Town Through To 5th Round of FA Vase After Extra Time Thriller
What a thriller this Buildbase Round 4 tie between Leighton Town and Norwich CBs proved to be!
Three minutes away from what would have been a disappointing exit, Town’s talisman Lewis Mc Bride scored a spectacular goal to tie the match at 2-2 and force extra time during which Leighton demonstrated their superior fitness and quality to emerge as 5-2 winners, securing a place in Monday’s last 16 draw.
Both sides went into Saturday’s game in good form but it was the visitors who started strongly, taking the lead in the third minute, when Cook showed his power and strength to force home from close range following a Norwich CBS corner.
Leighton looked very shaky in the first period of the game and the visitor’s physicality appeared to be causing the home side some problems. In truth, the first half was a very scrappy affair with Leighton struggling to find their rhythm and their opponents looking dangerous at set pieces with their obvious height advantage.
As Leighton began to take control of the game in the later period of the first half they forced a series of corners and from Hall’s superb delivery, Coulter crashed a powerful header into the visitors net to bring Town level at half-time.
Leighton took control in the second half and enjoyed long periods of possession without really threatening Howes in the opposition goal. Leighton’s failure to score whilst on top was soon to prove costly as the prolific Doyle finished a Norwich counter attack with his customary poise, to leave Leighton with an uphill struggle.
The introduction of first Marsala and then later Smith provided Leighton with some much needed impetus. As Town’s dominance grew Marsala, Towell and Hatch all went close as Leighton piled on the pressure on the visitors goal.
With time running out and defeat looming it was left to the mercurial McBride to rescue Town, as his spectacular volley from just inside the box crashed into the Norwich CBS net to leave the visitors crest fallen. Having lost arguably their two most influential players Cook and Doyle to injury, extra-time was to prove a hurdle too much for the gallant visitors.
Leighton demonstrated a ruthlessness lacking in the previous 90 minutes as Smith finished two superb Leighton moves with great composure and then the industrious Tappin sealed the victory with a finish from close range, after excellent interplay between Smith and Hatch.
With the game won and the visitors down to ten men due to a further injury, Leighton saw out the second half of extra time in relative comfort.
This was a great advertisement for non-league football and with a crowd approaching 300; it was a great day both on and off the field for resurgent Leighton.
As the saying goes; “all’s well that ends well”!!