Archive for Leighton Town Football Club

Unite MK 1-2 Leighton Town

Unite MK – 1

Leighton Town – 2

Leighton Town super sub James Hatch came off the bench and made an immediate impact on this game, making his presence felt inside the Unite goal mouth on more than one occasion followed by an assist for the first goal, scoring the second and also picking up a yellow card all in the space of a few minutes. Unite did fight back and level however it was Hatch’s late winner that sent the visitors into the semi-final of the Buckingham Senior Charity Cup to face the winners of Buckingham Athletic v Old Bradwell United.

Buckingham Senior Charity Cup 2017/18

The home side started the better of the two and went close just two minutes into the match, a corner swung in from their left was headed inches over by Ridge Essilfie. Another corner to the hosts was then cleared long by Matt Hall and Tom Bryant was on it in a flash, outpacing a defender he headed for goal before shooting from the edge of the box however Unite keeper Aaron Halai made a good block with his feet, following up was debutant Josh Crawley who was about to fire into the unguarded net but a last ditch block from a defender saw the ball cleared to safety.

Just past the quarter hour mark a cross from the Town left saw Crawley outjump his marker and his looping header had Halai scrambling backwards and pushing the ball onto his own crossbar before gathering at the second attempt. A free kick then to the visitors right on the corner flag saw the ball fizzed across the goal face and at the near post Crawley stuck out a boot but could only deflect wide.

Unite had a let off when a left wing cross was met in the middle by Aaron McKee but his first touch was too heavy allowing Halai to collect before any real danger materialised, before a good shooting opportunity arose on the corner of the box for Jakk Pursey but the ball bobbled as he struck which lifted it high over the top. Unite then had their best chance of the half to break the deadlock when Jakub Tomsik got away down their right and centred but right in front of goal Luke Little headed over. H/T: 0-0

An early second half corner to Leighton saw goalkeeper Halai collide with a defender and get tangled up with Matt Hall trying to clear, the ball landed to Alex Condon whose initial shot was blocked, he chased back to collect the ball before turning and angling a drive narrowly over the crossbar. Straight up the opposite end Craig Daubney tried his luck from distance but could only drive wide of Brad Kirkwood in the Town goal.

Tomsik then cut in from the left and had a shot blocked by Kirkwood, and at the other end a great cross from Tom Silford invited Bryant to head at goal however he just couldn’t climb high enough to make contact. McKee slipped a great ball through the Unite defence for Crawley to run on to but he screwed his effort wide, and just as it seemed this game would need penalties on came Hatch to turn the game.

James Hatch made the difference

With eighteen minutes left, and within sixty seconds of coming on Hatch flicked a header on along the eighteen yard line, Crawley squared to Silford who slipped the ball past the advancing Halai to give Leighton the lead. Moments later a cross from Pursey found Hatch in the middle, he turned to fire over his shoulder but straight into Halais’ waiting gloves, and from there Unite mounted the attack that saw them equalise. A free kick floated into the Town box saw a couple of deflections and a block before the loose ball fell to Tomsik some ten yards out and he absolutely smashed the ball home to level the tie.

Unite sensed a winner and a good run from Tomsik saw him drive across the Leighton box before unleashing a dipping shot that grazed the net as it went over. Then with five minutes left came the decider, a long goal kick from Kirkwood was allowed to bounce & the Unite defence didn’t seem in any danger, however Hatch chased the ball down and got in ahead of the defender as Halai came out, Hatch took the shot on which the keeper blocked but the ball rebounded off Hatch as he fell to the floor and with the net unguarded the ball rolled home. F/T: 1-2

Attendance: 42

After the game Sports Shots caught up with Leighton manager Scott Reynolds: 

 

For match photography click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm9eqUR5

Non-League Day 2017

This Saturday see’s the annual celebration of non-league day, started seven years ago to promote non-league football during the ‘international break’ and to encourage people to “support their local team”.

 

Supporters up and down the country face a week-end of discontent with no top flight matches due to the international break, but are encouraged instead of sitting at home or going shopping to go out and discover just what their local non-league football scene offers.

Many clubs offer special deals in order to encourage more support this week-end, in the hope a few will come along and enjoy what they see and return again later in the season. Clubs often use the week-end to try and raise money for charity.

