Town Come Home Empty Handed From Wembley
By Andrew Parker
Wembley 2 - Leighton 1
Town made the short trip to North West London on Saturday to play a Wembley team sitting in 4th place in the League and already having beaten Town in the corresponding fixture at Bell Close. On a very hot day the pitch looked absolutely immaculate and it was easy to see why the hosts like to play a close passing game.
Town matched them in terms of possession and territory for 40 minutes before the hosts scored two goals late in the first half to set themselves up for eventual victory.
Leighton’s first chance on goal came in the third minute when they won a free kick just outside the box but Aaron McKee’s curling effort was both high and wide of the goal.
A few minutes later Craig Maisiri tried his luck from distance but his shot was well off target. A minute after this the hosts counter attacked and Brad Kirkwood had to save a low shot.
In the 20 th minute the hosts nearly took the lead when Jermane Heron seized on a moment of hesitancy by Hateley Mercer to run on and fire in a fierce shot which Bradley Kirkwood did well to push onto the post.
Two minutes later Leighton had a chance when 2 defenders missed a high ball but Dom Marsala’s lobbed effort went into the
Two minutes after this Wembley broke quickly to create a good chance but Sabti put his effort wide of the goal.
Lewis McBride then cut in from the right and fired in a left footed effort that went narrowly wide of the post.
Wembley took the lead in the 39 minute when Sabti received
the ball just outside the box and nobody challenged him as he strode forward to fire in a shot that dipped just in front of Brad Kirkwood before going into the net.
With 47 minutes on the clock the hosts scored a second when a corner from the left went straight into the goal at the near post
despite the fact that 2 town players, Luke Marsh and Brad Kirkwood were covering that area.
Town made a change at half time bringing on Lolu Onabolu for Lewis Sheridan.
Town were awarded a free kick about 25 yards out and Jack Copson’s effort took a deflection off a defender before
Christie in the home goal got a touch to turn it over the bar.
Lewis McBride then tried a shot with his left foot but this was easily saved by Christie.
When Wembley attached Heron hooked a shot wide off the far post with an acrobatic effort.
Town took the play back to the other end and James Towell flashed a shot across the goal but wide of the far post.
Wembley were having more possession at this point but town kept pushing to get back in the game and Onabolu fired in a shot which Christie managed to tip over the bar.
Wembley then looked dangerous but fortunately the final shot went straight at Brad Kirkwood.
Town then returned to the attack but Craig Maisiri shot over from the edge of the box. Then James Towell fired in a shot that looked bound for the net but a defender deflected it for a corner. From the corner Dom Marsala fired in a superb half volley from the edge of the box to give Town a glimmer of hope.
Town continued to press after the goal and Lewis McBride beat players but his cross went behind 2 town players waiting in the box. In the dying seconds Onabolu muscled his way past his marker but then fired a fierce shot inches over the bar.
This was an excellent game with lots of good football from both teams and Town can consider themselves unlucky not to get a point at least for their efforts.
On a very hot day they competed well for the full 90 minutes and they will be disappointed when they look back at how they conceded the 2 goals.
Scott Reynolds set his side up well and they have played much worse and won.
Town play Crawley Green at Barton next Saturday, followed by a home game against Biggleswade Utd, on Tuesday at Bell Close.