Town Progress To Next Round Of FA Vase
Leighton Town FC 3 Brimscombe and Thrupp FC 1
The road to Wembley for Leighton Town began with a tough encounter against Hellenic Premier League outfit Brimscombe and Thrupp from Gloucesteshire at Bell Close on Saturday in the first round of the FA Vase.
An excellent second half performance saw Town come from behind to win 3-1 with goals from Lorrell Smith, Alex O’Brien and Max Risby.
The first half was an even affair with Town playing pockets of good football without finding an end product.
After Marsala for Leighton and Blackie for Brimscombe went close, the ever lively Lorrell Smith dispossessed Turner on the half hour before shooting from an acute angle just past the post.
As the half progressed some fine interplay between the influential O’Brien and Smith created a gilt edged chance for Bryant but he failed to convert when well placed.
Against the run of play Brimscombe took the lead in the 34th minute. Excellent approach play by Brimscombe’s Jack Smith set up Major who broke the deadlock from close range. Brimscombe had the ball in the net again just before the break as a superb free-kick by Ollie Pitt was miraculously pushed onto the bar by the alert Wyant in the Town goal. Although the rebound was forced over the line the Assistant Referee had flagged for off-side and the goal, to Town’s huge relief, did not stand.
Town started the second half with real intent and there was much more urgency, tempo and intensity in their play.
After excellent work by new signing Dave Murphy, O’Brien fed a disguised pass into Smith who finished with aplomb off the post in the 50th minute.
Town now took control of the game and two minutes later they were ahead as Alex O’Brien’s fierce 25 yard volley crashed into the top corner, with Skyers in the Brimscombe goal, a mere spectator.
Brimscombe were always in the game and only resolute defending by the impressive Hatch, Guiney, Hall and Murphy kept the Gloucester men at bay.
Leighton’s cause was given a real boost in the 68th minute when Major received a straight red card for a dangerous tackle on Pursey.
With skipper Marsala struggling with an injury Copson replaced him in the 70th minute freeing Hall to play further forward and it was he who set up Smith with another excellent chance but he fired over under pressure from Greenhough.
As the game entered the last ten minutes Brimscombe continued to cause Town problems. A foul by Murphy in the 85th minute provided Brimscombe with a great opportunity on the edge of Town’s penalty area. Pitt’s curling free-kick however, brushed the top of the bar and Town breathed again.
In the 90th minute Brimscombe’s Ashley Calwell also received a red card after head-butting Hatch but the nine Brimscombe players bravely battled on laying siege to the Town goal.
Town, however, remained strong and sealed the victory with a well taken goal by substitute Risby following an excellent break and pass by Smith in the 99th minute.
This was an exciting game between two evenly matched teams and Town can take great confidence from this win, as they continue to rebuild the club both on and off the field of play.
Town now host local rivals Leverstock Green in the next round of the FA Vase on Saturday 23rd September. It would be great to see a big crowd. Come and support your local club!