Read why ‘NLD’ was set up:

Non-League Day was set up by James Doe in 2010 as a social media experiment, after being inspired by a pre-season trip to Devon to watch Queens Park Rangers play at Tavistock. It has now grown to become an annual part of the football calendar, backed by Premier League and Football League clubs, MPs, celebrities, media organisations, charities and most importantly the non-league clubs themselves and the fans who turn up on the day.

Always scheduled to coincide with an international break, Non-League Day provides a platform for clubs to promote the importance of affordable volunteer led community football while giving fans across the country the chance to show support for their local non-league side.

Many non-league clubs are almost exclusively volunteer run, with money taken at the turnstiles often funding thriving youth set-ups, projects and facilities which are of benefit to the whole community. The level of skill on offer at non-league grounds will never compare to that at the Emirates Stadium or Old Trafford, for example, but there are other sides to the experience, from which the smaller club will always win hands down. The vast majority of games still kick off at 3pm, ticket prices are realistic, you can often stand (and drink!) anywhere in the ground and will always be guaranteed a warm welcome by people who run their clubs for a love of the game.

Whether you’re a Premier League or Championship fan without a game, a League One or League Two supporter who can’t make an away trip, or just someone who is curious about what their local club has to offer, there is sure to be something to interest everyone

If you are looking for a game to attend Saturday use link provided, all you need to tap in is your postcode: http://www.nonleagueday.co.uk/map.html

 

Sports Shots urges everyone to get out this week-end and discover the teams that are local to you! You never know, you may find a new passion, and when entry costs anything from £4 you’ll have enough to take the kids, other half and some places even admit your pet dog if you ask nicely. (Twitter page ‘non-league dogs’ love these pictures if you do!)

 

To find out more information about the campaign click here: http://www.nonleagueday.co.uk/index.html

 

Buckingham Athletic & Leighton Town both drawn away in FA Vase

Both our sides* remaining in the FA Vase have today learnt of their 1st round proper opponents.

 

Buckingham Athletic.

Buckingham Athletic (Step 6) face a daunting trip to Hellenic Premier Division side Bracknell Town (Step 5). Bracknell currently sit third in their league table, and are all geared up for a promotion fight after having their ground upgraded last season, which included a brand new 3G pitch and a new stand being installed. Town missed out on promotion to the Southern League last term on the final day of the season, when they lost their final game at home and Thame pipped them to the title.

Just hours before the FA Vase draw, Bracknell announced they had parted terms with their first team manager, meaning Athletic will be going into the game against a new manager so will have little time to research their opponents and any changes the new man may bring in.

The Berkshire side have won seven of their opening nine league games, drawn one and tasted defeat for the first time this past week-end at Thatcham. They won their extra-preliminary FA Cup tie but were knocked out the next round at home to Winchester. Having scored twenty-seven goals in their first nine league games, they have conceded just eleven, and with their FA Cup games included have scored thirty goals in eleven games in all, keeping four clean sheets in all.

To follow the progress of Bracknell follow this link: http://full-time.thefa.com/DisplayTeam.do?divisionseason=44806448&teamID=16577094

But Buckingham have seen some decent form themselves this term so far, currently sitting seventh in the South Midlands Division One table. Having won three, drawing two and losing just one of their opening six league games, they were knocked out of the League Challenge Trophy by higher opposition but have had a good run in the Vase, having overcome Bedford in a replay and then AFC Hayes on Saturday just gone.

Athletic have scored twenty-one league goals conceding just seven, and with all their cup games added have scored thirty-three goals and conceded thirteen, keeping two clean sheets in all. They have scored freely in three separate games alone, firing 6 past Bedford in their Vase replay, seven past Wodson Park away, and eight in their opening game of the season at home to Codicote.

To follow the progress of Buckingham Athletic follow this link: http://full-time.thefa.com/DisplayTeam.do?divisionseason=957608024&teamID=211499215

Ground to ground: 65 miles

 

Leighton Town.

Leighton Town (Step 5) have also been given an away trip, to Essex Senior League Premier Division side Burnham Ramblers (Step 5). Based in Burnham-on-Crouch the Ramblers haven’t got off to the best of starts this season, currently sitting second bottom of their league table having won just one of their opening nine league games so far, and losing seven. They have faced a team from Leighton’s league already this term, having been knocked out of the FA Cup by St Margaretsbury back in August.

