Town Finish 2017 On A High
With only four points from their previous three league games and frustrating postponements due to the weather, Leighton went into their clash with Biggleswade United on Saturday knowing that only a win would suffice if they were to stay in contention with
As it turned out this was one of Town’s most convincing performances in the campaign so far as they dominated the game for long periods.
A welcome clean sheet and four superb goals from Mc Bride, Hatch, Silford and Bryant, gave Leighton their best league win of the season and sent out a clear message that promotion remains a realistic target for the ‘Reds’ who have the squad to compete with the best teams in the league.
Leighton took the lead after 10 minutes as the consistently excellent Mc Bride raced onto O’Brien’s through ball and cut across the recovering defenders, before coolly sliding the ball past the visiting goalkeeper.
Biggleswade enjoyed significant periods of possession during the first half but were unable to penetrate the Leighton backline, superbly marshalled by skipper Tom Guiney and Dave Murphy. In truth Leighton looked the more dangerous team with new signing Lee Coulter and James Hatch linking with MC Bride and O’Brien on a number of occasions only to be denied by some last ditch defending by the Biggleswade rear-guard.
The second half started with a bang as a delightful Town move involving Silford and Coulter freed Hatch on the edge of the opposition box. The experienced striker took the ball across his body and unleashed an unstoppable drive into the corner of the net to give Leighton a welcome two goal cushion.
The visitors became more desperate as the half progressed and began to lose their discipline which led to a flurry of yellow cards and a red as a Biggleswade defender was dismissed for throwing the ball at the referee in frustration. In fairness to Biggleswade they never gave up and had their best spell in the period following the dismissal.
However, the introduction of Marsala, Percy and Bryant gave Leighton renewed impetus and they scored the third when Silford finished a fine counter-attacking move by firing a vicious left foot drive into the bottom corner of the visitors net to cap another good performance.
Shortly afterwards Town scored their fourth when Bryant received a beautifully weighted pass from Marsala and with his first touch of the game, dispatched a fierce right foot drive past the Biggleswade keeper. The popular midfielder, who has been a regular on the bench recently, was swamped by his team-mates who were clearly delighted for him. The team spirit evident in the reaction of the players will undoubtedly be an important factor in the second half of the season.
With Harpenden Town losing and Berkhamsted Town and Leverstock Green drawing, Leighton were able to make up a little ground on their rivals before they take on Norwich CBS in the last 32 of the Buildbase FA Vase at Bell Close on Saturday.
Director of Football at the club Sean Downey said “This is a huge game for our club and it would be great to see the Town coming out in big numbers to support the team.
The newly refurbished tea-bar will be open and those who have yet to visit the club since the significant ground improvements and restructuring of the first team squad will I am sure be impressed by the club’s progress both on and off the field this season. We look forward to welcoming you next Saturday!”