Bouncing ball hits a double for United

Ashley Ball playing for Euxton Villa, who scored twice for Leyland United

Ashley Ball playing for Euxton Villa, who scored twice for Leyland United

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Leyland United took to the pitch for the first time in 2014 – and thrashed opponents Ladybridge 4-0.

The tie was the only fixture to be played in the whole of West Lancashire League as rain once again caused havoc with the fixture list.

Two goals from the prolific Ashley Ball as well as strikes from Martin Savager and Jack Monks sealed a comfortable victory for Leyland and keeping their promotion hopes alive.

Boss Kenny Mayers, who has taken a step back from playing in recent weeks, was delighted with the team’s overall performance.

He said: “I’m delighted with the way we played.

“I thought we would be a little rusty but after 15 minutes we settled in and took control of the game.

“We train on the 3G surface so it suited our passing style of play.

“I’m pleased for the goalscorers and in particular Jack Monks who came in and grabbed a goal.

“There was a real buzz to be playing again on a Saturday and I’m glad we won.

“We gave them a real footballing lesson.”

Both sides cancelled each other out early on.

Leyland were passing the ball fluently but struggled to break down the Ladybridge back-line.

But four minutes before the break, after a short spell of pressure, the visitors did take the lead.

Rick Jones struck the ball goal bound and the keeper could only parry into the path of Monks, and he calmly slotted the ball home.

Three minutes later, the lead was doubled when Savager rifled a free-kick across the keeper into the top corner.

Ladybridge started stronger in the second half and had chances but Carlsen Watt dealt with anything coming his way.

Just after the hour mark it was 3-0, Ball and Michael Benson exchanging passes and the former finishing well.

With eight minutes left, Ball rounded off the scoring with his second as he neatly flicked the ball home following a good cross from substitute Matty Ferguson.

Leyland take on Milnthorpe Corinthians this Saturday at home in Round One of the Challenge Cup. Kick off is 3pm.