Burnham have scored just ten goals in their nine league fixtures, and conceded twenty-six but are just a win or two away from climbing away from the bottom of the table. With their cup games included they have scored sixteen goals in total, with thirty-three conceded in reply, and their win on Saturday in the Vase was their first since the middle of August in all competition. They are yet to keep a clean sheet this season.

To follow the progress of Burnham, follow this link: http://full-time.thefa.com/DisplayTeam.do?divisionseason=601330614&teamID=8809795

Their guests Leighton Town have had a better start to their season, currently occupying eighth place in the South Midlands Premier Division table. Having won three, and drawing three of their opening seven league games, they have scored twelve and conceded nine goals. Town got through their opening FA Cup tie but were knocked out cold by Tuffley Rovers in the next round, conceding three in the final five minutes to lose 2-3 at home.

This will be Town’s third Vase game of the season and all three have been against step five clubs, having already defeated Brimscombe & Thrupp and Leverstock Green. With all their cup competitions added, Leighton have scored a total of twenty-seven goals, conceding seventeen in all. Leighton have kept four clean sheets this term thus far.

To follow the progress of Leighton follow this link: http://full-time.thefa.com/DisplayTeam.do?divisionseason=720645845&teamID=210036216

Ground to ground: 89 miles

 

*Newport Pagnell Town will also be involved in the FA Vase from the second round, to be covered by Sports Shots.

 

The full FA Vase 1st Round draw can be viewed here: http://www.thefa.com/news/2017/sep/25/buildbase-fa-vase-first-round-proper-draw-250917

Leighton Town 2-0 Leverstock Green

Leighton Town – 2

Leverstock Green – 0

Leighton Town progressed to the first round proper of the FA Vase on Saturday at the expense of Leverstock Green, who had their keeper Caolan Doyle-Creamer to thank for several fine saves during the game to keep their hosts at bay. Town go into the hat on Monday for the first round proper draw; the game to take place on the twenty-first of October, and will again be hoping for a home draw at Bell Close where they have only lost one of their six games so far this season. With the FA Vase draws regionalised until the fourth round, a home draw could prove crucial with so many good local clubs still involved in the competition.

Leighton showed just one change from last Saturday with Lewis McBride returning to the side for the first time this season after injury, and Leverstock were almost forced into an early change when a fourth minute free kick to Town was met at the front post by a clatter of heads and Green skipper Shane Woods went down, with immediate help from the bench called for. Despite a stretcher being called, Woods had some lengthy treatment and eventually returned to the action.

Leverstock had the first chance on nine minutes when a cross from the left was just a little too high and in the middle Matt Bateman just couldn’t get enough on the ball and looped his header over Tom Wyant’s crossbar. Leighton then took the lead three minutes later when a corner swung in from their right was met with a thumping header from James Hatch ten yards out, giving keeper and defender on the goal line no chance whatsoever.

Hatch heads home

Another cross from the Town right saw Lorrell Smith try a clever back heel towards goal which was blocked on the line and cleared, the ball then swung back in and Hatch headed wide. Alex O’Brien forced Doyle-Creamer into a flying save tipping over when shooting from the edge of the box, before Jakk Pursey tried curling into the top corner from twenty yards out but a slight deflection took the ball out for a corner.

The visitors should have made more of a corner on twenty-two minutes, the ball fizzed across the six-yard box and with numerous red and green shirts trying to attack the ball no-one managed to get anything on it and somehow it rolled away to safety. The game then calmed down for a period, where crosses and attempted through balls were comfortable for both keepers to gather.

But just before the break Leighton had a flurry of attempts again & threatened when a McBride shot was saved by the keeper, and following up Dom Marsala thumped a shot at goal that came back off a defender and eventually cleared. A free kick then swung in was met by Pursey who couldn’t quite get over the ball and headed over. Town skipper Marsala then got in down the right, his cross was blocked by a defender and the loose ball pounced on by O’Brien whose saved was brilliantly saved by Doyle-Creamer. H/T: 1-0

Four minutes after the re-start Leighton doubled their lead when Matt Hall did well getting down the left and his cross was met in front of goal by Smith and Greens defender Curtis Bird and with Doyle-Creamer committed one way the ball rolled in the opposite corner. Smith then had two successive balls played through for him to run onto and both times the Leverstock keeper denied him brilliantly diving at the striker’s feet.

Second Leighton goal by whom?

