Town Through To League Challenge Trophy Quarter Finals After Their Win At Tring
By Andrew Parker
The Town made the short journey to Tring Athletic on Tuesday Evening, for the 2nd time this season, after an embarrassing 7-1 defeat in September, in the League.
However, this was a League Challenge Trophy fixture, and the Town were looking to build on, what was an impressive victory at Pancake Lane on Saturday.
Tring came into the game in poor form, having lost their last 2, with a 2-0 defeat at home to Wembley last Saturday.
The Town made one change to the side that beat Leverstock Green. The injured Tom Silford made way for Yusef Seodi, with the Town continuing to play a ‘3 Back’.
After being humiliated last time out under the reign of Danny Nicholls, the Town were seeking revenge and were backed superbly, from their travelling supporters throughout the game.
The Town were on top during the first exchanges and should really of been in front, when Ben Gallant raced in on goal, but was denied well by Luke Priestley, in the Tring goal.
The Town continued to dominate, with Seodi and McKee dictating the tempo of the game in the centre of the park and Lewis McBride and Dom Marsala using their energy in the final third.
Midway through the first half, the Town found themselves 1-0 up, courtesy of an absolute rocket from Lewis McBride! The Town star hit a strike from around 25 yards and it nestled beautifully into the top right corner, with Priestley rooted to his goalmouth!
The Town continued to battle and Charlie Jones was called into action for the first time in the game. Kieron Turner fired from the edge of the area, but Jones was equal to the effort and parried the ball away.
Half Time rolled around quickly and the Town went in as deserved leaders.
The second half did not start as quickly as the first, with Leighton doing most of the defensive work and Tring failing to test Jones in the opening Second Half minutes.
Time was ticking on and Tring were getting closer and closer to being knocked out of the competition.
Tom Bryant was replaced for the Town with 15 minutes to go, by Brian Foulger.
Ben Gallant, who was excellent once again, was replaced shortly after by Jay Caines.
Tring continued to pressurise the Town backline, but the Reds defended resolutely, after a number of corners and long free kicks.
Tring did then put the ball into the back of the net, but much to their supporters disappointment, the linesman raised his flag for offside.
Then with just under 10 minutes left on the clock, both sides were down to 10 men.
After the ball had gone out of play, a lot of pushing and shoving took place on the sideline and it resulted in Alex Campana of Tring and substitute of only a few minutes, Jay Caines of the Town, being dismissed, both straight Red Cards. Referee John Panconi making a big call, with not long left on his watch.
Dom Marsala was replaced by George Armstrong, in Leighton’s final change.
With the game in injury time, Tring had 2 opportunities to get themselves back on level terms.
Firstly, Kieron Turner hit a thunderous effort from inside the area that was saved excellently by Jones.
From the resulting corner, Mark Riddick rose highest in the penalty area, but his header was just wide of the Town’s post.
Leighton then managed to keep the ball up in Tring’s third for the remaining minutes, and the referee blew for Full Time!
A deserved victory for the Town, who at times, played some excellent football and caused Tring real problems.
A completely different performance to what happened here just 3 months ago.
That’s 2 wins in a row now for the Town, but more importantly, 2 clean sheets. The return of Captain and Leader, Dave Murphy, has certainly helped with that.
The Town progress into the Semi-Final of the League Challenge Trophy and will face Potton United at Bell Close, a week before Christmas Day.
Next up for the Town, is Lye Town Away, in the FA Vase. Leighton were originally meant to be playing London Tigers at Bell Close in the League, but the Town were reinstated to the Buildbase FA Vase after Cogenhoe United, who beat Leighton 2-0 in the 2nd Round Proper, were found to have fielded an illegible player.
Some luck for the Town, but they will happily take it and go into the game now on a great run of form.
Thank you for your fantastic support once again, the travelling fans were brilliant throughout.
We hope to see many of you again on Saturday.
The Coach is nearly full, so hurry to reserve your seat. Tickets just £10.
Que Sera Sera!
Up The Town!