10 Man Holmer Green Take 3 Points
By Andrew Parker
Holmer Green 3 - Leighton 0
After a comprehensive defeat to fellow strugglers Holmer Green, Leighton fans must be wondering if Town are going to suffer a second successive relegation at the end of the current season. There are still enough games left to ensure safety but they will need to move up the gears if they are going to avoid the dreaded drop.
The first half of the game was an even affair and the hosts had the disadvantage of playing with only 10 men after their goalkeeper was harshly dismissed by the referee in the 35th minute for denying a clear goal scoring opportunity.
In the second half the home team despite being a man short were much the better side and Town Manager, Scott Reynolds must be wondering what happened to his side in the second half. After some good recent performances this was definitely one to forget and Town must be hoping it was just a bad day at the office.
Town had to make changes to their left flank after injuries to Louis
Norton and Hateley Mercer forced them to miss the game and their loss meant Town lacked cohesion on that flank throughout the game.
The hosts were the first side to create a chance as early as the 3rd minute when their left back ran forward unchallenged and struck a sweet left footed shot just wide of the goal.
Town replied a few minutes later when Lorrell Smith did some good work down the left wing but his low cross was knocked behind by a defender for a corner. Then Lewis McBride broke down the opposite flank but his low cross was well gathered by the keeper.
Lewis McBride and Ben Gallant both had shots blocked in the next Town attack and then Lorrell Smith showed good skills before passing to McBride but his shot was off target.
In the 20th minute the host attacked and they looked likely to score but Jack Sillitoe saved with his feet to deny them a lead.
A few minutes later following a left wing corner Holmer Green
won 2 headers in the penalty area and the second went narrowly wide of the post. Lewis McBride then did well for Leighton on the left but his low cross was missed by everyone.
In the 30th minute Dom Marsala cut in from the right but his left footed shot struck the bar with the keeper well beaten. After this Lorrell Smith caused panic in the home defence and appeared to be fouled twice once outside the box but he ran on into the
area where he was bundled over by a defender, the referee awarded a free kick outside the area and sent off the keeper a decision which surprised many in the crowd.
Leighton must have fancied their chances in the second half against 10 men but the hosts started well and took the lead in the 60th minute when they won a free kick on their right wing, when the free kick was taken the ball was headed back across goal where a Holmer Green player headed it into the top corner.
Soon after this Dom Marsala had a half chance but was foiled
by the keeper. Then Town won a corner which was missed by both defenders and attackers alike. Town then won a free kick outside the box but sub Taylor Collins drove his shot straight at the keeper.
Holmer Green nearly increased their lead in the 80th minute when an attacker was through in a one on one with Jack Sillitoe who produced a good save. Dom Marsala then headed wide from a James Towell cross as Town tried for the elusive equaliser.
Holmer Green sealed their win with two late goals, the first when they drove in a low cross from the left which an attacker converted at the near post and just before the end they were awarded a free kick centrally just outside the penalty area which was curled into the top corner despite the best efforts of Jack Sillitoe.
Town entertain St. Margaretsbury on Tuesday night at Bell Close and they will need a big improvement if they are to secure all three points.
Town then play Hadley FC next Saturday away before another Tuesday game on 28th February at Bell Close against Crawley Green.