A Leverstock attack then saw a block in the Leighton box and following up Brima Johnson curled over the top from close range. Straight up the other end Smith fed in O’Brien and from just inside the box his shot was blocked by the outstretched boot of Bird. Town right back Dave Murphy then stretched his legs down the right wing, his cross met at the near post by Smith and his slight deflection rolled agonisingly across the goal face and wide.

A Dom Marsala cross after some good build up play then eluded everyone in the middle, where there were more red shirts than green, before Leverstock attacked through Mason Tunbridge who evaded a couple of challenges before flashing his shot across goal and wide. Leighton continued to move the ball well through midfield, and with just over fifteen minutes left were again denied by Doyle-Creamer when he advanced from his goal to throw himself in front of a Smith effort and block.

O’Brien fed in Smith behind the Greens backline, and his shot again saved by the determined Leverstock keeper, before Marsala and O’Brien combined down the right to set in substitute James Towell who from the corner of the eighteen yard box rifled a shot over the bar. The home side thought they had a third with minutes remaining when Hatch sent a long ball downfield for Smith to chase, with two defenders on him he got two shots away, the first saved and the second blocked and as the ball looked to be rolling towards the unguarded net Doyle-Creamer recovered to gather.

There was still time for an Alex O’Brien fierce drive to be diverted for a corner, before a superb crossfield pass from Tunbridge found his Green team mate Luke Preedy on the right touchline, he ran in on goal and Leighton keeper Tom Wyant came out to dive bravely at his feet to ensure his sides route to the next round was with a clean sheet. F/T: 2-0

Attendance: 116

After the game Leighton manager Scott Reynolds spoke to Sports Shots: 

 

For match photography click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm5Nme38

 

Leighton Town manager Scott Reynolds talks exclusively to Sports Shots

Leighton Town manager Scott Reynolds spoke exclusively to Sports Shots this afternoon within minutes of the final whistle at Bell Close after seeing his side progress in the Buildbase FA Vase with a two goal victory over Leverstock Green.

Leighton Town Exclusive! Dom Marsala & James Hatch speak to Sports Shots

Saturday 23rd September 2017

Leighton Town v Leverstock Green

FA Vase 2nd Qualifying Round

Kick-Off: 3.00pm

Sports Shots caught up with Leighton skipper Dom Marsala ahead of the FA Vase tie between Leighton Town and Leverstock Green, and asked if the competition was something to concentrate on or a distraction from the bread and butter of the league?

The FA Vase is definitely not a distraction, it’s a great competition and it’s always something we should have a good go at, all cup competitions are something we should try and do as well as we can in, but the Vase is special with the final being at the home of English Football so there is the extra motivation to do well

Leighton captain Dom Marsala

With this tie being the second qualifying round there is still a long way to go but being drawn at home to a team from the same division is surely an advantage?

A home draw is always such a big bonus, but personally I can’t say I know too much about Leverstock. We know our management team will do everything to have us ready for the game, we know it will be tough as they’ll have exactly the same aspirations as us, and we’re on a good run of results of late so they’ll be keen to put one over us, but we are the home team and after last week’s draw at St Margaretsbury we should be fired up for this

Looking towards the game Dom discussed the news that a few squad members will be returning for Leighton this week-end after holidays, work commitments and injuries:

We have travelled to a couple of games recently low on numbers, so to get bodies back will be a boost for everyone. That said we have had a good run lately so there will be competition to get back into the team and that will only help the team keeping everyone on their toes

And finally, Dom shared his own personal memories of the FA Vase:

I’ve never really had a good run in this tournament, but I have been in some great games. The one that sticks in the mind is when Berkhamsted played Kempston; the Berko central midfielder lobbed our keeper from the half way line to put them two-one up, that goal made it onto national TV

 

Striker James Hatch also kindly took time out to speak to Sports Shots, and reflected on the start to the season so far:

It has been a pleasing start and the team and all the staff are united which bodes well for a good season. A lot of work went on behind the scenes during the close season to help the club move forward, and now has the facilities fitting for the league above which is where I believe this football club should be. On a personal level I’ve now reached that age where my body feels it after every game, especially having not been able to play regularly for the past couple of seasons

Leighton forward James Hatch

Where does the FA Vase rank in comparison to the League campaign?

The FA Vase is obviously a big day for the club, every FA competition brings a massive buzz with it and although it’s a tough tournament I do believe we have the capabilities to do well, but this week’s game will be another stern test for us. Personally speaking the league is my priority as I want to try and help get this club back where it belongs

How far can Leighton Town go in this competition?

