Southport line, for a well taken, unconverted try, to set up an interesting last few minutes.

Southport, however, closed the game out, with another penalty, in the 75th minute, to take them off as victors.

Leigh entertain Fleetwood, who are currently sitting one place below Leigh in the League, at Hand Lane on Saturday. This has got to be a ‘must win’ game for Leigh.