Outside The Box: No-go for Lowe in his bid to equalise Defoe

So Leeds United finally managed to win an evening game (see last week's Outside The Box) albeit only by 2-1 against the Championship's bottom club, Preston, on Tuesday. It was a frustrating night, however, for the country's leading goalscorer, Bury's 32-year-old striker Ryan Lowe, who had hoped to join Jermain Defoe in the record books by scoring for the 10th successive game.

Lowly Morecambe kept him out at Gigg Lane, where Bury were relieved just to win, with a late goal from substitute Lenny John-Lewis. Lowe, a sturdy Merseysider, is something of a late developer, who had scored only 65 goals in almost 300 games before joining Bury in the summer of 2009 from Chester. In contrast, Defoe set his post-war record as a teenager while on loan from West Ham to Bournemouth in 2001. At the moment, of course, the Tottenham striker would settle for scoring in just two successive games, having only broken his League duck for the season at Wolverhampton last weekend. But given his prolific record against former clubs, West Ham had best watch out in the London derby at White Hart Lane next Saturday.



He Mex his name at cricket

A former Sheffield Wednesday youth player is about to become a full international for Mexico – at cricket. Like his near-namesake Gary Lineker, Michael Linnecar has always been keen on both sports. As a cricketer back home in Yorkshire, he thought his days playing the summer game were over when he emigrated to Mexico City, where he now runs a soccer academy. While playing park football last year, however, he spotted a cricket pitch and joined the Reforma club, whose ground was used by England's footballers during the 1970 and 1986 World Cups. He has now been selected to play for Mexico this week in the ICC Americas T20 tournament in Costa Rica against Belize, Peru, Chile, the Falklands and the host nation.



Can Oystermen catch thieves?

The spate of copper theft all over the country had dire results for Ryman League South's Whitstable Town when thieves broke into their dressing-rooms, stripping showers, pipes and taps and doing several thousand pounds worth of damage. The hard-up Oystermen were forced to postpone an important home game against fellow relegation strugglers Whyteleafe.

Stewart is no Down and out

In contrast, an insight into life at the other end of the football scale has been illustrated by the ongoing court case in which football agent Ian Elliott is accused of siphoning money from a bank account belonging to the Aston Villa and England winger Stewart Downing. Downing told York Crown Court that Elliott, who denies four counts of fraud, had represented him from the age of 15 but the relationship deteriorated when the agent allegedly leaked news to a local radio station that Tottenham were interested in signing him from Middlesbrough. Downing said one of his accounts should have contained between £600,000 and £700,000 but had only £11,000 in it. Under cross-examination, he said he had spent £45,000 on a home cinema, the same amount on a conservatory and £6,000 on a walk-in wardrobe, as well as giving £180,000 to family members.



Glapwell in the pink

Good cause of the week was yesterday's Evo-Stik Division One South game in aid of Breast Cancer Care between Glapwell and Leek Town. Glapwell (based between Chesterfield and Mansfield) were given dispensation to play in specially commissioned bright pink shirts, which were due to be auctioned afterwards. Football's macho image was further softened by the Leek players arriving in a pink Trent Barton Pronto bus, and by prizes that included a ride for eight people in a pink Hummer with free champagne.



s.tongue@independent.co.uk

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