Make no mistake it’s going to be tough, there are some very good clubs in the Vase not just from our league but also other similar level leagues. But we are high in confidence, and we do have some very talented players here so I believe on our day we can do very well as long as we approach every game in the right way. Leverstock will want to win this game just as much as us so we must ensure we are focused and ready to compete

And lastly James review his history in the Vase:

It’s been a while since I played in the Vase, in fact my only memories are from over ten years ago when I was playing for a very good Potton United side and we reached the last sixteen of the competition. We were drawn away to Bury Town and we lost by a solitary goal, although I was young the team spirit back then reminds me of the one we have here at Leighton this season

Sports Shots would like to express their sincere thanks to both Dom and James for their time with us this week.

Leighton Town v Leverstock Green preview

Saturday 23rd September 2017
Leighton Town v Leverstock Green
FA Vase 2nd Qualifying Round
Kick-Off: 3.00pm

Leighton Town return to FA competition on Saturday at Bell Close with the visit of Leverstock Green for a place in the first-round proper of the Vase. Leighton currently sit in sixth place in the South Midlands Premier Division table whilst Leverstock sit third bottom having not won a league game so far. However, league form will count for little come three o’clock on Saturday when both sides battle it out for the seven hundred and twenty-five pound prize fund, and the chance to progress in a competition that is traditionally better suited to teams from the north of the country.

Although the Hertfordshire based side are yet to taste victory in the South Midlands league they have had some success in the FA Cup this term, knocking out Edgware Town after a replay in the extra-preliminary stage before holding Southern League side Aylesbury United to a creditable draw in the following round, before succumbing to a four goals to one defeat in that replay. They also progressed in the League Challenge Trophy at Mursley, but that was followed by three successive defeats in the league, before a two-all draw at Wembley last Saturday.

Bell Close home of Leighton Town

Leighton will be confident going into the game, having lost just one of their opening seven league games this season, and now welcome back players who have been missing of late due to injuries and unavailability to boost the squad and provide competition for places. They haven’t lost in the league since the middle of August, and only other defeats were at Risborough in the Challenge Trophy and at home to Tuffley in the FA Cup in a barn storming ending to that game, the last time Sports Shots covered The Reds.

Last Saturday Leighton drew 0-0 at St Margaretsbury, the only game this season they have failed to score in twelve fixtures, whilst Leverstock share the same feat having failed to score in only one of their eleven games thus far. Leverstock have kept one clean sheet in that time, whilst Town have kept three, so all the stats point to goals tomorrow. A terrific battle lies ahead!

How to get there: http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/leightontown/contact/

 

Leighton Town 2-3 Tuffley Rovers

Leighton Town – 2

Tuffley Rovers – 3

For any fan of football that sits at home on a Saturday afternoon watching scores ticking over on a television screen, and thinks non-league football would be poor to watch should have been at Bell Close on Saturday afternoon. Any neutrals attending this game may not have recognised many of the faces on the pitch, but they would certainly have recognised the full bloodied approach to the game, and the ecstasy turning to agony that concluded this tie in the final five minutes that only the FA Cup can deliver at any level and any round.

Leighton Town played their first game in front of their newly refurbished main stand, shining brightly red and white on a sunny afternoon, and it will be a while surely before it witnesses another grand slam finish to a FA Cup fixture like this one. With eighty-four and a half minutes played the home side were two goals to the good, and were defending everything their guests could hurl at them. But a penalty awarded to Tuffley was converted and gave them belief and the momentum to not only equalise but also find a winner seven minutes into added time, and leave Leighton literally on the floor at the final whistle.

Newly refurbished stand

Tuffley enjoyed some good early possession and a fourth minute corner was met by the diving head of Brett James but a slight deflection off Alex Condon saw the ball deflect off the crossbar and over for a corner. From the clearance Leighton attacked with pace and the ball the ball was played up to Lorrell Smith, as Rovers keeper & captain Dave Evans fought to win the ball off the striker it fell loose to Alex O’Brien and with defenders straining to get back and cover the empty net Evans had no choice but to bring the Town man down and take a yellow card for his efforts. Dom Marsala saw his free kick punched back to him by Evans and the Leighton skipper fired at goal again, the ball striking James Hatch before going in to give the hosts the lead.

