10 Man Town Hold On For A Point
By Andrew Parker
The Town returned to action after a two week absence and a four week absence from action at Bell Close, as they welcomed North Greenford United to Leighton Buzzard.
LEIGHTON TOWN 3-3 NORTH GREENFORD
The Town sat in 15th place with just the one win from seven and United were in 13th, with two wins from six.
Leighton made four changes to the team that started away at Arlesey.
Brian Foulger replaced Alex O’Brien, who has left the club to join, guess who! Arlesey.
Dom Marsala came in for his first start of the campaign in replace of the injured Junior Muya, who will be out for the rest of the season, we wish him a speedy recovery.
Dave Murphy and Matt Brady were both replaced by Aaron McKee and Carl Resch.
The Town were slow out of the blocks, with possession being given away sloppily and no rhythm to their play.
United had one or two early sights at goal, but nothing that really troubled Tom Wyant.
United’s first shot on target however, would result in a goal. Wyant’s poor clearance fell into the path of Joe Gritt, who switched it over to Lee Armitt, who rifled the ball home past Wyant, giving North Greenford, a 1-0 advantage.
A cagey affair continued, with neither side managing to take the game with both hands.
On the 40th minute though, Armitt doubled his tally and made it 2-0.
A ball found its way through to the United No.10 and a cultured finish beat Wyant and nestled in the bottom left corner.
The Town now seemingly had a mountain to climb, after a very poor opening 40 minutes.
That mountain however, had been climbed by half time!
Jamie Nicholls won a penalty for the Town after a foul on him in the box and it was Kelvin Osei-Addo, Town’s leading goal scorer in this campaign who stepped up and took responsibility.
He slotted it coolly into the bottom right corner, pulling one back for the Town and getting them back in the game and taking his personal tally to four.
The Referee blew for Kick Off and Leighton won the ball straight back and Fan Favourite Dom Marsala broke down the left wing, taking the ball to the byline, before squaring to Jamie Nicholls! He fired home from close range, to get the Town level and to the delight of the noisy Shed End! 2-2!
The Town in the second half, were straight out of the blocks.
Kynan Issac found himself through on goal within the first few seconds of the half and his lob went over goalkeeper Bailey Murhall, but it also went over the goal and clipped the crossbar on its way through.
Lewis McBride then had an opportunity that went just wide of the near post.
McBride was giving Dominic Rhône all kinds of problems on the right hand side and the Town were beginning to really pile on the pressure.
McBride drilled in a cross that cannoned off of United defender Joe Gritt and into the back of the net! The Town had turned the game around and it was 3-2!
Shortly after with around 30 minutes remaining, the Town were reduced to 10 men.
Matt Hall received a second booking, not sure what it was for as it looked like an off the ball incident, and he was shown an early bath.
United then piled on some pressure on 10-man Leighton, as they tried to at least nick a point.
They thought they had done just that when Aaron McLeish scored with a fantastic Bicycle Kick, but it was ruled out for a high boot. The Town really got away with one there.
The game ticked on and the Town seemed to have done enough, with only one or two stoppage time minutes to go.
United though were not done. They were given a late corner and it was swung in deep into the Town box and it was scrambled home, making it 3-3. However, some questionable refereeing decisions in the build up to the goal and during it, you could say it shouldn’t of stood.
Danny Nicholls certainly felt aggrieved and the referee sent him to the ‘stand’.
There was still time for more drama right at the death.
Aaron McLeish thundered the ball home from close range, but it was after he clearly fouled Tom Wyant and the goal would not stand.
The game finished and it was a hard fought point by Leighton, who did fantastically to get themselves back in the game and showed some character which they hadn’t shown in recent weeks.
The boos rang around Bell Close as the officials made their way into the dressing rooms after the game, the fans showing how they felt towards their handling of the match.
The Town return to action next Saturday, the 29th of September, as we welcome Cockfosters to Bell Close.
Thank you for your fantastic support on Saturday, we hope to see you all again next week as the Town look for that elusive, first home win of the season!
Up the Town!
Report by Kieran Carvell.