Archive for Leighton Town Football Club

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

PSF: Winslow to host former manager Reynolds’ Leighton

Winslow United welcome back former manager Scott Reynolds as he brings his Leighton Town side to Elmfields Gate for a friendly this evening.

Scott Reynolds

United recorded an excellent victory at Aylesbury on Saturday, courtesy of a Simon King strike.

Kick-off is 7.45pm this evening.

Winslow United v Swindon Town XI – Tuesday 11th July 2017.

 

Announcement: Sports Shots portfolio increasing

Sports Shots are delighted to announce that we have agreed to cover some new clubs from around our area with immediate effect.

With the new season looming, we are adding the following clubs to our list:

Aylesbury FC – Evo-Stick Southern League Division One East, managed by Davis Haule, finished last season in 19th position. http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/aylesburyfc/news/

Aylesbury United – Evo-Stick Southern League Division One East, managed by Glyn Creaser, finished last season in 13th position. http://www.aylesburyunitedfc.co.uk/

Banbury United – Evo-Stick Southern League Premier Division, managed by Mike Ford, finished last season in 6th position. http://www.banburyunitedfc.co.uk/

Brackley Town Saints – Hellenic League Premier Division, managed by Gordon Kille, finished last season in thirteenth position. http://www.00svrh.brackleytownfc.com/category/saints/saints-news/

Leighton Town – South Midlands Premier Division, managed by Scott Reynolds, finished last season in sixteenth position. http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/leightontown

Newport Pagnell Town – United Counties League Premier Division, managed by Darren Lynch, finished last season in tenth position. http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/newportpagnelltown

Olney Town – United Counties League Division One, managed by Neil Griffiths, finished last season in fourth position. http://www.olneytownfc.com/

We look forward to working closely with these, and all our existing clubs over the coming months.