LEIGH Genesis youngsters faded in the final 20 minutes as they allowed 10-man Eastwood to keep promotion from the Unibond Premier League firmly in their sights.
Leigh’s sixth ‘home’ venue of the season at Clitheroe saw Eastwood dominate the first half as they twice hit the woodwork, first through a Paul Robinson header and secondly a speculative Alister Asher cross-cum-shot, while Ian Holmes strike was disallowed for offside.
In the 54th minute Phil Marsh broke clear on goal, only to be hauled back by centre half Paul Robinson, who was eventually given his marching orders by referee Mr Dowd, but Leigh failed to capitalise on the one-man advantage.
The visitors who went ahead on 70 minutes when Ian Holmes was allowed a free header in the centre of the goal, albeit from a seemingly offside position, to nod past Danny Morton after a right wing cross had been headed back across the goalmouth by front man Matt Rhead.
Less than a minute later, and the Badgers tied up the victory when Meikle slid a cross past Morton, six minutes before Holmes grabbed his second, breaking clear of the defence and making no mistake in slotting the ball past Morton.
The rout was somewhat harshly completed with four minutes remaining when substitute Peter Knox chested the ball down on the edge of the box and delivered a rocket of a shot that gave the goalkeeper no chance of saving it.
Meanwhile, FC United moved to within two points of the play-off zone as two second half goals from Simon Carden saw off Prescot Cables at Gigg Lane.
Not only was the win United’s third in succession, but also marked three straight games without conceding a goal as the Reds moved up to ninth place in the UniBond Premier Division.
Carden broke the deadlock four minutes after the interval by stroking home the rebound from a Tommy Turner shot that the Prescot keeper could only parry.
The midfielder struck again with 15 minutes to go after being played through by a delightful ball from left-back Simon Garner, sealing victory in front of 2,045 ecstatic supporters.