Reds Knocked Out Of Emirates FA Cup
By Andrew Parker
Leighton Towns dream of an FA Cup run this year is over, after a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Royal Wootton Bassett Town.
It was The Town however, who started the brightest. Matt Hall’s rising drive troubled Bassett keeper, Alex Bowers, but the danger was dealt with.
The Town continued to press the Bassett goal, but with no joy, as chances broke down before entering the 18-yard-box.
Matt Hall curled a free kick wide from 20 yards out, which was one of Town’s best opportunities in this game.
New signing Denilson Silva looked a real threat when on the ball, with a few nice touches and some lively movement, however, the Leighton forwards were struggling to pick him out on an incredibly dry pitch at Bell Close.
However, it was Bassett who broke the deadlock late into the first half. Matt Bennett knocked the ball down to Bradley Pagliaroli, who still had plenty to do. Despite pressure from Junior Muya and Captain Jamie Nicholls, Pagliaroli squeezed the ball between the two Town defenders and past Tom Wyant and gave the visitors the lead.
At Half-Time, Town had used 2 substitutes, after injuries to Jamie Nicholls and Warren Garcia, which meant Alex O’Brien would don the armband for the second half. Paolo Baggati and Ben Gallant replaced the pair respectively.
The second half was a gritty affair, with both sides trying to impose a physical presence on the game.
The first piece of drama in the second period, was when Bassett Centre Back Steve Yeardley fell to the floor after a supposed head butt from Denilson Silva. The claims were finally waved away by the match officials, after some unsportsmanlike behaviour from the Bassett defender.
Danny Lachacz the Bassett midfielder was next in on the action. After picking up an yellow card early in the second half, Lachacz was shown a second yellow card and was dismissed, rightfully, despite the protests of the Royal Wootton Bassett staff and players.
With 20 minutes still on the clock, Leighton believed they could salvage something from this game and force a replay.
Alex O’Brien hit a long range effort that sailed just wide as did Lewis McBride.
O’Brien then played some good intricate play before unleashing a strike at Bowers. Bowers spilled the strike and George Armstrong advanced on to the ball but the bobbling ball wouldn’t sit right and the ball went out for a goal kick.
Armstrong was replaced by Kelvin Osei-Addo, as Town looked to find a goal in the late stages.
A fine ball down the line allowed Osei-Addo the chance for a shot from a tight angle. However, the striker squared the ball and it was cleared by a defender.
Minutes ticked by and the Town couldn’t find a way through the Visitors defence.
Tom Bryant had an opportunity when a deep cross fell his way, but he mistimed his jump and couldn’t connect with the cross.
The final opportunity of the game fell to Lewis McBride. Tom Bryant played the ball off to the edge of the box, where McBride attacked the ball first time but the shot rocketed over the crossbar and shortly after, the referee blew for full time.
Leighton couldn’t find a way through a well regimented and ruthless Royal Wootton Bassett Town side, who progress through to the next round of the Preliminary stages.
We wish them the best of luck in the rest of their FA Cup campaign and the rest of their domestic season.
The Town are back in action next Saturday, once again at Bell Close, where we entertain London Colney in the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division.
Come down and support the Town, as we look to put some points and put the last three games behind us.
Reported by, Kieran Carvell.