THIS game on Saturday was a dress rehearsal for next week’s semi-final encounter in the league cup - and on this occasion it was Lingdale FC who took the honours.
Lealholm however will take some confidence from the game as it was only a late rally at the end of the game that visitors took command of the game.
After five minutes, Leaholm took an early lead when Nathan Gibson was allowed a free header and took the opportunity well.
Lealholm were taking the game to Lingdale and matched the visitors well.
On 20 minutes, Lingdale drew level when the home keeper could only parry the ball out which fell nicely for Hitchen to fire the ball back into the goal.
This seemed to raise the tempo for Lingdale and soon were two goals up when Ben Crooks scored.
After the break, Lealholm were back in the game and once again were matching Lingdale in all areas of the field.
With Lingdale looking for a win to keep themselves in the title race and looking for a double cup success their play became edgy and nervous.
But the pressure was eased on 80 minutes when Ben Crooks headed in a cross from Hitchen.
Minutes later he curled a great free-kick from the edge of the penalty area around the defensive wall to give triple-chasing Lingdale FC another win.
Lealholm 1 Lingdale FC 4