Town Make History And Reach FA Vase Quarter Finals
After a week of wondering if the game against Wolverhampton would be played the hosts did well to get their pitch ready for this 5th Round Tie and there was a good following of Town fans amongst the crowd.
Lewis McBride was missing from the Town line up due to a long standing arm injury and Dom Marsala was missing through suspension. Manager Scott Reynolds decided to play striker Lea Coulter in the right midfield slot.
On a very heavy pitch the hosts had the first shot of the game in the 5 th minute but keeper Tom Wyant made a comfortable save.
Town went straight to the opposite end of the pitch and Lorell
Smith beat 2 defenders and put the ball across goal Lea Coulter was unable to get a touch on his pass. A minute after this James Hatch had a shot deflected for a corner. When the kick was delivered to the near post Hatch was first to the loose ball and put Town in front.
The lead did not last long however as 3 minutes later the hosts won a corner which was blocked on the line but the loose ball
was driven home to level the score.
A minute after the goal the hosts had a great chance to go in
front when the ball was driven low across the face of goal but Wes Grey could only get the end of his boot to the ball and he diverted it just wide.
The hosts kept pushing forward and a few minutes later
following another corner Moore put a left footed effort just wide. Town responded and won another corner on their left and James Hatch scored his second with a firm header to put Town back in the lead.
In the 22nd minute Leighton won a free kick outside the penalty area and Alex O’Brien slotted a low shot into corner into the only space available. Wolverhampton once again came back
at Town and in the 25th minute they pulled a goal back after Tom Wyant had blocked a headed effort after a corner but the loose ball was poked into the goal.
Both teams were keen to attack and in the 37th minute Wolverhampton were awarded a dubious penalty after Tom Silford appeared to knock the ball for a corner kick. The linesman gave a corner, the referee who was farther away gave a penalty. After a short delay Hill smashed the kick high to Wyant’s left and it hit the underside of the bar on the way in.
Despite the state of the pitch both sides had played the half at an intense and competitive level and the paying spectators were getting good value for their money.
The tempo did not slow at the start of the second half and the first goal of the half would be very important. In the first Leighton attack of the half Lorell Smith beat two opponents but then sent his fierce shot inches over the crossbar.
In the 60 minute Lea Coulter fed a good pass into Lorell Smith
who was tackled from behind and once again the referee awarded a penalty kick. Alex OBrien calmly slotted the penalty into the bottom corner to put Town back in front.
The goal encouraged the home side to push forward and Town at times had to defend resolutely to maintain their lead.
Wolves created some half chances and one ball across the face of goal looked likely to result in an equaliser but none of the home players was near enough to get a vital touch.
In another Town attack Hatch and Smith combined but with Hatch unmarked waiting for a short return pass Smith decided to shoot and his effort was well off target. Not surprisingly the tempo of the game had now slowed but both sides kept going right to the end and both sides deserve great credit for their efforts on the day.
This was a hard working display by Leighton who were well served by their more experienced players on the day, Guiney and Murphy were rocks in central defence and O’Brien and Hatch showed their qualities in midfield and attack.
After such a game it is hard to name a Man of the Match but Hatch as well as scoring two goals ran himself into the ground for his team.
Leighton have earned themselves a home tie in the 6th Round when they will be at home to 1874 Northwich on February 24th.
Town have never reached this stage of the competition before let’s hope they can keep the run going.
Match Report by