Leighton Town 0 - Tring Athletic 1
By Andrew Parker
Leighton Town 0 - Tring Athletic 1
After last Saturday’s defeat to Leverstock Green, this Premier Division Cup game was a chance for both sides to have a bit of pressure relieved off them. Like the league game at Tring Athletic a couple of weeks ago this was another tight affair between 2 local neighbours. Leighton had brought 2 new central defensive signings in this game, in the form of Condon and Clarke who both played a key part in the fixture.
As is typical from a Leighton Town side they started fairly brightly an early cross from Matt Hewitt was begging to be hit but Marcus Campbell was just behind it, to have any effect. It was James Towell who had the first strike of the game but it was from a long way out and never looked to be on target but the effort came from good Leighton movement.
Hewitt proved to be one of Leighton’s key creators on the night but when he pulled the ball back for Craig Maisiri to strike, Hewitt was adjudged to be offside.
Tring slowly started growing into the game after this and Chris Vardy forced Sillitoe into a good save after turning and shooting after Andy Scotcher played him in.
Ladipo then had a good opportunity to shoot after dispossessing a Leighton defender but his shot was well over. Tring went one better and hit the post through George Brinkman who hit a low piledriver the rebound came to Scotcher for a tap in but Louis Norton did very well to clear for a corner; the resulting set piece came in and Brinkman had a free header just glance over the bar.
Campbell for Leighton did very well to latch on to a long ball run and thread it through to Ben Gallant who was in a dangerous area but he couldn’t quite get his foot on it.
Leighton were playing some good football: Towell started a move by passing to Hewitt, who pulled it back for Mitch Hamilton to cross it into Mark Smith who had a free header go just over.
The second half began like the first with a fairly bright Leighton start after some good football between Towell and Hamilton who was dispossessed the ball fell for Smith but it was well wide of the mark.
Leighton were pressing well into the Tring half and were creating chances; Hamilton was the first with a pile driver just outside the box that wasn’t too far away, then it was Hewitt who made another good run and shot but it was deflected out for a corner.
Tring were the first side to have the ball in the net after David O’Connor headed home but he was adjudged to have fouled in the build up so it didn’t count.
However Tring did have the ball in the net midway through the second half to take the lead through substitute Chris Stapleton, it was Vardy who broke originally to get in on goal, Towell then made a great recovery tackle but could only clear to Stapleton who was in the right place at the right time to slot home.
Leighton brought on Jordan Davis for Hewitt to counter this and it helped Leighton’s cause as they also had a goal ruled out. It was Clarke who was in on goal but after he broke through and scored the lino blew for offside.
Tring themselves were also unlucky Sam Jolliffe the captain put on a teasing cross that was begging to be hit to make it 2-0 but no one could get a touch on it.
Lolu Onabolu had one last final effort to even things up for Leighton after making a neat run but Hopwood was more than equal to his shot.
1-0 it finished to the visitors and whilst it was a spirited performance from Town, Tring were slightly more clinical in a game where a 0-0 and a penalty shoot-out looked the most likely outcome.
Leighton are away next Saturday away to Brackley Town Saints in the FA Vase before travelling to Sun Sports in the League next Tuesday.
Leighton return to Bell Close on the 17th at home to FC Broxbourne Borough.
Report by James D'arcy