Leighton Town 0 - Sun Sports 1
By Andrew Parker
Leighton Town 0-1 Sun Sports
After 3 wins on the bounce for Town with 3 clean sheets, confidence must have been high in the squad. Getting 4 straight wins was always going to be a tough ask with several first team players missing in a much changed Leighton side against a strong Sun Sports side.
Leighton started the better of the two teams in the early exchanges with Neel Slatter bearing down on goal, he was just adjudge to have been offside.
There was pace and intensity to Leighton’s game in the early few minutes and Aaron McKee made a brilliant delivery from a free kick but Towa Oye just mistimed his header from a good position.
The visitors then began to grow into the game and countered well through striker Kyle Johnson but his angled effort was saved well by Brad Kirkwood.
Kirkwood was having a good game for Town, as Karl Penny was allowed to run and shoot Kirkwood did well to parry away.
Sun Sports looked particularly dangerous from set pieces and as a corner was cleared it came back in and K. Johnson shot just wide of the post.
Leighton were getting into good areas but were struggling a little to create chances, Lorrel Smith found himself nearly in on the counter attack but the two Sun Sports Centre-Backs did enough to contain the threat.
Kirkwood once again kept Leighton in the game as K. Johnson hit a low free kick that looked to have come off a Leighton player as Kirkwood recovered well to keep it out.
While Leighton hadn’t created a lot there was some promising passing but as Towa Oye went for goal his shot was mishit and went well wide. Leighton then made their best chance of the game so far, Dom Marsala turned 2 defenders with a tricky little run and his shot was blocked out for a corner. Marsala was then unlucky as his free header from the corner was just over.
The visitors then went 1-0 up in the 33rd minute and perhaps unsurprisingly it was from a set piece. Jack Johnson swung in a corner and as the first effort was blocked by Leighton, Gary Wallace lurked with intent as he smashed home the rebound for a tap in.
Sun Sports nearly went 2-0 up as skipper Scott Bonner had a free header that he couldn’t connect with. Leighton then had one last chance as Dom Marsala had a free-kick but Matthew Evans saved well and Sun Sports probably deserved the lead as half-time approached.
Aaron McKee was substituted for Lolu Onabolu at the start of the second half and could have made an immediate impact as he got a header away from a Leighton corner but the referee had already blown his whistle.
Sun Sports were still looking an ever-present threat from set pieces as K. Johnson hit a header only just over after a J. Johnson free kick. Leighton were then unlucky as Marsala played a cutting ball into Smith who couldn’t quite connect as The Reds had a good chance to equalize.
The opening of the second half was lacking the intensity that the first half had begun with but Kirkwood again was called into action from a free-kick as he did well again to deny Bonner from the set piece.
Thankfully for Town Penny had forgotten his shooting boots as he should’ve it 2-0. He had done everything right and was 1-on-1 with Kirkwood and as he looked certain to score he skewed it just wide of the post.
Onabolu was trying to make an impact in the game for Leighton as they looked for an equalizer but after good play to turn and shoot his effort lacked enough power to trouble Evans.
The visitors were still searching for a second goal and were it not for Slatter’s face they may have got it. Dominic Javio had a go at goal but smashed it straight at Slatters face who went down injured in a painful block. He was replaced by Tobi Shoyoye not long after.
Leighton were still searching for an elusive goal and Marsala again made a cutting run at the Sun Sports back line and his neat shot wasn’t far wide. Marsala could have then found himself in on goal after a lovely ball from Smith but he was just offside.
Unfortunately the boys couldn’t find the equaliser and 1-0 to Sun Sports it finished. It was always going to be a difficult game with players missing but Sun Sports looked dangerous and deserved the three points. Leighton now have 5 games left to get to the 45 points marker manager Scott Reynolds has set and have 2 consecutive away games against Wembley and Crawley Green. The boys then finish the season with 3 home games.
TEAM: Kirkwood, Sheridan, Norton, McKee ©, Condon, Mercer, Slatter, Oye, Smith, Marsala, Maisiri SUBS: Onabolu for McKee, Shoyoye for Slatter, Peacock for Oye UNUSED: Bonaiti, A.Marsh