Home keeper Tom Wyant then made a good save from close range after some foot tennis inside the area, and then had to get down low to his left to smoother a free kick from twenty yards from Rovers player-manager Mark Pritchett. A left wing cross was then headed wide by Courtney Hamilton as the away side pushed for a leveller, before a long throw found Pritchett at the near post with Condon in close attendance who turned and fired only to see Wyant save with his feet.

Leighton fought their way back and just past the hour mark saw Leighton attack on the break when O’Brien was fed behind the Tuffley back line, with defenders hot on his heels he shot from just inside the box but never really troubled Evans, and Carl Tappin then laid off to Luke Marsh who side footed wide. The home side doubled their lead on thirty-six minutes when O’Brien knocked a ball over the top for Smith to run on to and lob deftly over the advancing Evans then round to tap into the unguarded net. H/T: 2-0

Smith scores Leighton second

Early in the second half a loose ball was driven low by Joel White for the visitors but Wyant was behind it all the way and gathered safely on his line, and a golden opportunity to get a foothold in the game was spurned when attacking down their right Wyant went out to meet Mann but missed the ball, Mann crossed to Brett James but with the goal gaping he lifted the ball wide of goal.

Hatch then got away down the Town right and delivered an inviting cross which Smith threw himself at acrobatically in front of goal, the slightest touch would have turned it home but it whistled away and was eventually cleared. Hatch & Smith then combined well again seeing the latter away on goal but Evans came out bravely diving at the feet of the Town striker to deny any shooting opportunity.

Hatch then released Marsala down the left channel, cutting inside he curled a shot around Evans and as the crowd held their breath the ball rolled agonisingly wide of the back post. Tuffley substitute Jamie Goodwin then tried his luck from the edge of the box only to see his effort crash back off the crossbar, and Mann could only head the rebound wide.

On seventy two minutes the Leighton goal frame was rattled again, a cross was cleared to just outside the box and a shot from Pritchett caught Wyant in two minds and he watched the ball again bounce of his back post and eventually cleared. A Leighton counter attack then saw Smith drag two defenders across field before laying the ball perfectly into the path of Hatch whose fierce drive was well saved by the feet of Evans, diverting for a corner.

As we entered the final five minutes no one saw what was about to unfold, a cross into the Leighton box looked harmless but as Pritchett went down under the challenge from Tappin, the referee awarded a penalty. Warren Mann smashed into the top corner, and reminded his colleagues during his celebrations that they were still in this FA Cup tie.

As we entered added time, Leighton were holding the ball at the Tuffley end trying to run down the clock beside the corner flag, but Brett James was having none of it, winning the ball back and knocking it down the left wing for Mann to chase down and cross into the middle where Pritchett spectacularly scissor kicked the ball as he hovered horizontally, into the corner beyond Wyant sending his team mates and supporters into delirium.

There was time for a Leighton cross to be palmed away by Evans off his own crossbar, before seven minutes into added time a fifty-fifty challenge on the edge of the Town box saw the ball squirm out to Mann who cut back for Sam Hill who from the acutest of angles fired across goal, and watch the ball hit the back post and go in to send his side through to the next round. F/T: 2-3

Attendance: 118

After the game Sports Shots caught up with Leighton manager Scott Reynolds: 

 

For full match photography click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm3hpF96

 

Leighton Town v Tuffley Rovers preview

Saturday 19th August 2017

Leighton Town v Tuffley Rovers

FA Cup Preliminary Round

Kick-Off: 3.00pm

FA Cup fever will be in the air as Leighton Town entertain Tuffley Rovers on Saturday for the first game of the new season at Bell Close, after major refurbishment work on the Bedfordshire ground during the summer.

These sides have never met in the competition before, and both clubs saw off opposition from their own divisions in the previous round, Leighton beating Oxhey Jets whilst Rovers beat Woodley United to set up this South Midlands Premier v Hellenic Premier clash. Step 5 clubs alike, the winners of this clash will pocket a huge £1,925 and progress to the first qualifying round which will be played the first week-end of September.

Former Hellenic League side Leighton Town have started their season with a win and a loss in their two league games to date, whilst Tuffley have a win, a draw and a defeat in their opening three.

Town’s best FA Cup campaign was in the 2007/08 season where they reached the fourth qualifying round, where Tuffley reached the second qualifying round in 1999/2000.

