Leighton Up To 14th After Victory Over Stotfold
By Andrew Parker
Leighton 1 - Stotfold 0
After Tuesday’s game with Crawley Green was called off Leighton made it 3 games unbeaten with a key victory against fellow bottom half side Stotfold to pull themselves further away from the bottom two.
Leighton started brightly and James Towell tried to curl a shot past Matt Fallon but he was equal to it. However, it was the visitors who should’ve gone 1-0 up as Michael Simpson struck for the bottom corner but just as it looked like it was heading in Jack Sillitoe made a brilliant low save to push it past the post out for a corner.
Martin Griggs made a cracking cross-field pass to play in Taylor Collins who was in on goal, he couldn’t quite control it to shoot but he did enough to win Leighton a free-kick just outside the box in a good area. Leighton were having a good spell pressuring the Stotfold defence and Collins squared it nicely to Griggs but he hit his effort over the bar.
There was cause for concern when Vinny Greco landed funny on his side after challenging for a header but after some treatment Town were ok to carry on and while they weren’t creating lots of chances, there was some lovely passing and movement going on as Aaron McKee played in Griggs, he passed it back to Greco who just slipped as he shaped to shoot. Griggs was then unlucky himself not to score as an acrobatic shot was blocked out for a corner.
Jack Sillitoe who had already made a great save earlier in the game then outdid himself with a superb triple save to keep the game goalless; firstly by punching the ball away and then making a lovely double save as Stotfold came in on goal.
Stotfold thought they had gone 1-0 up early in the second half when skipper Kamal Romain broke and slotted through Sillitoe’s legs but he was judged to be offside by the linesman and no goal was given. This seemed to put the wind in Stotfold’s sails but again Sillitoe was there to save the day making another double save; Drew Cardine’s shot was first palmed away before Sillitoe then claimed the second shot.
Then the tables began to turn back in Leighton’s favour, Dom Marsala squared it across goal and Greco couldn’t quite get the contact to put it in the net. Leighton then went 1-0 up a few minutes later, Lorrel Smith made a lovely little run on the far side and as he looked to square it across goal to Griggs he nestled his shot in the bottom corner.
Leighton should have made it 2-0, Griggs played a lovely little through ball into Smith he had the empty net at his mercy after Fallon was caught out and as he struck it just come out off the post.
Stotfold were trying to get back in the game but Sillitoe was keeping them at bay as he claimed another ball as a Stotfold striker was in on goal. Leighton themselves were still pushing for a second goal but Fallon did just about enough to deny Leighton after some neat link-up play between Smith and Marsala.
Leighton defensively were looking solid to see the game out and did ever so well to get the 1-0 victory in the end. This wasn’t a typical Leighton Town performance with easy on the eye attacking football, but it was an effective defensive display particularly in the second half to see the game out and get an important 3 points in a game that at times lacked a bit of quality. We always looked dangerous on the break and the game plan worked well in the end. This win pushes Town up 2 places we're now up to 14th in the table. Next Tuesday we return to Bell Close as Leverstock Green come to visit before a difficult away trip next Saturday to league leaders London Colney.
TEAM: Sillitoe, Towell, Norton, McKee, Condon, Mercer, Griggs©, Greco, Smith, Marsala, Collins SUBS: Maisiri for Greco, Collins for Mangal, Marsala for Shoyoye UNUSED: Tamakloe
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