Leighton manager Scott Reynolds spoke to Sports Shots ahead of the game:

“I know a bit about our opposition following my brief spell as assistant manager at Ardley United and therefore am looking forward to a tough encounter with a strong and experienced side. After a positive start to the season, we suffered a slight setback midweek but I felt we created enough good chances to win the game, and should have made better decisions defensively in the second half. That said, I have massive trust and confidence in our current squad and therefore this is our chance to get back on the horse and back to winning ways. A lot at stake financially in the FA Cup and the most prestigious competition we will ever take part in, so a massive game all round. Squad wise we are fairly strong. Both Bradley Kirkwood and Hateley Mercer picked up injuries on Tuesday. Tom Wyant, a goal keeper, comes back in from Kempston on loan & Carl Tappin returns to the squad”.

For Tuffley’s perspective on the game click here: http://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/tuffley-rovers-make-fa-cup-345235

 

Bell Close, Leighton Buzzard

LU7 1RX

Leighton Town 4-0 Oxhey Jets

After all the training sessions, all the pre-season friendlies, all the incomings and outgoings normality has returned to Leighton Town. Maintaining a lot of last seasons squad Town kicked off the new season with an FA Cup tie at home to fellow Spartan side Oxhey Jets. There’s been a lot of positivity around Bell Close in the off season and it showed on the pitch today.

 

The opening was a little slow and tentative from both sides and openings were few and far between. Club captain Dom Marsala had the games first real opportunity with a neat run on the far side and he cut it to shoot he couldn’t get his shot away or pass back and Jets ‘keeper Harry Beaumont did well to claim.

Leighton captain Marsala

 

As the game progressed so did the hosts and after some pleasing football James Towell drove on and cut a effort not far of the mark. Leighton were starting to put pressure on the Jets defence but weren’t getting too many clear cut chances as Lorrel Smith had a shot blocked and cleared for a corner, it met James Hatch but he couldn’t convert his effort on target.

 

The visitors hadn’t made a lot of chances but Brad Kirkwood was alert to danger when it arose quickly claiming as Daniel Taylor drove toward goal.  Leighton thought they had good claim for a penalty not long after a direct run by Smith as he set to shoot he was tackled from behind but the ref didn’t give it.

 

Hatch then nearly had a chance to get the games first goal with an angled shot that was inches off the post the best effort of the game so far. It took a touch for a corner but when it came out to Alex O’Brien he struck a volley well wide.

 

Town finally got the goal their pressure had warranted with Kai Ashley getting the first of the game just on the stroke of half time. Yet again Marsala made a lovely run on the far side and played in a incisive cross to Ashley who was on hand to slot it home.

 

The Jets pushed on a bit more after going behind as Rob Partington took a Jets corner but time after time Town cleared their lines to avert danger after being encamped in the box.

 

Leighton continued to attack The Jets in the second half Smith nearly making it 2-0 as his shot was deflected for a corner. Oxhey Jets were also attacking the Leighton defence in an attempt to get a foothold in the game but after Patru Marius-Cosmin played in Nicholas Kerley his shot was well wide of the mark. Oxhey Jets looked to equalise but Brad Kirkwood made a cracking save to keep Leighton in the lead.

 

Hatch then made the game 2-0 with a cool finish. He had men around him but shrugged them off and put an effortless finish into the bottom right corner. The Jets were still struggling to create many threatening chances and when Jack Robetson found space in the box he skewed his effort well wide.

 

Smith then got Leighton’s third with skill. His first touch looked heavy but he took the ball round the defender and poked it past the keeper.

 

Some say that attack is the best form of defence and that’s exactly what the hosts did getting a 4th soon after. Hatch got his second of the game after an inviting cross from Towell found him, his shot took a deflection but it was still enough to go past Beaumont and into the net.

 

After going 4-0 Leighton saw the game out with relative ease and in truth it was a comfortable afternoon for the hosts playing at The Broadwater. The positivity is beginning to be corroborated with results on the pitch and it was a real team performance today with some easy on the eye football being played. One swallow doesn’t make a summer but if Town continue to play in this vein of form Scott Reynolds ambition to get out of the league may have credentials.

 

However the league season will be long and arduous and Town start it next weekend exactly where they ended the last; away to London Tigers and a repeat of last seasons 7-0 result would be most welcome I’m sure. The boys will return to FA Cup action in a fortnight at home again but before that Town will visit Biggleswade fc on the 15th of August.

Report courtesy of James D’Arcy